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The Longterm Psychological Effects Of War

1798 words - 8 pages

The long-term psychological effects of war
Introduction When we examine the language of the military strategy, it is clear that what was intended was to deliberately inflict psychological damage on the population, especially people in its main cities. The effects of war weaponry were to possibly give the effect of a cataclysmic event, possibly even symbolizing the end of the world and emulating the second coming of Christ. Torture, political repression, and armed conflict pose an immense threat to individuals and populations on numerous levels. When the war is targeted toward ...view middle of the document...

These include: shell shock, battle fatigue, combat neurosis, civilian catastrophe reaction, and, more recently, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For the vast majority of those who have experienced the first hand effects of war, they will receive no diagnosis, treatment, therapy or help. The casualties of war are more than those who lose their lives, but also those who survive with maiming, those who survive having experienced the horror of losing loved ones to death or maiming, those who have witnessed death and destruction, those who have fled and left with feelings of cowardice and impotence, those who fired the shots and dropped the bombs, and finally, those who gave the orders. The politicians, being the ones who are ultimately responsible for the decisions to inflict the physical and psychological damage, are normally the furthest removed from exposure to the physical and psychological effects (Kostelyny). In the democratic countries of the war alliance, the electorate must also take responsibility for the actions of their respective governments. The psychological effects of witnessing war through the mass media are not apparently a researched area. The long-term psychological effects of war Although the full scale military activities against Iraq lasted only four weeks, the long-term psychological effects are immeasurable. Psychological trauma manifests itself in any number of ways. For example during and immediately after the war in Croatia (1991-1992) there was an increase in suicides and other self-inflicted injuries in young people and the number of young people committing suicide continued to rise in subsequent years. Schools across the region reported growing numbers of hyperactive and aggressive children needing special care. Civil violence dramatically increased (Flögel and Lauc). The incidence of depressive symptoms and insomnia is widely reported amongst the elderly. Drug abuse is disturbingly frequent compared to the pre-war statistics. In Croatia there are more then 10,500 diagnosed cases of PTSD with probably many more unregistered. Studies estimated that patients suffering from PTSD have up to a seven-fold increased incidence of suicide, and four-fold increased risk of death from all external sources (Bullman). Meanwhile the psychological impact of another war in Iraq continues to damage the mental health of a huge number of the population. Adults, who may hardly have recovered from their experiences of war and uprisings, and the suffering caused by direct experiences of conflict, bereavement and losses, now face chronic stress from the further threats. Women, especially those bringing up children alone or lacking family support, and children, already living in poor circumstances, disabled or lacking strong family support,...

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