Traumatic Effects of War Essay
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. This is how the National Institute of Mental Health defines post traumatic stress. Given this definition it is easy to see how war veterans have become the face of this disorder. However they are not the only people susceptible to being diagnosed with PTSD. The Anxiety Disorders Association of America estimates that 7.7 million Americans age 18 and older have PTSD. Having been in the military the vast majority of my friends are or were military members. As a matter of fact I can probably count on one hand the number of people I call friends that were never in the military. Many of my friends have post traumatic stress. The stories that they can tell will make you believe that it came from a horror movie. I assure that this was real; none of their stories are made up. It is documented and they have the medals to prove it.Traumatic Effects of War Essay
guns, smoke, planes, bombs, and killing. However, there is another .
characteristic of this type of combat, one we rarely consider. The .
psychological effects war has on those who are fighting, or those who know .
people who are fighting, adds up to a great cost. This is one aspect of .Failure is a hard word, and no matter how you analyze the Vietnam War, that is exactly what it was.Traumatic Effects of War Essay The War was a personal failure on a national scale. From its covert beginnings, through the bloodiest, darkest days and finally to the bitter end, this ten-year period of American history is a national disgrace. Some may believe that the only lesson that will ever be learned is a personal one. Do you know someone that died in a muddy jungle there? Did you have a friend or classmate or a member of your family caught up in this nightmare? Even if you were not affected on that level, what a waste of time, taxes, resources and the precious lives of young Americans.Fifty-eight thousand were killed, two thousand captured, and three hundred fifty thousand; maimed and wounded, almost everyone in this country still feels the effects of this conflict. Today, the young people of this country cringe in response to the senselessness and waste of this struggle. A new generation of college students, workers and young parents bring a unique perspective to the analysis of the consequences of this particular war. These are the sons and daughters of the men that fought to their death in the jungles of South East Asia.Traumatic Effects of War Essay
This research paper will deal with some of the more interesting aspects and effects of this war. Since the Vietnam conflict made absolutely no sense politically, militarily or economically, the value of analysis must come on the individual level. The individual soldiers that survived this war are now laced throughout society on every level. They are waiting and have been patiently biding their time. Not waiting to protest or draw attention but waiting for the questions they know will come. Not from a busy country or politicians or the government but from their own children. They’ve had nearly 30 years to think about it and decide what really happened. They’ve also had that time to raise those children, and now we want to know.
The Vietnam War will be analyzed in this paper through three different sources of information. The first will be research involving psychological studies and cases. The second will be through the media, most specifically through films. The third is a one-on-one interview with a Vietnam veteran.Traumatic Effects of War Essay The tying factors throughout each of these sections will be the seven separate topics on which we focus this research, including: Before the war: 1) soldiers reasons for going to the Vietnam War. During the War: 2) Soldiers reactions and adjustments to the war. 3) Soldiers’ feelings toward the Vietnamese. 4) Drug and alcohol use. 5) Media effects. After the war: 6) How exposure to the war affected soldiers physically and mentally. 7) Veteran attitudes toward Americans once home (Government, protestors, family, society).
This paper will thoroughly discuss the psychological effects of the Vietnam War using the three different areas of research stated above. Each area has been researched individually with the intentions of learning how the information will compare across the lines.
The Psychological Point of View
For many Americans, the Vietnam War is over and long forgotten. Among those still suffering are several veterans who have felt forgotten, unappreciated, and even discriminated against. For some of them ‘ the trauma of their battle experiences or their physical disabilities have shattered their lives.Traumatic Effects of War Essay For even more, adjustment to civilian life has not been easy. “Imagine if you had just graduated out of high school and were sent to a guerrilla warfare far away from your home. During the war, you were exposed to a lot of stress, confusion, anxiety, pain, and hatred. Then you were sent back home with no readjustment to the lifestyle in the states, no deprogramming of what you learned from the military, and no “welcome home” parades. You are portrayed to the public as a crazed psychopathic killer with no morals or control over your aggression. You find that there’s nobody you can talk to or who can understand what you’ve been through, not even your family. As you re-emerge into civilization, you struggle to establish a personal identity or a place in society because you lack the proper education and job skills. In addition, there are no supportive groups to help you find your way, which makes you feel even more isolated, unappreciated, and exploited for serving your country.”1 This scenario is similar to what many Vietnam veterans have felt in their transition from battle to home.Traumatic Effects of War Essay
War has always had a profound effect on those who engage in combat. The Vietnam War, however, was different in many ways. First, it was the unpopular war as viewed by most people today. Vietnam veterans were the first to fight in an American war that could not be recalled with pride. Second, it was the first to be reported in full detail by the media, historians, and scientists. And third, the Vietnam War became a metaphor for American society that connoted distrust in the government, and the sacrifice of American lives for poorly understood and deeply divided values and principles. Upon the veterans’ return to the states, many exhibited significant psychiatric symptoms. These ranged from difficulty sleeping to vivid flashbacks, and are now recognized as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a development of characteristic symptoms following a psychologically distressing event.Traumatic Effects of War Essay “It begins with an event in which the individual is threatened with his or her own death or the destruction of a body part, to such humiliation that their personal identity may be lost.”2 Vietnam veterans who experience PTSD have a feeling of helplessness, worthlessness, dejection, anger, depression, insomnia, and a tendency to react to tense situations by using survival tactics. Combat experience remains the variable most often linked to PTSD among Vietnam veterans. The frequency of PTSD was a lot higher among those with high levels of exposure to combat compared to the noncombatants. PTSD was not taken seriously until the 1980’s when many Vietnam veterans were complaining of similar symptoms. These symptoms had been noticed after previous wars but there were only a couple of cases. In some cases, veterans did not experience their symptoms until a year after they returned. Thus, it was very easy for the government to ignore the effects of PTSD because it had such a delayed reaction.Traumatic Effects of War Essay
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