Flutterby™! : Doing What's Expected

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Doing What's Expected

2011-04-28 16:04:07.952994+00 by petronius 2 comments

Mention of an interesting new idea: US veterans of the Iraqi and Afghan wars are showing more Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because its expected of them. The author wonders why British vets seem to have so much less PTSD, even though they are having as horrific experiences as their Yank comrades. Also, why wasn't the US overwealmed by non-functioning, acting out vets in the late 40s? Certainly the men who fought at Iwo Jima or Omaha Beach underwent as terrible experiences as men in Khandahar or the Sunni Triangle, without the possibility of rotating home after 6 months.

Of course, when pretty much every able-bodied man was in the WW2 army, pretty much every jailbird, wife-beater or drunk in 1948 was likely to have seen combat, so maybe we didn't notice it then. Or maybe people didn't expect to get PTSD, so they just got on with their lives.

[ related topics: Psychology, Psychiatry and Personality War ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-28 19:22:09.479055+00 by: Larry Burton

I was talking with my 88 year old uncle a few months back. He saw some pretty heavy combat in the Ardennes during WWII and was asking me about my son, an Iraqi war veteran. From his questions I could tell he was still deeply troubled about what he saw and possibly what he had to do during his time at war. I don't think its so much that current warriors are expected to have PTSD so much as our earlier warriors weren't allowed to.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-28 21:49:52.799154+00 by: m

During WWII units were generally rotated after 30-40 days on the front. Units in action in Afghanistan and Iraq do not get that relief and are typically in stress conditions for six months straight before they get any break.

The German attack in the Ardennes that Larry refers to above (Battle of the Bulge) was at first successful because the area was considered relatively safe. It was used for rotating frontline combat troops for R&R, as well as the training of freshly arrived troops from the US, and was not appropriately defended.