Is there evidence that carrying out executions constitutes a traumatic event to those who participate? The symptoms of PTSD are used here as a theme. Descriptions of symptoms are sought, but full diagnoses are neither possible nor desirable. The clinical dichotomy is not relevant, inasmuch as symptoms that a psychiatrist would regard as being at a subclinical level are also of interest on a continuum of psychological reactions. Furthermore, none of the people are being subjected to the kind of interview or psychometric scale that would be necessary to ascertain what level of symptomatology they have. The idea is that if the symptoms are in fact strong and widespread, then documentary evidence should occasionally surface.
This evidence will be in a different vocabulary from that which psychiatrists use. Individuals express their own experience in their own words, and with few exceptions no professional is intervening to ascertain the extent to which the lay terms fit the professional nomenclature for the experience.
Prevalence rates for those with PTSD symptoms are always only a portion of those who have been subjected to similar traumas, so there can be no expectations that such symptoms must necessarily always be present. Additionally, while some signs of trauma can manifest themselves immediately, it is quite common to have a delayed reaction in which symptoms do not appear until well after a traumatic event. Furthermore, many of those who undergo the experience may have an interest in believing that it does not affect them, and that makes