Massie and Perry
April 12, 2017
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder From The Vietnam War
The Vietnam war was one of the most alarming and dangerous wars to fight. Every step in the Vietnam jungle was taken cautiously. The guerrilla warfare used by the Vietcong was frightening to anticipate. The majority of the United States army was only that of young men who had been chosen through the draft. Young men going to school and living a life at home in safety all the sudden having to make an overwhelming transition into a deadly, violent and nearly hopeless battlefield. This was only the beginning of problems for the future vietnam survivors. The violence of the Vietnam War brought upon the recognition of Post Traumatic Stress …show more content…
When the body does not calm down sometime after the situation it experiences PTSD. Soon after, suffering from nightmares, lack of sleep and flashbacks become common side effects of the disorder. The Vietnam War was one of the most intense, stressful and exhilarating wars to fight due to the factors of fear and not knowing the surrounding environment. Vietnam’s land is a jungle filled with natural dangers. Monsoons were common on the Vietnam land, which made harsh wet and hot fighting conditions. Animals such as snakes and scorpions made it dangerous to wander blindly in the jungle. On top of all the natural dangers and conditions of the land, the communist enemy known as the Vietcong were known for their use of booby traps such as bear traps, wooden stakes applied to dangerous designs, and use of poison. American soldiers found these factors made it hard to fight a war and found it even harder to fight when the U.S Army couldn’t discriminate the enemy from civilians. The Vietcong and South Vietnamese were the same people with different views, so this made war hard to fight when it is nearly impossible to identify the enemy. The use of guerrilla warfare made it difficult to beat the enemy in a foreign jungle terrain. The Vietcong having the upper hand in almost every aspect of the war made warfare conditions very stressful for American soldiers. Most of the American soldiers were already experiencing anxiety and stress due
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
It is common knowledge that with every war, there always comes casualties. Soldiers can lose an arm or a leg, or even their life when they go to war. Unfortunately soldiers can even lose their minds because of war. Specifically, this research paper will focus on PTSD, or in other words: post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD has shown up as a factor from many wars, but for some reason, one war in particular stands out from all others regarding the the PTSD numbers. It is called the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War (1956-1975) was part of the cold war. The US wanted to prevent Vietnam from becoming a communist country, so after Vietnam split into a north and south, they began to support South Vietnam. The US thought that if Vietnam were to
World War II is still seen today as one of the most lethal wars in history. As technology advanced, more destructive weapons were created. In the hands of the wrong people and those forced to use them, these weapons paved the way for physical and psychological destruction. Furthermore, the mentality of individuals during this time enabled more marring upon themselves and upon other individuals. Even though what we now refer to as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, existed before World War II, this time period brought about a higher prevalence of PTSD, as well as began to change the way this disorder was perceived by people.
PTSD, or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.
Problem that the Vietnamese war veterans faced was the psychological effects which was very common for Vietnam veterans to have. The main cause of this is because it was different compared to other wars in the past like the condition that the soldiers were in. Studies has shown that a World War II soldiers experienced up to a total of 60 days under combat like conditions. A Vietnam infantryman endured on a comparable basis 300+ days therefore Vietnam veterans have more likely to develop psychological problems than a World War II veteran. (POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD), 2001)
Introduction: In order to stop the spread of communism, America joined the vietnam war. Many young men were drafted into this war, with no other options but to go or to be arrested. Many were terrified to go into the war, and tried to flee the United States. The main problem was not even just during the vietnam war, it was after the war was over and troops were sent home. This problem was known as shell shock, or what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Throughout the turmoil and pain of the Vietnam war, many young soldiers were emotionally distraught and treated poorly in their return home, each with their own load to bear.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (commonly known as PTSD) is an important issue associated with military soldiers. The primary focus of this paper will be on the causes of PTSD and the effects it has on returning soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will attempt to elaborate on the soldiers' experiences through my own experiences in combat both in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will explain what PTSD is, look at the history of PTSD, how people get it, and differences of PTSD between men and women, and treatment options.
