The Nature of PTSD PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This combination of intensity and expectation violation causes the trauma experience to become indelibly written into the trauma victim's memory, such that it becomes impossible for the person to stop thinking about that experience without resorting to heroic and often self-destructive methods.
The major symptoms of PTSD mostly are a reaction to the "burned in" and intense quality of trauma memory.
Nightmare recreations are common, and even hallucinations of trauma related events can occur.
The threshold for recall of trauma memories is very, very low, making it quite inevitable that they will be triggered to reoccur at the smallest provocation.
Think of times in your life when you've experienced a sudden, overwhelming loss, such as at the death of a close friend or family member; one you've depended on deeply.
People's reactions to such an event tend to be polarized and intense.Reactions vary between excruciating, unrelenting emotional pain, and numbness and unreality, often swinging between these extremes. Mood swings typically continue for weeks and months, perhaps varying in intensity at different moments, but ultimately the trend is for the intensity to die down.Grief never entirely ends, but at the conclusion of the practical grief process, people feel back to normal again and their moods do not swing noticeably more than they did prior to the loss.As a consequence, a lot of trauma memory avoiding occurs, and irritability results, along with fear reactions (which could be termed panic attacks), and anger problems.Trauma victims can become so irritable that they end up attacking the people around them, or running away from those people so that they don't attack them.Apparently, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, who serves on the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee has asked for an investigation, and maybe we'll learn more as a result of that. Whatever else the above email indicates, it is certainly an internal communication that was never intended to be broadcast publicly, and it certainly looks bad.