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Thursday November 23rd 2017

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Soldiers Heart=Shell Shocked=PTSD, A Pyrrhic victory: There is no winning of a war

A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way. However, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit. Another term for this would be “hollow victory”

The military teaches soldiers how to fight, how to kill, and how to survive; but do they teach them how to live with themselves?

Soldiers Heart” was what people called the emotional and psychological condition men often suffered when they returned from the bloody and surreal battlefields of our American Civil War. After WWI it was called “Shell Shock.”

No matter what time in history, a person’s experiences of war, that often equate to scenes and memories of unimaginable bloodshed, anger and fear, are with them for the balance of their lives. We all have met veterans who seem to have “handled it differently.” One man went on and another man is broken from the same experience. Both brave soldiers, just different psyches.

This post combat condition has been chronicled for thousands of years. We see this today as so many fall into the vortex of hard drug use and alcoholism.

“Soldiers Heart” and “Shell Shock” are now called become Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Anger, depression, aloofness, disconnection, emotional outbursts, recurring nightmares, fears such as loud noise or fast movements in everyday settings or environments similar to the combat zones are just some of the general symptoms.

These additional symptoms often occur: shaking, motor control loss, shouting, inability to make simple decisions such as feeding oneself or staying clean.

Each soldier has varied and often tragic experiences that are not left on the battlefield. These experiences are unable to be understood, accepted, and left behind. Too often they are not communicated and kept within. This leads to increased damage and confusion.

Veterans Organizations are a good place to start. Meeting other veterans and having the chance to discuss or vent to another soldier who has been in a zone, who can understand is always helpful.

There is assistance that combines genuine caring with some major strides in medicine that have been made in recent years, that help us to understand and begin to heal this condition.

If you have or know a veteran who might need some guidance and assistance, you can help.

Contacting the VA (Veterans Administration) in your area is a great start.

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