The impact of the Vietnam War upon the soldiers who fought there was huge. The experience forever changed how they would think and act for the rest of their lives. One of the main reasons for this was there was little to no understanding by the soldiers as to why they were fighting this war. They felt they were killing innocent people, farmers, poor hard working people, women, and children were among their victims. Many of the returning soldiers could not fall back in to their old life styles. First they felt guilt for surviving many of their brothers in arms. Second they were haunted by the atrocities of war. Some soldiers could not go back to the mental state of peacetime. Then there were soldiers Tim O’Brien meant while in
“... historians and sociologists note that the high-profile involvement of civilian psychiatrists in the wake of the Vietnam War was another feature that set those returning veterans apart from society”(Satel 4). Many veterans developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which a psychological disorder that last months or years, which triggered memories of trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. Sally Satel, Resident Scholar of American Enterprise Institute stated, “ The Vietnam era labeled problems such as anxiety, quilt over comrades who died, and chronic sleep as a disturbance of mental illness” ( Satel 6). The use of chemical warfare left a sense of terror that distressed combatants. It dramatically changed the way veterans live and the way troops would prepare for war. “History’s first systematic use of chemical warfare left a legacy of fear that haunted armies on the world’s battlefield ever since…”(Corelli 1). “ Traumatic stress disorders are caused by events that actually happen to people”(Satel 4). Veterans enduring and sustaining a mental disorder based on anxious anticipation from a traumatic experience affected them in a workplace and this explains why the quote above was used. “Not everyone confronts horrific circumstances develops PTSD”(Satel 2). “After a disaster, fewer than 10% of victims are affected”(Satel 2). However,
Many veterans are unable to leave behind the trauma of Vietnam and psychologically return home. They struggle with a variety of extremely severe problems that neither they nor their families, friends, or communities knew how to understand
In short, PTSD is a mental illness that occurs after one has either experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The negative effects on the sufferer are immense, psychological effects include avoiding reminders of loss, numbness, reduced fun doing things that were previously enjoyable, loneliness, nostalgia, severe anxiety, and having suicidal thoughts. Moreover, the physical effects include insomnia, exaggerated startle, drowsiness, which can lead to intense nightmares and flashbacks of the trauma.
The Vietnam War started in 1945, resulting in almost 60,000 American deaths and nearly two million Vietnamese deaths, according to Mintze. Years after combat countless Vietnam veterans suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder in every aspect of their lives (Price). Posttraumatic stress disorder is an illness that can happen to anyone who has gone through a horrifying experience. It has been documented in all forms of literature and films the brutality of the war and the side effects it came with. The history of Vietnam is quite long and winding and leaves one to question its purpose (Mintze).
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is "an anxiety disorder, characterized by distressing memories, emotional numbness, and hyper vigilance, that develops after exposure to a traumatic event" (Doyle-Portillo, Pastorino 490). Traumatic events include physical abuse, rape, military combat, death of a close friend or family member, natural disasters, or witnessing events such as terrorist attacks, a violent crime, or a horrible accident (Doyle-Portillo, Pastorino 490). All these different events lead men and women to have nightmares, flashbacks, and tormenting memories, especially the men who fought in the Vietnam War. Around "19% of Vietnam veterans developed PTSD at some point after the war" (Doyle-Portillo, Pastorino 491) from the events they witnessed out in the Vietnamese jungles during combat that it would have been highly unlikely for them not to develop PTSD.
Military Pathway (2013) concluded “Military life, especially the stress of deployments or mobilizations, can present challenges to service members and their families that are both unique and difficult”. Hence, it is not surprising that soldiers returning from a stressful war environment often suffer from a psychological condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This paper provides a historical perspective of PTSD affecting soldiers, and how this illness has often been ignored. In addition, the this paper examines the cause and diagnosis of the illness, the changes of functional strengths and limitations, the overall effects this disease may have on soldiers and their families, with a conclusion of
“When I was in serious danger I was almost completely paralysed by fear, I remember sitting with a coffin (a fellow soldier) on the fire-step of a trench during an intense bombardment, when it seemed certain that we must be killed”(The Psychological Effects Of The Vietnam War). Our soldiers that we send to war to protect us against the countries trying to harm us are put into dangerous situations that affect them physically and mentally and leave them with permanent damage to their minds and bodies. The server damage that our military soldiers faced when returning from war is PTSD which stands for post traumatic stress disorder and is the most common disorder that returning soldiers are diagnosed with , but a more tragic diagnosis from war
The main tactic employed by the U.S was known as ‘search and destroy’. This meant hunting down and killing Vietcong. The Vietcong used a similar tactic called ‘find and kill’, although this was conceptually the same as ‘search and destroy’ it was much more successful. One reason for this was that the U.S soldiers wore uniforms and were easier to pick out. Another reason was that the U.S soldiers had to contend with Vietcong mines and booby traps. These included what was known as a Punji trap, which was a deep hole filled with spikes covered with poison of faeces. Another was the ‘Bouncing Betty’ which was a mine under the soil with three prongs that when steed on would explode. It was extremely disconcerting for soldiers to know that their next step could be their last. This caused a whole host of mental problems for the U.S soldiers. Booby traps accounted for %11 of deaths and %17 of wounds in the war.