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Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans Including Women, Reservists, and Those Coming Back from Iraq and Afghanistan

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Since 1990, U.S. veterans' centers have treated more than 1.6 million PTSD-affected men and women, including an estimated 100,000 from the Gulf War and an ever-increasing number from the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts. Using firsthand accounts, this book offers insights into the realities of PTSD, combat trauma, and the withdrawal, depression, violence, rage, and even suicide Since 1990, U.S. veterans' centers have treated more than 1.6 million PTSD-affected men and women, including an estimated 100,000 from the Gulf War and an ever-increasing number from the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts. Using firsthand accounts, this book offers insights into the realities of PTSD, combat trauma, and the withdrawal, depression, violence, rage, and even suicide experienced among returning soldiers. In a new epilogue, the authors offer data about treatments and resources that both PTSD sufferers and their families and friends will value.


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Since 1990, U.S. veterans' centers have treated more than 1.6 million PTSD-affected men and women, including an estimated 100,000 from the Gulf War and an ever-increasing number from the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts. Using firsthand accounts, this book offers insights into the realities of PTSD, combat trauma, and the withdrawal, depression, violence, rage, and even suicide Since 1990, U.S. veterans' centers have treated more than 1.6 million PTSD-affected men and women, including an estimated 100,000 from the Gulf War and an ever-increasing number from the Iraq and Afghanistan fronts. Using firsthand accounts, this book offers insights into the realities of PTSD, combat trauma, and the withdrawal, depression, violence, rage, and even suicide experienced among returning soldiers. In a new epilogue, the authors offer data about treatments and resources that both PTSD sufferers and their families and friends will value.

30 review for Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans Including Women, Reservists, and Those Coming Back from Iraq and Afghanistan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    This book presents the reader with a bit of a dilemma, at least if that reader is not a combat veteran, yet is concerned enough about PTSD in order to read a book like this. On the one hand, this book is to be praised for seeking to let veterans speak of their harrowing experiences in war with their own voice, as one of the co-writers of this book is himself a trained psychologist and also someone who has dealt with PTSD as a result of his experiences in Vietnam. On the other hand, there is a gr This book presents the reader with a bit of a dilemma, at least if that reader is not a combat veteran, yet is concerned enough about PTSD in order to read a book like this. On the one hand, this book is to be praised for seeking to let veterans speak of their harrowing experiences in war with their own voice, as one of the co-writers of this book is himself a trained psychologist and also someone who has dealt with PTSD as a result of his experiences in Vietnam. On the other hand, there is a great deal about this book, even for those who are not troubled by the discussion of PTSD itself, that is troubling. The authors seem to present an eclectic view of treatment that has a special fondness for heathen shamanistic healing for "soul death," and treatment options that spring from Eastern religion or pagan religious beliefs. Likewise, the authors find themselves engaged in a strong tension between a desire to help soldiers acclimate themselves to a large indifferent and uncaring civilian population that knows little about military affairs and wants less to do with military service [1] and a desire to justify among service members the freedom from "shoulds" and "oughts" that are supposedly so oppressive. The end result is a book that is clearly written with its heart in the right place, but also all kinds of other ulterior motives that are impossible to fully support. In terms of the contents and organization of the book, there is a clear thematic organization, but the contents have some surprises. After a preface and a very technical introduction on the trade-off between DSM legitimacy and private traumas and individual stories, the book contains twelve chapters and then an epilogue that focuses on the lack of progress over three years after the book had been originally published towards the beginning of the Iraq War. The chapters of the book begin with an overview of trauma and the mind/body before looking at the history of the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and its phenomenology, before tackling the experiences of reserve soldiers, the problem of coming home from war, preparing for what is to come, civilians at risk, treatment approaches to people in the aftermath of trauma, keys to treating trauma, various alternative approaches the authors favor in treating PTSD, remembrance, and finding strength and meaning while struggling to overcome nightmares and hyperarousal and the other symptoms of this cruel disease. Intermixed with these chapters are a series of dark and cynical poems, mostly by a fellow named Tom Greening [2], which add to the level of darkness and cynicism in the work, which is already at a pretty high level. Beyond the troublesome religious beliefs, the shallow sort of self-help approach the book has to encouragement, and the casual cynicism about the government on the part of the authors and many of the soldiers who were just punching the timeclock in Iraq, there is a lot about this book that is troublesome about the state of the American military. For one, the military has done a poor job at training reservists with the expectation of possible active military service, as well as with the care of suicidal post-combat veterans. The use of the military as a laboratory for social experimentation has resulted in the widespread view of women as sex objects, leading to high degrees of rape, adding to the trauma of military service for women. As an aside, though, this book follows a lot of writers in annoyingly assuming that only women suffer from rape, something that tends to get my goat. Likewise, there is a lot of trouble in the way that the military has ill-served the idealism of America's soldiers in its recent military conflicts. There are few conflicts that can sustain idealism, but the way that the United States has gotten involved in wars in recent decades has encouraged cynicism and reduced morale, and that certainly has not helped the way our armies have fought, or how they have recovered once they went back home. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress... [2] See, for example: "To Recruits" (p. 33) You are pawns-- don't you understand that? It's a game and you aren't worth much, but you can be used strategically. Presidents and generals need obedient pawns. You will get deployed, maneuvered, maybe sacrificed on a dusty foreign chess board. If that makes you feel good-- patriotic, macho, or whatever-- go for it. You'll come back with some honors, souvenirs, ghosts, or maybe in a box. - Tom Greening "Falluja Corpse" (p.134) I will lie here, buried below Falluja for a long time. Being dead, I am in no hurry. You can collect those other corpses, rebuild the city above me and proclaim victory. I watched with amusement as they used a grappling hook to drag Ali away because they were afraid he was booby-trapped. They don't know the real meaning of that word. They don't know how much explosive I have packed inside me. I am a patient man with a long memory and nothing else to do. Even from this awkward position I will conceive many children who will honor their father. --Tom Greening

