Themental health of an individual play a critical role in determiningthe lifestyle that the person leads, that is, when one is mentallywell, it translates to a positive way of life. Research by thejournal Archives of General Psychiatry in America established thatpeople that are mentally stable have higher chances of showing betterperformance at work, school, and can maintain relationships(Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012). However, a person’s mentalcapabilities are likely to be compromised when he/she experiencemental problems (Josef, 2012). Mental disturbance can reduce theefficiency of the cognitive performance, and this would result in anadverse loss at the family level and the society as a whole (Josef,2012). The military service men and women have indicated the highestnumber of mental disturbance as a result of their working environment(Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012). The most common type of health problemby the veterans is known as the post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). PTSD in soldiers is as a result of past painful experiencesand war wounds that the soldiers go through in their line of duty(Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012). This paper aims at examining a casestudy of mental health issue in a veteran that served as a militaryofficer in the operation going on in Afghanistan.
Inan interview that I conducted on Mr. Edward Erickson, a formerserviceman, it is evident that the soldiers endure a unique workenvironment that can easily result in mental complications. Mr.Edward is currently undergoing treatment under U.S. Department ofVeterans Affairs Post Deployment Integrative Care Initiative just afew months after returning from Afghanistan (Josef, 2012). During theoperation, Mr. Edward experienced several physical body injuries andwounds. He further claims that witnessing some of his colleaguesdying during the war and also having to kill other people during thewar have affected his mental stability (Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012).As a soldier, Mr. Edward was also compelled to stay away from home,and from the family members for a long time and this resulted toloneliness and thus resulting in psychological issues (Josef, 2012).Other problems during the operation include the combat exposure andtraumatic brain injury. Due to the hostile working environment, thesoldier also indulged in drug and substance abuse specificallyalcohol and tobacco and thus resulting in deterioration in his healthcondition (Josef, 2012).
Mentalhealth has broadly been defined as a state of mental well-beingwhereby an individual can exploit his/her full potential in variousaspects of life, that is job, education, relationships and alsoovercome the normal stresses that are related to life (Elizabeth &Heidi, 2012. Mental well-being enables a person to contributepositively towards the society and the economy of the nation. Fromthe definition, it is evident that the surrounding environment andindividual’s lifestyle significantly influence the mental conditionof the person (Jean-Rodrigue & Melissa, 2013).
Inthe context of the military operation, social circumstances such asloneliness and bereavement that Edward undergo during the warcontribute to his poor mental status. Other social causes of mentalillness are exposure to violence and stressful working conditions.Mr. Edward narrates his encounter with the enemies whereby he had tokill, and in the process, some of his colleagues lose their lives andattain serious injuries (Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012). The soldier isexposed to war and disasters, the surrounding environment in theirAfghanistan base is very hostile, and this also contributes to thedeterioration in mental health. The long-term physical injuries thathe gets during the war contribute to a mental disorder known aspost-traumatic stress disorder (Jean-Rodrigue & Melissa, 2013).However, the universal access to health care has positively impactedthe health of the ex-military officers. Under the U.S. Department ofVeterans Affairs Post Deployment Integrative Care Initiative, theservice members can access health services aimed at improving themilitant’s health status when they return home from operations(Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012).
Thefirst theme that is evident in this analysis is violence. Thebattlefields are characterized by hostility and death. The soldiersare compelled to execute horrible acts such as killing the enemy.They also experience physical injuries that inflict pain and causecognitive disturbances. Although it is part of their duty, it affectstheir mental wellbeing. The second theme is stress the servicemembers are exposed to stressful conditions in their line of duty.They stay away from their families for a long time since they live inisolated neighborhoods where they cannot experience a real socialinteraction with the other people (Elizabeth & Heidi, 2012). Theyalso get bereaved as some of their friends and colleagues die duringthe war. The last theme is that of hopelessness. The veterans arealways disturbed by the impending attack by the enemy, and they livewith the fear of losing their life at any time (Jean-Rodrigue &Melissa, 2013). This condition contributes to some of the soldiersengaging in self-destructive activities such drug and substance abusethat is bad for their health.
Itcan be derived that an individual’s behavior, social circumstances,and the surrounding environment are major determinants of the mentalwell-being. The mental wellbeing of a person is vital in shaping thelifestyle of that particular individual. The soldiers work in hostileenvironments that are characterized by violence, physical injuries,stress, and loneliness. Due to the unique nature of their workingconditions, a big number of militants are adversely affected bymental issues that can develop to long-term mental disorders.
Elizabeth, B.,& Heidi, W. L. (2012). Theveteran health administration`s treatment of PTSD and traumatic braininjury among recent combat veterans.Washington DC: Congress of the United States.
Jean-Rodrigue, P.,& Melissa, R. (2013). Currentissues in mental health in Canada: mental health in the Canadianforces and among veterans.Ottawa: Library of parliament publishers.
Josef, R. I.(2012). Caringfor veterans with deployment-related stress disorders Iraq,Afghanistan, and beyond.Washington Dc: American psychological association.