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The Lasting Effects Of Coming Home After War

Being on the war front is not classed as one of the best times of a person’s life. They may feel pride and happiness for protecting their country and its interests, getting a hero’s welcome upon their return but the reality of war is that it can be gruesome. There will be blood, gunshots in the background, and cold sleepless nights and this will have an effect on a soldier.

The Effects Of War

Being on the war front is not only physically but also mentally tasking. The effects of the war have been long established with soldiers returning from the First World War, Vietnam War and lately the Afghanistan War providing psychologists with a clear idea of what the lasting effects of war are.

Upon returning, soldiers have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is commonly used in today’s society to explain the effects a traumatic event on the life of a person. The term goes back to the 1980s to explain the physiological effects of war on a soldier’s life. Classified as an anxiety disorder, its symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive behavior. These symptoms have led to soldiers experiencing difficulty adjusting to what we see as a normal life.

The Repercussions

Being on the waterfront will change a soldier’s behavior, reaction to situations, and the idea of normalcy. They will not return the same person that they were when they left, and this will affect their life. They struggle to reestablish relations with their loved ones, who in turn will never fully understand the soldier’s behavior. A soldier’s reaction to situations will be vastly different to those that we experience. We will walk into a room and admire the décor, the clothes people are wearing and the view. In contrast, a soldier will spend his first few minutes identifying escape routes, searching for any possible weapons and evaluating the threat level of the room and its occupants. This part of their training will be hard for people to understand and take time for the soldier to relax and stop treating every situation as a real-life war game.

Adjusting To Their ‘New’ Life

It will take time for a soldier to adjust to their "new" way of life and it may help if they see a physiatrist to work through their trauma. Their family and friends should not push him to discuss the events of the war, he will tell you about them when and if he is ready.

War has been known to have lasting effects on all the participants involved and it will take time, and effort, to resolve them.



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