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Returning vets face 'warring identities' distress
Date:3/6/2014

disclose too much about their combat experience for fear of being judged or misunderstood. The authors point out that withholding such information can stunt a veteran's ability to reintegrate into civilian life by straining those relationships with people who would be their primary support systems.

These "warring identities" can act as a catalyst for or even present as mental health behavioral problems, according to the paper. Smith and True argue that more attention needs to be given to this psychological process as it plays out when soldiers return from war and to broadening the framework surrounding soldiers' mental health issues beyond diagnosable illnesses such as PTSD and depression.

Smith said that while expansion of social support programs is always needed, expansion of dialogue around the veteran experience would be a good first step.

"I think that one of the larger scale issues is that we have a lot of difficulty talking about the realities of war. There's a lot that can be done to enhance the understanding and conversation around what are definitely difficult topics. Seeing, handling, coping with dismembered children is hard to think about for all of us, and we really want to turn a blind eye to it. But turning that blind eye is part of the continued struggle."


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Contact: Courtney Coelho
courtney_coelho@brown.edu
401-863-7287
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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