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The Soldier’s Private War and Invisible Wounds

The Soldier’s Private War and Invisible Wounds

There has been a recent push by Army Secretary John McHugh to improve soldier’s “resilience” by strengthening the military’s mental health programs.1,2 In particular, there is significant concern over the rate of suicide among soldiers, as well as psychiatric illnesses such as PTSD.

PTSD is a psychiatric illness resulting from a physical or psychological trauma that is sometimes related to warfare, but of course occurs in the case of civilian trauma as well. However, wars have been a propitious time for studying PTSD. In an article by Robert Wilbur and me, the Soldier’s Private War with PTSD is briefly discussed, along with current treatment approaches.3

In a related video (below), a veteran and counselor in Upstate New York gives a short, poignant outreach message to veterans with invisible wounds.4The Invisible Wound movement is gaining momentum and is an organization created by warriors for warriors with PTSD. It is a grassroots organization that focuses on PTSD advocacy, community, and support for warriors and their families. The secondary mission of the organization is educating the public about the issues surrounding PTSD.5


1. Army Secretary Urges Soldier Mental Health Resilience Training. Kaiser Health News. February 5,2 013. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/daily-reports/2013/february/05/behavioral-health-evaluations.aspx. Accessed February 22, 2013.
2. US Army: Ready and Resilient. http://www.army.mil/readyandresilient. Accessed February 22, 2012.
3. Wilbur R, Knoll JL. PTSD: the soldier’s private war. January 9, 2013. http://truth-out.org/news/item/13788-ptsd-the-soldiers-private-war. Accessed February 22, 2013.
4. Van Deusen R. To veterans with invisible wounds. A message regarding Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: Words to motivate a veteran to get help. YouTube. November 19, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNV-hEsidXY&feature=em-share_video_user. Accessed February 22, 2013.
5. Invisible Wound: Warriors Helping Warriors Battle PTSD®. http://www.invisiblewound.us/. Accessed February 22, 2013.

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