When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families

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9781442212077: When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families
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The chances of service members developing PTSD after military-related traumas is, according to a U.S. study, at least 30 percent. The effects of PTSD can be devastating, ranging, for example, from distressing flashbacks, nightmares, sleep disorders, physical symptoms, irritability, aggressions, memory and concentration problems. These symptoms often cause severe impairment in all areas of life and may lead to despair and hopelessness. PTSD is neither a localized nor a temporary problem. Here, Leah Wizelman relates the true stories of service members from different service branches and ranks from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany, who were participants in various wars (Vietnam, Gulf war, Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada) and peace missions (Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, Cambodia, Somalia, Cyprus, Haiti). They talk openly about their lives after trauma and share their fates with the reader. Spouses of affected military members also tell their stories. They talk about the challenges loved ones face when living with a partner with PTSD, how it affects their children, and how they manage to cope. As these stories show all too vividly, military-related PTSD has not been dealt with effectively or with enough empathy or sympathy. Those affected by PTSD will realize that they are not alone in their suffering, and others will gain insight into the realities of this challenging mental disorder.

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About the Author:

Leah Wizelman is a biologist and researcher at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, on psycho-physiological aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder at the Institute of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy in the Faculty of Medicine.

Review:

This book spells out the facts about post-traumatic stress disorder by mainly letting its victims and their families tell their stories. Many of the war veterans give up their hobbies and isolate themselves, many turn to alcohol, many take multiple pills (one Vietnam survivor is still on 16 medications), many are paranoid (one Iraq survivor dug foxholes in his garden and built an observation post in a tree in his yard)....Wizelman, a German biologist and PTSD researcher, explains that the condition first appeared in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980 but actually dates back thousands of years. Homer, she says, described the symptoms in the Iliad in 4000 B.C. These moving but almost universally disheartening stories show that treatment can help but is no panacea. (Booklist 2011-09-15)

Leah Wizelman's When the War Never Ends complements and extends what we know about combat-related PTSD by conveying the stories about the consequences, not just the causes of this life-debilitating mental disorder. A must read for anyone who cares about those who risked their life for their country and gave up a part of their mind. (Charles R. Figley, Ph.D., the Paul Henry Kurzweg, MD Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University)

Leah Wizelman's book captures the essence of PTSD as told by military veterans and their spouses. These men and women know better than anyone that the psychological scars of war never end. In their own words, this volume brings to life the statistics of war that we all know. The personal testimonies show that these invisible wounds of war permeate all wars and nationalities. As poignant are the stories of spouses who suffer secondary traumatization and face their own battles after the war. I highly recommend this volume to all who seek to understand combat-related PTSD. There is no escaping the searing and enduring effects of war. (Kathryn M. Magruder, M.P.H., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Military Science Division; Medical University of South Carolina)

Leah Wizelman, a biologist and researcher at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, specializes in the psycho physiological aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder. In her new book, When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families, Wizelman presents thirty-two of these voices: short, first person accounts by veterans from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany who have PTSD. The voices also include several spouses of the veterans. Several of the veterans served in the Vietnam War. All describe in intimate (and sometimes painful) detail the effects of PTSD on their daily lives. (The VVA Veteran)

When the War Never Ends provides a refreshing contrast to much of the trauma literature. Each self-contained chapter is the personal narrative of an ex-serviceman or their carer describing the mental torture that is PTSD... Anyone wanting to understand what it is to have a 'flashback' will learn more from these first-hand accounts than from any textbook. (The British Journal of Psychiatry)

Service members returning from deployment are often suffering from PTSD. Its symptoms include distressing flashbacks, memories and nightmares, aggression, memory problems, physical symptoms, loss of positive emotions, and withdrawal from society. When the War Never Ends tells the stories of those who have lived it themselves - affected veterans and active-duty personnel, as well as their spouses, from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Germany, who were participants in various wars and peace missions. The stories will help family members better understand their loved ones by vividly demonstrating what a trauma survivor is feeling and going through.

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Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017
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