Veterans explore “Moral Injury” as root cause for symptoms connected to PTSD….

by | Dec 27, 2012 Quote from this website…

Veterans Explore “Moral Injury”

by Shepherd Bliss / December 17th, 2012

“But we have been busy recovering from what has recently been described as “moral injury,” which I consider a better description than the clinical term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Vets are simply not disorders; war is the disorder. Moral injury can lead to difficulty sleeping, staying in relationships, and keeping jobs. It can contribute to alcoholism, homelessness, incarceration, feeling ashamed and bad about oneself, depression, hopelessness, and the final response—suicide. Or homicide.”

In a series of pioneering studies, one researcher found that, from World War II to today, killing was the single greatest risk factor for PTSD, bigger even than heavy combat. (Alex Majoli / Magnum for Newsweek)

Since researching, writing, and publishing my book along with launching this blog, my mind has been expanded and my heart has come to know that the symptoms of PTSD point to a more human and spiritual problem of moral injury… Killing and observing death and carnage causes us humans to be profoundly affected for a lifetime by the memories and emotional damage of participating in a spiritually wrongful act of the most extreme, deliberately killing another human!   Living and coping in toxic conditions as a family member or loved one while caring for a person suffering from moral injury, who demonstrates severe symptoms of PTSD over a long period of time, can cause the secondary effects of moral injury, including PTSD. Children are at risk and potentially affected the most when living with a parent who spent extended periods of time in combat. Simply stated, we humans have a soul and the soul can be injured, sometimes beyond repair.

If we just focus on the symptoms of PTSD, soul damage and repair is not fully understood. This singular focus can lead to the misuse or over use of harmful medications, including alcohol, rather than seeking alternative treatments that make a long term difference. I am not suggesting that medications are not effective nor claim to be an expert on mental health treatments. Medications have been both helpful and a hindrance in my own experience until finding the right balance. It would appear that attacking moral injury as a human condition and addressing the inner most spiritual needs is critical in re-balancing one’s moral compass and experiencing a successful journey of healing…

My own journey of healing has been realized through writing as a therapy. The above website discusses veterans who are experiencing the same through connecting with others and making a difference by talking and writing about their painful past. Not knowing what is going on with your emotional wellness and believing we should suffer in silence can manifest and become far worse over time. Even more dangerous is how your pain impacts loved ones along the way. I believe that the real motivation of achieving mental health wellness is how it helps others in your life, including helping the person affected to feel so much better about living in the moment. Focusing on things larger than self seems to offer the most rewards for humans in general, especially those who suffer from the spiritual pain of moral injury…

Please take the time to read both articles provided in the links above.  The discussion of moral injury as it relates to PTSD is a highly positive step toward helping 1000’s who suffer the emotional pain of experiencing traumatic events.  Your questions and comments will help keep this discussion moving forward…Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

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.
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