Stress, Strain, and Vietnam: An Annotated Bibliography of Two Decades of Psychiatric and Social Sciences Literature Reflecting the Effect of the War on the American Soldier

Stress, Strain, and Vietnam: An Annotated Bibliography of Two Decades of Psychiatric and Social Sciences Literature Reflecting the Effect of the War on the American Soldier

Stress, Strain, and Vietnam: An Annotated Bibliography of Two Decades of Psychiatric and Social Sciences Literature Reflecting the Effect of the War on the American Soldier

Stress, Strain, and Vietnam: An Annotated Bibliography of Two Decades of Psychiatric and Social Sciences Literature Reflecting the Effect of the War on the American Soldier

Synopsis

This bibliography collects and summarizes published observations, research findings, opinions, and conclusions of mental health professionals, social scientists, and other trained observers regarding the effects of the Vietnam War on those Americans who fought in it. The 851 citations span the years from 1965, when large numbers of U.S. combat troops were first committed in Vietnam, through 1987. The authors have included primarily psychiatric, social, and behavioral science publications which are augmented with personal narratives of those who served, descriptions by and reactions of war correspondents, and historical reviews of the war and the period, including observations and analyses of the war's effect on the combat soldier.

Excerpt

Our principal objective in writing this book was to collect and summarize the published observations, research findings, opinions, and conclusions of mental health professionals, social scientists, and other trained observers regarding the effects of the war in Vietnam on those who fought it. the 851 compiled references span from 1965, when large numbers of American combat troops were first committed in Vietnam, through 1987, almost 15 years after American combat activities had ceased.

The word stress in the book's title refers primarily to physical, social, and psychological challenge and is meant to characterize the collection of hardships, deprivations, fears, losses, and psychological disequilibrium suffered to various degrees by everyone who went to--and especially who fought in--Vietnam. Stress also refers to the bewilderment, loneliness, shame, and stigma experienced by every returning soldier because of the nation's blame and neglect. Further, it includes the angst of those who feared being sent to war but were ultimately exempted, the anxious worry of those who waited for soldiers to return, the grief of those whose soldiers never returned, and the turmoil and outrage of all who opposed the war, especially those who took risks in speaking out.

Strain applies to situations in which an individual's resiliency is taxed beyond its limits. in the case of Vietnam, it refers to the more or less permanent and perhaps disabling psychological alterations of the reaction patterns, attitudes, relationships, and future prospects of many who answered America's call to arms. It also includes the persisting psychological repercussions of those who didn't serve but worry that they should have, the sadness and emptiness of those whose losses from the war seem irreparable, and the pain and struggle of those who seek to reach someone who came home and yet never returned. More generally, the concept of strain seems to apply to the political uncertainty and social tensions of a nation still repressing much of the pain and . . .

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