Post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans has always been a topic that is completely misunderstood and underfunded. The first part of the essay is about the media’s portrayal of PTSD in the post-Vietnam War era and post-world War II era with filmmakers using stock footage War veterans who were shell-shocked, their body is twitching and quaking and an expression of horror on their faces permanently. It was depicted as weakness, and these twitching outbursts where depicted as moments of flashbacks, and where then allow the filmmaker to flash back to war.

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I believe the author is not exactly arguing with anyone, rather trying to ‘please help these poor souls’. For far too long the effects of war have damaged our soldiers. It is not manly to bottle that kind of violence and gore. It is not healthy to ignore pain like that. I’ve seen the shellshock footage; these men were better off dead because in those times they were completely and utterly alone and therefore doomed. They were literally unable to stop quaking, even as they struggled to walk, eat, sleep, and talk. They were broken.

The problem was greatly misunderstood at the time and now, with returning veterans from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and so forth. The government severely under funds post-traumatic stress disorder victims. What I learned is the fact that about 20% of all veterans see any Combat Action. There is an amazing amount of work and that necessitates a lot of men in charge of food, transportation and all of the other important jobs that are not combat.

The next portion of the essay focuses on the actuality of soldier’s ages and the history of doctor is understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Hysteria was for the longest time believed to be a condition that only a woman could suffer because she had a room. Hysteria being an ancient word derived from the Greeks which meant uterus, in some way. In fact, the Greeks believed that a woman’s uterus could move about her body and cause physical pain. If someone had pain in their leg than her uterus was now in her leg causing pain. The wandering uterus myth. Doctors in World War 1 and 2 and for such a long time we’re looking for a physical wound on a soldier that could cause him to behave hysterically, like a woman.

This thinking was so completely detrimental to the study of the human brain that it’s stunted psychology into only modernity as being a topic of importance in American Medicine, let alone medicine for veterans. The essay also goes into being a man. In those times it was constituted among many things, but chiefly by his prowess as a soldier. Using the expression War Stories, it was synonymous with actual War Stories & Other Stories of lesser violence, like football.  Masculinity was measured heavily in part by marshal accomplishment and things related to combat.

I agree with the author’s intended message. He is giving a voice to people that America currently does not want to help, due to the many antiwar movements and the stigma a soldier has in the modern world, post 9/11 and Vietnam. The age of the soldiers is often too low, and the public opinion on war and therefore knowledge of PTSD is low and this is a sign of structural weakness. Our military has to be strong, our fortress must be strong and the people inside need to be more unified so we can help one another, and we have instead created too many walls within the country.

  • Lembcke, Jerry. PTSD: Diagnosis and Identity in the Post-empire America Lexington Books; Reprint edition (April 21, 2015). Print.