How Does Trauma Impact Human Psychology

1532 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 7 Pages
How does trauma impact human psychology, and how has the disorder we now call PTSD been perceived throughout human history?
War has been a common occurrence for as long as humans have walked the earth. In his impressive work The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker graphs a list of the 100 worst wars and atrocities in human history covering the past 2,500 years showing that deaths per 100,000 people on earth remained essentially unchanged until declining only in the last handful of decades (12). For soldiers, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an inherent potential consequence resulting from their exposure to the realities of war. Although behavioral symptoms of the disorder weren’t formally recognized, based on the assertions made here concerning war it is reasonable that PTSD has been prevalent throughout human history. Until recent times though, perceptions of those suffering from this disorder have been poorly informed. Modern science …

In the ancient play Ajax, written by Sophocles in the fifth century BC, after fighting heroically for years in the Trojan Wars, the title character returns home to his wife, if only physically. He is changed; he is not the man she knew before, and the changes in his behavior are disturbing. He is moody, angry, and detached from reality. Complicating his mental agitation is an intense jealously towards Odysseus, who is honored to wear Achilles’ armor after Achilles died in Troy, rather than Ajax. With sword in hand as if…
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