“Research suggests about 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans experience PTSD at some point in their lives.”(Sullum) These are men who proudly fought for our freedom in the treacherous jungles. Where they risked their lives in constant fear of the enemy around them. Tim O’Brien was one of these men and he documents it in his book “The Things They Carried.
Men like O’Brien came home with mental side effects that are old as war itself. We didn’t know what it actually was so we created different names for as time went on. We now know of the side effects of warfare and how to spot the side someone with symptoms of PTSD.
There has been many ways to cure soldiers of PTSD before it’s to late. In addition to this there is new ways of treatment not available to all veterans such as groups that just talk about their own traumatic experiences. Next , there is a unconventional ways of dealing with PTSD such going out dealing with their fears head on. Also, there has been some research on the use of street drugs to help cope with veterans past with the use of MDMA or THC.
The recovery of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder only can begin when someone experiencing symptoms speaks up : which is not always as easy as you might think. Many cultures have always dismissed mental health issues as not as important as physical health issues. Not only in civil culture but more importantly in most military cultures.
This leads to a silent shaming when someone is truly suffering from chemical imbalances in the brain. This started all the way back to the post-Civil war era when, doctors called post traumatic stress disorder “Soldier’s Heart Syndrome”. The name was given by Joseph Mendes Da Costa who tried to understand what was going on with soldiers returning from the Civil war with cardiac disorders. Also, this put the idea that PTSD was from a soldiers longing to be home when fighting in far away places. When WWI came along, with the introduction of artillery fire and the constant fear of it that lead to an explosion of PTSD in veterans. Along with that came the name “shell shocked” from the loud noises that came with the new type of warfare causing men to feel powerless