After several discussions with the head of biology, a fair amount of googling and research alongside a lot of consolidation, I have decided that I do not have enough statistical evidence to base my EPQ on PTSD. While something I am really interested in, I feel in order to write a good EPQ there must be a strong basis of evidence. As a result, I have decided to move onto another one of my key interests – science, most notably, disease. A topic I began to write an essay on earlier in the year, prion diseases, really caught my interest. Sticking to the slightly humanitarian approach of my EPQ, I am interested in researching the origins of these diseases, and what causes them.
I have arranged a meeting with my supervisor after the Easter holidays, and have begun researching prion diseases. I am going to begin with a mind map, to piece together my ideas and I’ll be sure to share this with you when I do!
Thankfully, over the past few weeks I have received responses from numerous charities surrounding my enquiries into statistics related to PTSD. While inevitably some of these were much more useful than others, it has been clear that gaining access to this information will be a long and difficult process, and I have been advised to become a ‘vetted researcher’. In light of this, I am going to continue researching without these stats to see if there is enough surrounding evidence for be to come to a conclusion. If this doesn’t work out, I may have to consider rethinking the basis for my EPQ fairly quickly, in order to give me enough time to develop and research a new idea.
After a busy Christmas and New Year and with mock exams out of the way, my attention has returned to my EPQ. I have just emailed numerous authorities and charities in America regarding some statistics on the amount of people diagnosed with PTSD, as unfortunately I have not heard back from those I emailed before Christmas. If I cannot find these anyway I am going to have to redirect my question and this of a new approach to take towards this topic. Having said this, hopefully I will find some answers soon and this will be avoided!
Hello! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and an exciting New Year to come. Just to update you on my EPQ, I am yet to hear back from either of the associations I have contacted, and unfortunately I don’t think they are going to disclose the information I would like to me. However, I am going to email both again in the hope it may prompt a reply. Otherwise, I have started search into other sources of statistics, and have been considering my title further. This has been difficult and I really need some information before I can outline exactly what it is I would like to investigate. Hopefully I will be able to make some progress soon!
I am still waiting for a response from the American Veterans Association, and am hoping that they are gathering some information for me! However, if this is not the case, I have emailed PTSD United, another American organisation along a similar theme, inquiring again for some statistics. Their website includes facts such as around 8% of Americans are living with PTSD currently, which is approximately 24.4 million people – this seems to me a good sign, although I am hoping that they also have data from throughout history.
I have recently contacted the American Veterans Association, an organisation which has a key role in the rights and care of soldiers, to enquire about any statistics they may have on PTSD. From their website, I have gathered they invest a lot of time and research into Post Traumatic Stress, and I am really interested to find out about some of their discoveries. Hopefully, even if the statistics are not available this will be a useful contact which can help me target my research and understand more clearly the implications of PTSD, which is a different experience for every sufferer. I am now waiting for a response in order to decide in which direction to take my research, and other organisations I can contact for information.
Recently, I have had three discussions and meetings about my EPQ which have been really useful in helping me determine the path I would like to take my idea down.
On 15/11/2016 I had my first meeting with my supervisor, which was crucial in helping me frame a question, and making sure I have the solid evidence (statistics) required to build around my EPQ. Here I decided that I need a definite time frame, such as the last 200 years, so that my question is more specific, and to identify a particular area of history to investigate. Currently, I am still deliberating between British and American history, and the extent of information available will probably influence my decision.
On the 22/11/2016 I had two discussions with teachers about the potential of my EPQ idea. The first of these is ex-RAF and suggested that I should be able to gain information due to the Freedom of Information Act from the British military services, which should be a relatively reliable source. However, he also suggested I contact local hospitals and mental heath centers, who may divulge their statistics to be as it shouldn’t breach patient confidentiality. Aside from this, this discussion was also valuable as it made me consider the use of diaries and first hand accounts as resources for my research into Post Traumatic Stress, as these personal experiences are likely to be honest, and represent what living with PTSD or ‘Shell shock’ was like for instance, during the Second World War. These are not scientific or statistical resources, however would be useful in showing how PTSD may or may not have been accepted during these times.
Finally, another meeting with a member of staff, who was previously in the British Army, caused me to seriously consider the use of American resources and history as the bulk of research for my EPQ. I am hoping that the Veterans Association or even the American Government would be willing to release their current and previous PTSD statistics, or even give me a place to begin my research. Furthermore, the American troops were involved in wars such as Vietnam, which used interesting Guerrilla tactics, and when looking at warfare and its impact on Post Traumatic Stress, this could be key.
Moving forward, I would like to begin contacting some of these associations in order to try and find some statistical evidence, so I can then properly begin researching my EPQ.