The case of SSgt Rodriquez presents some challenges that have to be overcome for the patient to get better. One of the main concerns, with which the client came to the clinic, is his irritable behavior and hypervigilance. These symptoms, along with constant nightmares and intrusive memories are the signs of SSgt Rodriquez having PTSD. According to Yehuda, Vermetten, McFarlane, and Lehrner (2014), such persons as the client have a range of needs that vary from other people with PTSD due to their military occupation. However, these differences can also be considered one’s strengths. It is clear that SSgt Rodriquez connects his nightmares and behavioral changes with an incident which happened during his service. Thus, his symptoms can be worsened if he continues to serve without intervention. The duty of a military social worker, in this case, includes finding possible ways of mitigating the issue and treating this traumatic issue. Physiological help is necessary for the client.
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The needs of the patient also include the treatment of headaches that SSgt Rodriquez reports to having. This particular condition may exacerbate the symptoms of PTSD, which poses a challenge for a client and a military social worker as well. The treatment of these headaches should be included as a part of intervention as it may affect the way SSgt Rodriquez responds to his therapy for PTSD. It is also essential to address, as, according to Yehuda et al. (2014), many military service workers may respond to the symptoms of PTSD by developing associated mental health issues such as alcohol and drug abuse. Marquez, Brown, Dilday, Woods, and Perkins (2014) note that this situation needs a more subtle approach due to the nuances of the military service. Here, SSgt Rodriquez’s family history plays a significant role. While it is possible that the patient will not want to engage in the same behaviors as his father, it is vital to analyze this issue and assess the patient’s attitude towards such behaviors.
However, SSgt Rodriquez has some strengths that may help him in his situation. First of all, Yehuda et al. (2014) point out that most people engaged in the military service possess a strong sense of duty and loyalty, which may be beneficial to the treatment. Furthermore, all military service workers go through extensive training. Thus, they are more prepared for combat trauma and its consequences than civilians. The strong social connections of workers may also contribute to their rehabilitation. The case of SSgt Rodriquez shows that he is ready to get help, which significantly changes the situation as one’s compliance to treatment may play a major role in the recovery process. The negative experience of the client’s father can also be viewed from this perspective as the patient may be discouraged from developing a problem of alcohol abuse.
In fact, the role of the family in the case of SSgt Rodriquez is rather significant. First of all, the military experience of his father serves as an example for the client. Moreover, it is possible that other members of the family can also influence his treatment. Vasterling et al. (2015) state that one’s military deployment can affect all members of the worker’s household. Thus, families of military workers often have problems with possible issues that workers may be facing. For example, in this case, SSgt Rodriquez’s family was probably affected by the father’s military service. Moreover, the client’s current occupation also puts some stress on his close relatives. His PTSD and behavioral changes may adversely affect family member’s mental health as well. Their stress levels, for example, are most likely increased, which may put them at risk of developing stress-related disorders. According to Vasterling et al. (2015), children of military veterans may have more behavioral problems or suffer from substance abuse-related issues. Moreover, PTSD of a military worker may lead to difficulties in the adjustment of the family members.
Marquez, M. R., Brown, T. M., Dilday, C. D., Woods, T. M., & Perkins, G. E. (2014). A call for military-centric social work education. Journal of Sociology, 2(2), 253-262
Vasterling, J. J., Taft, C. T., Proctor, S. P., Macdonald, H. Z., Lawrence, A., Kalill, K.,… Fairbank, J. A. (2015). Establishing a methodology to examine the effects of war‐zone PTSD on the family: The family foundations study. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 24(2), 143-155.
Yehuda, R., Vermetten, E., McFarlane, A. C., & Lehrner, A. (2014). PTSD in the military: Special considerations for understanding prevalence, pathophysiology and treatment following deployment. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 5(1), 25322.