According To The U.S. Department Of Veterans’ Affairs,

1081 WordsFeb 25, 20175 Pages
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, over 8 million adults develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder during a given year ("PTSD: National Center for PTSD”). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as “a pathological anxiety disorder resulting after exposure to a traumatic event” ("Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”). While any traumatic event may cause PTSD, a primary cause stems from action in war ("Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”). The Trojan War, as depicted in Homer’s epic The Iliad, demonstrates the setting of which this form of disorder would likely be triggered. Greek warrior and hero Achilles displays common symptoms of PTSD in his journey throughout the epic, leading many researches to conclude he was a…show more content…
Following the news of his fallen comrade and best friend, Patroklus, Achilles falls into mourning so sorrowful onlookers fear he will commit suicide. Achilles demonstrates the gravity of his own grief when he claims “I would die here and now, in that I could not save my comrade. He has fallen far from home, and in his hour of need my hand was not there to help him. What is there for me?” (Homer 296). He quickly rejoins the war effort in order to avenge Patroklus, but refuses to eat or drink before battle, hinting that the anger he feels toward both Agamemnon and the enemy is beginning to reflect inward. Additionally, Achilles refuses to bury his comrade’s body until he has avenged him. This behavior not only demonstrates his survivor’s guilt but also the growing rage he feels toward the enemy. Achilles’s inability to take care of himself and the manner in which he prioritizes vengeance over his own well-being hints at a growing instability common to victims of PTSD. Additionally, his refusal to bury Patroklus’s body until he has completed his vengeance demonstrates his desire to make something up to his fallen comrade, actions which blatantly demonstrate both survivor’s guilt and an inability to properly mourn and honor the dead, both symptoms of PTSD. Beginning in Book 20 of The Iliad, Achilles’s actions shift from anger mingled with sorrow to
Open Document