Academic journal article Military Review

Understanding PTSD among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

Academic journal article Military Review

Understanding PTSD among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Understanding PTSD Among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, Erin P. Finley, ILR Press, 2011, Ithaca, NY, 240 pages, $24.94.

Erin P. Finley creates a compelling account of how to understand post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how to help treat those who suffer from it. As a medical anthropologist and investigator at the Veterans Evidence- Based Research Dissemination and Implementation Center, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, and adjunct assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Finley relates experiences and expectations of seven hypothetical individuals to help in understanding "veterans' personal experiences of PTSD and the cultural politics that surround and shape those experiences." She mixes historical accounts of PTSD as a medical illness with the current understandings of its causes, signs, and evidence-based treatment.

One concern of the book is that the hypothetical veterans interviewed come primarily from those who joined the military after 9/11. We get the impression these veterans did not expect to experience combat. It might be interesting to know how much combat expectations factor into PTSD. Would experiences with PTSD differ for those who enlisted knowing and expecting a life of combat in an era of persistent conflict? …

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