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PTSD in Military Women Can Put Them at Risk For Eating Disorders And Addiction

Women with PTSDAn often-misunderstood disorder, PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a disorder that is common in individuals who have endured trauma such as experiencing an accident, going through the violence of war or being the victim of a sexual assault or rape. Common additions to PTSD are other disorders known as co-occurring disorders, which can include anorexia and addiction. Knowing the link between PTSD and other disorders is important not only for diagnosis but also for treatment.

Rarely does PTSD occur alone. Women who have PTSD because of experiences in military service have been seen to have co-morbid disorders. Women who are returning from tours of duty may self medicate to relieve anxiety with prescription medication or alcohol or develop an eating disorder to cope with emotional suffering and pain.

Anxiety, paranoia and other symptoms can confuse people who are suffering from PTSD and keep them from seeking help, especially if they don’t realize what’s happening. If someone you know has finished a tour of duty or has faced an assault, make sure that they receive proper mental treatment and address any other disorders that may develop alongside the PTSD.

PTSD also carries a stigma, making it difficult for many people to even admit to suffering from the disorder. Nobody wants to feel like they can’t control themselves. Because of that, some military personnel, such as Army General Peter Chiarelli, even believe that PTSD should have its name changed to Post-Traumatic Stress Injury so that more people who face it can identify it more easily and seek proper treatment. Having it labeled as a disorder can keep soldiers from seeking proper treatment and discourages some of them from fully understanding the condition. It’s difficult to identify on its own, especially since it occurs so often in conjunction with other disorders. Because it can exacerbate or bring on eating disorders like anorexia, it’s important to get treatment from a professional who understands co-occurring disorders.

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