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    In the growing literature of combat-related PTSD, this slim volume by authors Paulson and Krippner is directed chiefly to practitioners but is also accessible for lay readers. The book is loosely organized to cover a review of the scholarly and scientific literature on the subject, while interjecting examples of PTSD from veterans of wars and conflicts from WWII to Iraq. Krippner is a psychology professor at Saybrook Graduate Institute and Research Center. Paulson, a psychologist, is a combat ve In the growing literature of combat-related PTSD, this slim volume by authors Paulson and Krippner is directed chiefly to practitioners but is also accessible for lay readers. The book is loosely organized to cover a review of the scholarly and scientific literature on the subject, while interjecting examples of PTSD from veterans of wars and conflicts from WWII to Iraq. Krippner is a psychology professor at Saybrook Graduate Institute and Research Center. Paulson, a psychologist, is a combat veteran whose harrowing story is told with gripping detail - both his experience as a Marine on the killing fields of Vietnam and his debilitating descent into a different kind of hell after his return. So is his discovery of a therapeutic path out of that hell and his recovery. The two men define PTSD broadly, identifying it as a spectrum disorder with commonalities across individual cases but no specific model of symptoms or etiology. They note also significant differences between the experience of Vietnam veterans and the reservists who have served in the Gulf and Iraq Wars. In looking at types of therapy, they provide a survey of different approaches, and question the long-term effectiveness of purely pharmaceutical interventions. Meanwhile, they advocate forms of existential-humanistic therapy, based in part on the theories of Roberto Assagioli, the pioneer of psychosynthesis. The authors provide a helpful overview of the subject and offer positive encouragement for those trapped in the after-effects of life-altering trauma. Their book includes a 15-page bibliography and an extensive index.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Fascinating and highly academic look at PTSD in veterans and reservists. I don't have a background in psychology, so my assessment might be a little off, but the authors seem heavily influenced by postmodern thought. They are especially interested in the link between "personal myths" and the severity of post-traumatic stress, which I found very interesting, as well. This is a small, but very rich, thought-provoking book. Fascinating and highly academic look at PTSD in veterans and reservists. I don't have a background in psychology, so my assessment might be a little off, but the authors seem heavily influenced by postmodern thought. They are especially interested in the link between "personal myths" and the severity of post-traumatic stress, which I found very interesting, as well. This is a small, but very rich, thought-provoking book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Simpson

    Haunted by Combat provides a great technical look at PTSD. However, it fails to reach the "public" audience whose understanding of the disorder is such an important part in creating a supportive environment -- to foster discussion, experimental treatment etc. Haunted by Combat provides a great technical look at PTSD. However, it fails to reach the "public" audience whose understanding of the disorder is such an important part in creating a supportive environment -- to foster discussion, experimental treatment etc.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Constant

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lara

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Boltz-Zito

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Sussner

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adam&Leigh

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam Tanis

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacki

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nunya

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  16. 4 out of 5

    Templehurst

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda D. Greene

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bruce E Bailey

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tammielyn

  22. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mari

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol L Whitney

  28. 5 out of 5

    Richard Whitney

  29. 4 out of 5

    Irene Moyer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie

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