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Many veterans live their lives well while coping with PTSD, and others suffer greatly....

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joanne79 | Student, College Senior | Honors

Posted June 22, 2013 at 1:10 AM via web

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Many veterans live their lives well while coping with PTSD, and others suffer greatly. Should we have expectations that veterans should get over it and be cured?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 22, 2013 at 1:22 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this depends to some degree on how the question is meant.

On the one hand, the question could be asking whether veterans can get over PTSD.  We can expect that some veterans will get over their PTSD or will, at the very least, learn to live with it.  In other words, PTSD is not something that is necessarily incurable.  If veterans are willing to go through with the psychotherapy and other sorts of treatments, they may well be able to recover.  This is particularly true if they have a good social support group.

On the other hand, this question may be asking whether we should just expect the veterans to “tough it out” and stop complaining.  If this is the case, we should certainly not have such an expectation.  Veterans do not suffer from PTSD because they lack willpower.  They do not suffer from it because they are weak.  This is a serious emotional and psychological condition.

In other words, we should be hopeful that veterans can overcome PTSD.  However, we should not think that those who continue to suffer from it are in some way weak and should just toughen up and get over it.

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