By way of introduction, I am a proud son, brother and father of war veterans so what follows is not an attack on our uniformed citizen soldiers, but a sincere effort to end a tragic generational cycle of largely self-inflicted wartime mental health (MH) crises since the First World War (WWI). After 26-years as a Marine Sergeant, Navy Commander, and military psychologist-it was a 2003 field hospital deployment in support of the Iraq invasion that opened my eyes to the painful reality that our country was grossly negligent in its preparation to meet even basic MH needs… (read more)
HISTORY OF PTSD – Published in The Veteran, 2005
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as an anxiety (emotional) disorder which stems from a particular incident evoking significant stress. PTSD can be found among survivors of the Holocaust, of car accidents, of sexual assaults, and of other traumatic experiences such as combat. The fact is, PTSD is a new name for an old story—war has always had a severe psychological impact on people in immediate and lasting ways. PTSD has a history that is as significant as the malady itself. It’s been with us now for thousands of years, as incidents in history prove beyond a doubt.
Three thousand years ago, an Egyptian combat veteran named Hori wrote about the feelings he experienced before going into battle: “You determine to go forward. . . . Shuddering seizes you, the hair on your head stands on end, your soul lies in your hand.” ….. (read more)
MORAL INJURY – Three part article by David Wood – the Huffington Post, 2014
Moral injury raises uncomfortable questions about what happens in war, the dark experiences that many veterans have always been reluctant to talk about. Are the young Americans who volunteer for military service prepared for the ethical ambiguity that lies ahead? Can they be hardened against moral injury? Should they be?…. (read more)