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Informative Speech on Health Effects of War

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    Informative Speech Health Effects of War Topic: health effects war has on soldiers General Purpose: to inform Specific Purpose: to inform my audience about health effects war has on soldiers Thesis: If a war can severely impact the countries at war, it surely has a grave impact on those who are on the forefront during the times of war. Introduction I. “Will he ever find peace here on this earth? Before death’s fingers encircle his throat Or will peace remain just beyond his girth Abandoning him eternally to a land remote” – Nancy L.

    Meek, in the poem ‘The Sacrifice’ A. A war is the result of the lack of peace and ends in leaving no one happy. B. Wars deeply impact all the nations involved in it and it affects the nations’ economy and the life of its citizens. II. If a war can severely impact the countries at war, it surely has a grave impact on those who are on the forefront during the times of war. A. It is sure to severely affect the true warriors, the soldiers who stake their lives to guard their homes. B.

    Wars not only affect the soldiers’ life but also result in serious emotional effects on the soldiers of war. Wars stir their emotions; they affect their lives and impact their states of mind. C. Circumstances force them to end someone’s life D. True, the soldiers face their enemy nation, that they are supposed to destroy the hostile forces, but after all, enemies are humans. 1. Witnessing deaths becomes an almost everyday incident for soldiers at war. 2. They have to bear the grief of the suffering and deaths of their fellow mates as well. Transition: Some of the key psychological issues affecting the approximately two million American troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 have been traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression and most commonly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—and the diagnoses often overlap] Body I. Until the 20th century little was known about the emotional effects of war on soldiers and it wasn’t until soldiers were studied psychologically that we began to understand what had happened to them. A.

    PTSD is essentially a manifestation of the brain’s attempt to cope with trauma and failing to do so adequately. B. With PTSD in soldiers, the sufferer will often recall and re-experience the specific trauma of war, perhaps when they dream, or even when they think or close their eyes. 1. Hallucinations are not uncommon either, with soldiers feeling as if they are back in the traumatic war environment during sleep, when drunk or on drugs and even during normal wakefulness. 2. They will also react strongly to anything that reminds them of the trauma and begin to avoid anything they associate with it. . They have a strong reluctance to mix socially, due to loud noises that remind them of bombings, or crowds of people that reminds them of trenches. C. Veterans of war who experience PTSD without adequate counseling and care often do not marry or have children, perhaps because they have experienced near death and have severe difficulty letting go of the idea that they may die any day. 1. Some may say that their inability to form close bonds with loved ones is due to the experience of near death and the fear that they will leave someone behind. 2.

    The emotional effects of war on soldiers very often hinders their future achievements too as they find it impossible to imagine or plan. [Transition: A study of the mental health of troops who fought in Iraq found that about one in eight reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. ] II. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Charles Hoge, one of the researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research says “The most important thing we can do for service members who have been in combat is to help them understand that the earlier that they get help when they need it, the better off they’ll be” (http://www. snbc. msn. com) A. In the study of 6,201 service members, soldiers and Marines filled out anonymous questionnaires asking about their mental health, their use of mental health services and their combat experience. 1. Symptoms of major depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder were reported by 16 percent to 17 percent of those who served in Iraq, 11 percent of those who were in Afghanistan and 9 percent questioned before they left. 2. The differences were greatest for post-traumatic stress disorder with about wice as many with PTSD after Iraq (12 percent) than Afghanistan (6 percent). Before deployment, the rate was 5 percent, about the same as the general U. S. population. B. In the latest study, only 38 percent to 40 percent of those who indicated mental health disorders were interested in getting help, and 23 to 40 percent reported seeing someone for help. They cited concerns about how they would be seen by peers and potential damage to their careers 1. Less than half of those with problems sought help, mostly out of fear of being stigmatized or hurting their careers. . The study points out that somehow the barriers need to be reduced so that it can be more likely for people to come in and receive the much needed help 3. Some soldiers who remain active in the armed forces resist seeking help because they do not want to endanger their military careers by acknowledging psychological issues. 4. Others seek help in civilian practice rather than in the military health system. [Transition: It is predicted that the mental health needs of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will increase over time. ] III.

    It is reasonable to expect a continuation of these brain and mental health trends, only multiplied by the anticipated dramatic uptick in returning troops. A. Such issues also tend to crop up several months or even years after service members settle in, rather than directly after homecoming. 1. A study in the April issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders showed that among service members injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, health care usage—and psychiatric problems—increased over time. 2. The longer people are back, the more people come forward as potentially struggling.

    B. The influx of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan into the military mental health system has yet to peak, but it is already well underway. 1. There is concern that the health care system is unprepared to handle the care of returning troops. 2. A 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine identified a “critical shortage of health care professionals—especially those specializing in mental health—to meet the demands of those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan… ” Conclusion I. War can be and has been proven to be a deeply scarring experience for many soldiers.

    Of course, nothing can prepare them for warfare, seeing close friends die and narrowly escape death themselves. II. Some veterans of past wars have recovered from their traumatic experience with the right care, but what we need to ask ourselves is how we can protect them from mental trauma before they are even sent to fight, as opposed to treating their symptoms once the deep psychological damage has already been done. III. The DoD and the VA have taken steps to prepare for the forecast rise in PTSD cases. A.

    They have highlighted two approaches to treatment—cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy—that studies have shown to be effective. B. June 27 has been designated National PTSD Awareness Day. C. New veterans suffering from PTSD may well fare better than their predecessors who served in Vietnam, as the disorder was only recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. D. “Our methodology is still evolving to catch up with the nature of these conflicts,” he says. “I think this is something we’re going to be working on and dealing with for a long time. ” (http://www. scientificamerican. om/article. cfm? id=ptsd-awareness-day-afghanistan) Works Cited “1 in 8 Returning Soldiers Suffers from PTSD But Less than Half with Problems Seek Help, Report Finds. ” NBC News. N. p. , 30 June 2004. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. . “Emotional Effects of War on Soldiers. ” Buzzle. N. p. , n. d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. . Matson, John. “Legacy of Mental Health Problems from Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Will Be Long-Lived: Scientific American. ” Scientific American. N. p. , 27 June 2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. . Tian, Stan. “The Emotional Effects of War on Soldiers. ” Health Guidance. N. p. , n. d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. .

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