Sergeant Brown’s case is similar to those of many members of the armed forces who are experiencing difficulty transitioning out of the military and struggling with mental health challenges. One of the first inquiries would be to determine whether Brown is receiving any psychological help, if he is enrolled in veteran programs, and has had any attempts at self-medication or suicide. Furthermore, it would be helpful to determine Brown’s life circumstances, whether he is struggling financially or experiencing social pressures in various contexts. Finally, it is essential to inquire about feelings and emotions experienced by Brown, especially regarding his sense of self-worth and attempting to seek out dangerous experiences.
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Sergeant Brown is experiencing a psychosocial condition known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) common in veterans. Script: The trauma and stress of combat influence a person’s perception of self and others. Environmental factors begin to trigger certain responses that create psychological defenses for coping, which is evident by the exhibited symptoms. These symptoms can affect the nervous and endocrine systems as well as cognitive function which begins to distort reality and create a “fight or flight” response. Treatment, based on scientific evidence, is available for PTSD and includes therapy of various types and pharmacological intervention (Rubin, Weiss, & Coll, 2013). Sergeant Brown may experience avoidant behaviors which are a natural part of coping behavior as a result of trauma. These may include emotional avoidance by refusing to process feelings and thoughts related to a traumatic event. This may arise during therapy. Furthermore, behavioral avoidance is common by the refusal of participation in particular activities as it may be a reminder of the trauma and Brown’s injuries (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2015).
Stuck points are a term in cognitive processing therapy which denotes negative thoughts created by or associated with a traumatic event. The primary goal of therapy is to help a person overcome these barriers (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2017). Stuck Brown may experience stuck points about active duty crises and his injuries which are now preventing him from entering police work. He may also encounter tremendous guilt and mourning over fellow servicemen that have lost their lives in combat. Stuck points may be associated with emotions, trust, and functioning in society.
Rubin, A., Weiss, E. L., & Coll, J. E. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of military social work. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2015). Avoidance. Web.
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2017). Cognitive processing therapy: Help your loved one during treatment. Web.