Veterans Explore “Moral Injury”
“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.
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