Our heroes from WWII did not receive adequate diagnosis or treatment for PTSD or “battle fatigue.”

by | May 6, 2011

Following is an excerpt from Reconciliation, A Son’s Story

“I probably could have been more understanding if had known more about “battle fatigue” now referred to as PTSD, and it was a terrible problem.  I also recognize that a mental disorder of this type is not likely clear in the minds of victims of abuse, especially young children.  The men at sea fighting in WWII had only alcohol on liberty and a structured life style on the ship; both serving as a non-clinical and less than effective treatment plan.  Not to excuse Dad’s abusive behavior at times, however.  But the more one understands about mental disorders the easier it is to avoid hate.  Hate, from my experience, is a killer of a healthy mental disposition and peace of mind.  Dad needed help but at that time it wasn’t very macho to whine or to seek out support.  Those sailors who survived the war felt guilty for living, a typical human reaction among survivors of traumatic events where close friends or loved ones are killed.  The only things that held them together after all that time at war were thinking of their families and the buddies they fought with.  It was really hard for them emotionally when a close buddy was killed.  Otherwise, they held together pretty good while at war using a “dead already” mindset.  Kind of like the “dead man walking” idea.  Once they got home all hell broke loose in very visible and uncontrolled ways.  Families did not understand, nor did they feel comfortable spilling the beans about their illness that might keep them from working.  It was a vicious circle at that time and very sad to say the least.   Our heroes from WWII had to live with PTSD or “battle fatigue” without adequate diagnosis and treatment.   PTSD is consequently an invisible war wound that does not heal nor go away easily.”

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
View all posts by stevesparks →

You might also like

Translate »