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Post traumatic stress disorder is developed when a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as front-line combat, an earthquake, or sexual assault. To qualify for post traumatic stress disorder, the event must be physically dangerous or life-threatening, either to one self or somebody else. I know a little bit about this disorder because my grandpa was in the Vietnam war. After speaking with him about it, I can sense that it is a touchy subject. He could be a victim of it, because he explains the flashbacks he has of the traumatic event. He was there from 1965-1970, and from what I got from it is that five years of war can be very traumatizing. I asked if he killed anybody, and he responded, "with five years of combat I would expect you to know the answer to that question." In the book, it says that post traumatic stress disorder involves a constellation of symptoms that can be quite debilitating. He doesn't show many symptoms compared to the people that have the disorder in the worst way, but he says he still thinks about it from time to time. My grandpa is a very outgoing happy man, but I feel I can sometimes see a side of him that is not normal in a person that has not been through what he has. This is why people should be wary while speaking with a person that has gone through something traumatic.


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I feel like this might be the case with a lot of people who serve in the military and see combat. While they probably wouldn't be considered to have PSTD, I'd assume most people would have some symptoms of the disorder. My grandfather also served in the Serbian Navy for 20 years, and he's situation is very similar to yours. He is a happy outgoing person (although somewhat OCD because of his days in the Navy), but when asked to talk about his days of service he's very hesitant and we always know he's leaving a lot out.

It is nice that you can have some more understanding, maybe, of what your grandfather and others who have experienced traumatic events are going through.

Though it must be tough to talk about, I'm sure you have a deeper understanding of your grandfather as a result of our studies on PTSD. The concepts we have learned in psych definitely hit home harder when you have an emotional connection with the topic.

PTSD can be very tough to deal with. My cousin was an Army Ranger and has served more tours in the Middle East than either of care to count. He has seen multiple men around him be killed, and knows he is lucky to still be alive but also knows that the mental toll the deaths have taken on him are bound to add up.

Although I don't think I know anyone personally with PTSD, I have heard stories about how it can be hard to deal with. I was talking to someone whose dad was in the Vietnam War. Although they do lead a mostly normal life, like you said there will be instances of flashbacks and whatnot.

My friend who was overseas for the military also had the same thing! I remember a few 4th of July's ago, I invited him to see Apple Valley's firework show with me and he said he couldn't go because he would be too scared; instead he stayed in his basement because the loud booms made him have flashbulb memories! I didn't really understand PTSD until this course.

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