Etiology Refers to the Cause

When thinking about the biological perspective, this point of view places highlights the physical and biological bases of behaviors that occur. This perspective can include genetics and how they may influence different behaviors to occur, the brain and it’s function overall, body systems such as the nervous system and endocrine system, and personality in some cases.

Etiology refers to the cause(s) of a certain condition. In this case, regarding PTSD among combat veterans, there were a few research articles that investigated some biological causes of PTSD to originate. In a study conducted by Boscarino, there was a link between veterans who developed PTSD and alterations within their neuroendocrine system, with an outcome showing significantly lower plasma cortisol (1996). As a reminder, cortisol is a hormone within the body that help maintain stress and it works in conjunction to monitor fear, motivation and mood.

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This study demonstrates that veterans who are exposed to heavy combat end up having the lowest concentrations of cortisol (Boscarino, 1996). Another study relating to the endocrine system affecting biological etiology of veterans suffering from PTSD, expressed an association with altered hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis functions. Hormones such as, arginine vasopressin in combination with the corticotrophin releasing hormone, have demonstrated to be of importance in controlling the HPA axis, therefore, the effect of PTSD towards the arginine vasopressin secretion was assessed to see if a relationship existed. Research by Kloet, Vermetten, Gauze, Wiegant, & Westenburg (2006) supports the idea that the levels of plasma of arginine vasopressin was higher among veterans with PTSD than when compared to the healthy control. This shows that biological causes related to PTSD among combat veterans is present when researching the endocrine system and is a highlight area of study to continue onward with.

There are usually multiple categories when it comes to treating an individual in a certain situation; if a child gets a cut then a Band-Aid will suffice, if a mother has a headache then some over the counter headache medication will suffice, and when a veteran experience PTSD, one of the many different forms of treatment, such as medications, will suffice. Technology throughout the world is always advancing, with new methods to confront situations that arise and that need resolving. Trial and error are a biological perspectives best approach. Use individuals to test out the validity of what has been created, whether it be a piece of equipment or a new medication. Medication is a form of treatment that is turned to for combat veterans suffering from PTSD. Being deployed into war releases a label of being strong and independent and willing to fight.

Men live within our society being labeled as weak if they show any negative emotions. However, just because it can’t be seen, does not mean it doesn’t exist; men don’t show negative emotions and express needing help because of the shame and guilt they may feel and/or receive from their fellow veterans, but this does not mean that they don’t need help. When in all reality, they do. A study that was conducted, measured a hypothetical scenario about difficulties encountered after the war to deployed soldiers going to Iraq, giving these soldiers a choice between two types of therapy or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications to help treat PTSD.

The results of this study found that soldiers reacted to taking medications with stronger agreement reflecting on embarrassment and shame seeking medical attention for treatment and resulting in a negative career impact, showing that they were less willing to recommend medication as a form of treatment due to less confidence that the medication would help (Reger, 2013). Even though this study indicates that veterans would rather choose a type of therapy than taking an FDA medication, it shows that the action plan is dependent upon the individual veteran, along with the adherence of the treatment as a whole.

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