Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Vietnam Veterans.

Essay by 041281University, Bachelor's May 2003

download word file, 15 pages 4.1

Downloaded 203 times

I am up all night. I will never be the same though, never, never, never. If I have to go into battle again, if I am not killed, I will come out insane. I cannot see and go through it again. I know I can't. The friends I lost and the many bodies I carried back to the helicopters to be lifted out, I will never forget. (1)

The above excerpt was taken from a letter written by Kenneth Bagbey to his parents just after the battle at Ia-Dang Valley in 1965. Kenneth's feelings ring true for countless veterans of the Vietnam War. However, it was not until the 1980's that a significant effort was made to help Vietnam veterans with the numerous psychological problems that they faced after the war. It is not surprising that war veterans, exposed to the brutalities of battle, have difficulties dealing with their actions or what they have witnessed in war.

Yet, some critics argue that Vietnam veterans are receiving too much attention for their psychological disorders. The studies conducted during the 1980's of the effects of war on veterans has led to a relatively new concept of post-war problems know as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, there is still an ongoing debate concerning the validity of the disorder. Why is there a debate over a disorder that seems to be an obvious possibility when exposed to trauma and war? What are the different views in the debate? And, finally what can we learn from the debate about the future of post-war related stress? In order to understand the debate we must understand what the disorder is defined as today as well as understand how this has come to be. First, we must place PTSD in the broader context of the relationship...