Chapter 2 (Revised)(Partial Only)
Causes And Effects
02-01. General. In the previous chapter I offered several definitions of PTSD as provided by the general medical community and the Department of Veterans Affairs. This chapter will help you understand those definitions by first explaining some of the reasons you react to trauma the way you do, and secondly by explaining a little about brain chemical imbalances and the meaning and dangers of "triggers".
Section II. THE WAY WE WERE
02-02. General. To help us understand our ongoing experience with this PTSD thing we have to go back to what took place before we went to war. In a research paper written in May 1992 entitled Veterans, Combat and Stress, about Vietnam Veterans, John Russell Smith, a graduate student at Duke University, says "It is not the traumatic experience of war itself but the meaning that those events have for the individual which creates trauma".
Those events we experienced in war and believe to be inhuman or insane are only so because of our learned ethics and values. Because we believed in God and country, mom and apple pie. Because we believed that serving our country was expected and that our country was doing the right thing.
We were innocent as a people and a nation and we believed we were invincible. We were proud and honorable. We were the watch-dogs of the free world. We made a good showing in WWI, WWII and a decent one in Korea. We expected to do the same in Vietnam.
This page last updated 06-01