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Thursday, April 10, 2003

Combat stress

IntelDump has this good post on PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) brought on by the ravages of battle. As he says, the military once treated combat PTSD with contempt and disdain.

In her superb book Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman, MD, notes that it was not just the military, but also the psychiatric establishment, that treated combat vets suffering from PTSD with disdain and dismissal.

She pulls together an excellent page of quotes from eminent psychiatrists in the 50s and 60s who argue that vets with PTSD actually were knocked off-balance by earlier events in their lives. These vets, according to the psychiatric establishment of the time, mistakenly believe that killing people, watching friends die grotesque deaths, seeing civilian casualties and so on is causing their problem.

Does this sound familiar?

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