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Editorial: Baylor's admirable reach to help ailing soldiers

Nov. 19, 2010

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Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

For years, Baylor researchers from the psychology and neuroscience department and the School of Social Work have been working toward a cure for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A disorder known to plague war veterans, many have begun to delve into the problems surrounding PTSD in order to truly understand its devastating effects on both the veteran and his or her family.

According to research done by Baylor's School of Social Work students, an estimated half of the soldiers that return to the warfront for multiple deployments display enough symptoms to be diagnosed with PTSD, though only 6 percent to 12 percent are diagnosed.

PTSD affects those who have gone through trauma, according to the National Center for PTSD. Trauma could be experienced as fear or horror in a life-threatening situation, such as combat.

Symptoms include reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, emotional numbness and feeling jittery or jumpy.

Those with PTSD also tend to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, according to the Veterans Healing Initiative, a group formed to help veterans with mental disorders recover from addiction.

There is nothing weak in getting professional help for a problem.

There is no shame in dealing with PTSD, or any other disorder, in a healthy way. It takes great courage to take control of the disorder and seek treatment.

If you know someone with these symptoms or you

suspect someone you know has PTSD, the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs has resources available online at www.va.gov.

In Waco, the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System on Memorial Drive offers both an outpatient clinic and intensive residential services.

The Lariat commends all researchers, Baylor-based and

nationwide, for taking positive steps toward awareness and

solutions for PTSD.

In order to protect the safety of our soldiers, mental health professionals and those skilled with dealing with addicts should meet together to create the most effective form of treatment.

This disorder, however, has been found to affect those close to PTSD victims, too.

The research being produced from Baylor offers a unique perspective on the disorder.

In the Central Texas area, where soldiers and veterans are members of communities, there is a great need for more research into this disorder.

Baylor's role in the researching on PTSD shows that we are a university committed to aiding veterans and their families.

Our location provides great opportunities to develop effective, beneficial treatments for the disorder caused because men and women sacrificed part of their lives for us.

The least we can do is use our resources to help those that fought for us.