November 29, 2011
A study by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the United States Marine Corps (USMC) has collected data that shows the main reason returning soldiers suffer from mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is because of internal conflicts and feelings of shame and guilt.
KSDK News reported last week that the study pulled its data from nearly 2, 600 returning Marines and Sailors. Researchers found that the soldiers were more scarred by their own inner moral dilemmas than by the actual sights of combat. Most servicemen reported what is referred to as “survivor’s guilt.” This is a feeling of guilt and shame for living through an attack in which others died, or for witnessing/participating in the accidental killings of innocent civilians.
The idea of “moral injuries” is fairly new to the world of psychiatry, but is under close examination by the VA due to the fact that half of all men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan that are being treated have been diagnosed with PTSD. Symptoms can include nightmares, numbness to the world, mood swings, violence, and suicide.
The only way to overcome the disorders, says psychiatrist, researcher, and retired Navy Captain, Bill Nash, is for the soldiers to forgive themselves.
The Missouri Veterans Benefits Attorneys with Cofman Townsley are here to help any veteran get the benefits they deserve for serving their country. We are available to answer any question you may have about your case by filling out a free initial consultation form.
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