The following is an article worthy of anyone’s time to read (I actually read it twice). It really hits on some very good points about how a society relates to its soldiers, their experiences and why they suffer from PTSD.
For those who may not know, service with the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) is mandatory, therefore almost all Israelis either have been or know soldiers. Soldiers are prevalent in their everyday lives. Their collect view on soldiers is vastly different than most societies around the globe.
The Canadian view on soldiers is probably not that different than the American view on them. We honour our soldiers and the sacrifices they and their families make. The difference that this article indicates is that Israelis love their soldiers. When I say love, I mean as brothers and sisters, parents and friends. Soldiers for them are not separate from the society as they are viewed here.
What this outlook does, is create compassion and understanding towards experiences and reactions for those who suffer from PTSD. Their support network is a societal one, not an institutional or familial one.
As well, they have a view that to treat PTSD as a strictly physiological disorder is not the proper way. It is more of an opinion that the “soul” must be healed, and the use of drugs is not necessarily the appropriate way to do that.
Anyways, for those of us who suffer from PTSD, I strongly recommend reading this article. It is really a solid piece of work that deserves some attention.
As a result, the sufferer re-experiences the traumatic situation, as a physical or emotional experience, exactly as if it were occurring all over again. Images, memories, noises and odors that were part of the original traumatic experience return, in an overwhelming manner that feels like an assault. Since this intrusive, uncontrollable experience is in and of itself traumatic, victims make an effort to avoid anything that might remind them of the traumatic event, creating a cycle of the intrusion and avoidance. This cycle is the heart of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.).