Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and War

Image credit: Cracks by Truthout.org

“Societies have spoken of the changes in men returning from battle since the days of ancient Greece when Homer told of Odysseus’s epic struggles to go back home after the Trojan War…  It has gone by a host of different names: ‘nostalgia’ in eighteenth-century Europe, ‘war excitement,’ ‘exposure,’ or ‘soldier’s heart’ in the Civil War, ‘war neurosis’ or ‘shell shock’ in World War I, ‘battle fatigue’ in World War II.  Today, it is widely known as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

-David Phillips, Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home

A spate of compelling and timely resources are being published and produced examining post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military personnel, particularly in soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.   Recent advances in neuroscience research show how important it is for “combat stress” to be treated with as much immediacy as physical wounds.  Consult these GSU resources for how PTSD in recent and past war veterans affects not only them, but also the communities to which they return, including families, friends, small towns, and big cities:

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