Not all battle wounds are physical
by robwallace11 on November 7, 2016 - 7:55pm
The wounds of the battlefield can truly follow you home. Although the period of testing is nowhere near as long as the WW2, or Vietnam War the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan have had many difficulties with PTSD. The findings in the Clinical Psychological Review by Schnurr and Lonne conclude that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are likely to experience poorer functioning and lower objective living conditions and satisfaction and have a lesser quality life. This staggering conclusion really makes you wonder how deep the sacrifice is for war veterans.
This in depth research makes many key arguments even though the time for veterans post Iraq-war veterans is not long. What is very interesting about this study is that it compares and contrast this generation of PTSD victims to previous wars. This new way of thinking gives a whole new perspective to the diseases showing new causes and effects of Iraq and Afghanistan. First off deployments are much more frequent and longer then they were in the Vietnam War lasting an average of 12-15 months during times of conflict. Another great point made by the journal is the new and developing medical advances being made. This causes a domino effect of more survivors of battle wounds, especially those injured in a traumatic brain injury.(Schnurr and Lonne 2009). Understanding who is fighting is also essential to this article. More women are being put in combat situations as well as men who signed up for the reserves and National Guard. Their experiences can sometimes be different than those from active duty because they were not expecting to be in some of the positions their put in. After understanding the reasons why the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan effect the brain and different ways the research goes into great detail about the impact of this new kind of PTSD and the effects it has on the individuals quality of life. Veterans of all wars have had higher unemployment, homelessness, divorce, and mental instability rates. Research found that veterans of these particular wars deal with emotional numbing which leads to withdrawal and difficulties expressing emotion (Riggs et al., 1998 and Samper et al., 2004). The journal makes apparent the biggest issue is work impairment. This problem of getting acclimated back into the regular world affects every part of their life and doesn’t allow them to fully adjust back. Imagine constantly feeling out of place when you are supposed to feel like your back home.
This article is extremely in knowledgeable and well done. It makes great connections to veterans from other wars but really focuses their attention nicely on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. By comparing and contrasting the different PTSD’s from different wars offer a new way to analyze the latest generation, in hopes that we can do something about it. This article also gives overwhelming evidence and data to support its theory and by my account is correct. Solutions clearly need to be made to this issue. This elephant in the room is swept under the rug constantly when there are unreal amounts of data. Programs need to be enhanced, people need to care and this needs to be stopped. Although great strides have been made the first step is having knowledge of the issue and why it is happening. It may not be able to be stopped or prevented but this is an issue that can be copped with so these veterans have the same quality of life as the civilians they fought for.
Schnurr, P., & Lonne, C. (2009) Posttraumatic stress disorder and quality of life: Extension of findings to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clinical Psychology Review. Volume 29(Issue 8), Pages 727–735 Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735809001123