exposure to a traumatic event, and is re-experiencing that traumatic event; also showing or exhibiting signs of avoidance to certain stimuli, an increased arousal in particular situations, and presenting with symptoms which are present for more than 1 month, of which there is clinical significance with a diagnosis of functional distress or impairment (Jenkins 2003, pg. 10).
Vietnam Veterans have suffered for years with this disorder but there was a time where they suffered in isolation and received barely any recognition from the medical world with regard to having a legitimate mental illness and needing help (Beall 1997, pg. 917). Now however, in current day there is obvious attention to this type of mental disturbance and soldiers who have gone and not received therapy in the past are now getting significant amounts of quality care in order to try and bring back some sense of decency and good in their lives. There is still a lot of study that needs to be given to this mental illness but many questions have been solved through much of the research in the past and present that has been carried out.
The history of PTSD was initially identified during the Viet-Nam era although instances of it existed before then. Both American soldiers and Vietnamese soldiers suffered and do still suffer with PTSD in their lives. Not only were the soldiers affected mentally by the brutality of the war but an estimated 50% of Vietnamese families, including children have been defined as showing signs of PTSD throughout the years, especially during the Viet-Nam War period. Young (1995) states that those who were directly exposed to much of the fighting in Viet-Nam, either due to being a Vietnamese female in a village or a child, it is feasible to assume that they still suffer with involuntary symptoms of traumatic stress that is related to what transpired in Viet-Nam.
For the American soldiers there have been many signs and noticeable warning symptoms of the onset of PTSD