Tuesday, March 20, 2012

War Trauma and its Aftermath

War Trauma and its Aftermath: An International Perspective on the Balkan and Gulf Wars
March 20, 2012 - A new book by a University of New Hampshire researcher and Vietnam-era disabled veteran sheds new light on the long-term psychological trauma experienced by the coalition force in recent wars in the Gulf and Balkans that, when left untreated, can have deadly consequences.

In his new book "War Trauma and Its Aftermath: An International Perspective on the Balkan and Gulf Wars" (University Press of America, 2012), Laurence French, senior research associate at UNH Justiceworks, and co-author Lidija Nikolic-Novakovic, a Balkan War survivor, detail how the Gulf and Balkan wars added new dimensions to the traditional definition of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, largely due to the changing dynamics of these wars. The research is so significant that the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo has added the book to its library.

Instead of looking at PTSD traditionally as it has been narrowly defined by the Veteran's Administration - requiring that a person be in a combat situation - French found that traumatic stress should be redefined as being on a continuum, with PTSD at the end of the continuum and applied to a wider range of military forces as well as civilians.

This continuum begins with the inability to make an automatic adjustment to a new situation, which creates an adjustment disorder. Residual clinical issues remain if the adjustment disorder is not remedied and can lead to PTSD. There is no single cure for post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms include insidious depression, panic and anxiety disorders, and brief psychotic breaks. read more>>>

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