09 November 2018

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

On Killing by LtCol Dave Grossman, 2009, Excerpts

Societies which ask men to fight on their behalf should be aware of the consequences. Manifestations of PTSD include recurrent and intrusive dreams and recollections of the experience, emotional blunting, social withdrawal, exceptional difficulty or reluctance in initiating or maintaining intimate relationships, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms can in turn lead to serious difficulties in readjusting to civilian life, resulting in alcoholism, divorce, and unemployment. The symptoms persist for months or years after the trauma, often emerging after a long delay.

Success in war and national survival may necessitate killing enemy soldiers in battle. If we accept that we need an army, then we must accept that it has to be as capable of surviving as we can make it. But if society prepares a soldier to overcome his resistance to killing and places him in an environment in which he will kill, then that society has an obligation to deal forthrightly, intelligently, and morally with the result and its repercussions upon the soldier and the society. 

Tom Waits – Hell Broke Luce
Based on the story of Jeff Lucey, a 23-year-old Marine veteran of Iraq who killed himself. 
Lucey was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 
He hanged himself with a garden hose in the cellar of his family's home.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, 2010, Excerpt
The Pacific POWs who went home in 1945 were torn-down men. They had an intimate understanding of man’s vast capacity to experience suffering, as well as his equally vast capacity, and hungry willingness, to inflict it. They carried unspeakable memories of torture and humiliation, and an acute sense of vulnerability that attended the knowledge of how readily they could be disarmed and dehumanized. Many felt lonely and isolated, having endured abuses that ordinary people couldn’t understand. Their dignity had been obliterated, replaced with a pervasive sense of shame and worthlessness. Coming home was an experience of profound, perilous aloneness.

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