“The victims of PTSD often feel morally tainted by their experiences, unable to recover confidence in their own goodness, trapped in a sort of spiritual solitary confinement, looking back at the rest of the world from beyond the barrier of what happened. They find themselves unable to communicate their condition to those who remained at home, resenting civilians for their blind innocence.
The Moral Injury, New York Times. Feb 17, 2015”
“Trauma destroys the fabric of time. In normal time you move from one moment to the next, sunrise to sunset, birth to death. After trauma, you may move in circles, find yourself being sucked backwards into an eddy or bouncing like a rubber ball from now to then to back again. … In the traumatic universe the basic laws of matter are suspended: ceiling fans can be helicopters, car exhaust can be mustard gas.”
David J. Morris, The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
“In his recent guest editorial, Richard McNally voices skepticism about the National Vietnam Veteran’s Readjustment Study (NVVRS) data reporting that over one-half of those who served in the Vietnam War have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or subclinical PTSD. Dr McNally is particularly skeptical because only 15% of soldiers served in combat units (1). He writes, “the mystery behind the discrepancy in numbers of those with the disease and of those in combat remains unsolved today” (4, p 815). He talks about bizarre facts and implies many, if not most, cases of PTSD are malingered or iatrogenic.
Dr McNally ignores the obvious reality that when people are deployed to a war zone, exposure to trauma is not limited to members of combat units (2,3).
At the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre of the Canadian Forces in Ottawa, we have assessed over 100 Canadian soldiers, many of whom have never been in combat units, who have experienced a range of horrific traumas and threats in places like Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. We must inform Dr McNally that, in real world practice, even cooks and clerks are affected when faced with death, genocide, ethnic cleansing, bombs, landmines, snipers, and suicide bombers …
One theory suggests that there is a conscious decision on the part of some individuals to deny trauma and its impact. Another suggests that some individuals may use dissociation or repression to block from consciousness what is quite obvious to those who listen to real-life patients.”
Cameron, C., & Heber, A. (2006). Re: Troubles in Traumatology, and Debunking Myths about Trauma and Memory/Reply: Troubles in Traumatology and Debunking Myths about Trauma and Memory. Canadian journal of psychiatry, 51(6), 402.”
“I feel no emotional connection to these outwardly human gestures.
I am not there, because I never left Afghanistan.”
“I was not descending in a plane, coming Home.
I was watching an alien world as it ascended towards me – and one that I could never begin the process of readjusting to, because I knew that I would just as soon be returning to another world, whose normality was as alien to this home as I now was.”
Jake Wood, Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken By War
“There are people who come home from war and want to talk about the pain, but no one wants to listen; there are others who want to keep silent and repress the memories, and all their family and friends want is to talk about it. I call this the war veteran reintegration paradox.”
M.B. Dallocchio, The Desert Warrior
“Post-Traumatic Stress Injury isn’t a disease. It’s a wound to the soul that never heals.”