Sunday, August 16, 2015

"souls in anguish"

If even the military establishment is beginning to recognize "souls in anguish," how, I wonder, will that military cope with what might be called the collateral damage of their own recognition? My guess is that they will gently, but firmly sweep it under the rug ... how are the spunky and under-informed youth that has always peopled the front lines of war going to be spurred on to the killing function?
"Souls in anguish" is how some experts describe this psychological scar of war now being identified as "moral injury."
Unlike post-traumatic stress disorder, which is based on fear from feeling one's life threatened, moral injury produces extreme guilt and shame from something done or witnessed that goes against one's values or may even be a crime. The term was introduced in the 1990s by a now-retired Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Shay, who recognized the problem in Vietnam veterans he was treating.

1 comment:

  1. If they would prevent it, wars would have to be prevented. You couldn't demonize the enemy as pitching children about on pitchforks. You couldn't order immoral orders such as burning down civilian targets in order to strike at the nations will to support the war, as in Dresden Germany. They couldn't order you to risk innocents by engaging an insurgency as in anywhere since Viet Nam. But that leaves me wondering. Were any of those who "fragged" an officer suffer from such guilt?