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.

 

Citation:

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

Comments

Do you believed that these veterans are being properly taking care of after they come home or after they have retired from the army? Seeing that a lot of veterans are having a lot of issues, after coming back home from serving in the army.

Very interesting topic! What drew me to your post was your title “Not all battle wounds are physical,” not only because I am interested in that subject, but also because I personally know somebody who is affected by PTSD. I am also always interested in reading more articles about it and your post convinced me to read this article. I found it very interesting to learn that deployments are much more frequent and longer in the Middle-East than in the Vietnam War, and although it can be argued that Vietnam and WWII were much bloodier wars, the difference in deployment length could definitely make the current wars harsher on veterans. Another point I found astonishing is how the advancement in medical technologies has had inverse effects on wounded soldiers, since often times battle wounds are debilitating. When you said that veterans more likely to experience poor functioning, lower living conditions, satisfaction, and a lesser quality life, it reminded of the concept of discrimination discussed in me class because of how the Government and even some of the population ignore the problems faced by a specific group because it is more convenient for them to do so. What I find even more troubling is that these problems come from the very Government that put these soldiers out there.

What drew me to this post was that i never considered this issue before. Many including myself oversee this problem of PTSD and only think about the problems that they have faced on the battlefield. Also the fact the veterans due to poorer life styles, are constantly suffering from the sacrifice they made. Even after the physical war itself. I find it very interesting that you spoke about this subject and that it should not be taken lightly at all. They sacrificed themselves for the sake of others and we just ignore the facts that when back home, they are mentally suffering from so much.. This brings me back to my class and how i'm being taught about race and racism. One of the concepts in my class is revolved around white privilege and how non white people are mistreated. I believe that your issue on the idea that not all wounds are physical relates perfectly with the subject of white privilege. That all kinds of people from different races suffer physical although even more so mental pain throughout their life although many ignore the issue itself.

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