David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

The Hidden Emotional Cost of War

Question: What are the\r\nmajor short-term and long-term traumas of war?


Nancy Sherman: Sometimes the \r\nsymptoms don’t show up right away, and there’s a kind of\r\nnatural healing that can go on just like leaving a war zone and \r\nsometimes it’s\r\nnot good to talk to people, we think now, right afterward, but rather to\r\nalmost let the wound heal a little bit on its own.  But\r\n some of the symptoms that we’re aware of and they will\r\nbe a hyper vigilance, being in a hyper-sensory mode; so walking the \r\nperimeter,\r\nlistening with acuteness the way you would in a battle area, or it might\r\n also\r\nbe flashbacks, inability to sleep. \r\nOne of my soldiers, Rob Kissler, just found himself in a bar with\r\n his\r\narms around someone’s neck.  He\r\nstrangled this guy and then he realized that he had heard something and \r\nthought\r\nhe was in fighter mode, and had just slipped into fighter mode\r\nimperceptibly.  And that was about\r\na year after battle.  He was a\r\nlong-term patient at Walter Reed and being treated, by the way, for \r\nphysical\r\ninjuries, a loss of an arm use,\r\na titanium arm replacement and a leg replacement.  


Other times it could also just be this numbing that\r\n you’ve\r\nhad to—you’re exposed to the sort of stresses that are so superhuman \r\nthat you\r\nhave to protect yourself by numbing, and you continue to dissociate\r\nafterward.  So those are some of\r\nthe physical—the physiological effects that we are familiar with. 


But what I’m trying to explore are the spectrum \r\nthat doesn’t\r\nnecessarily, or may include some of these, but also includes these \r\nconflict\r\nfeelings, consensual feelings. \r\nFeelings of guilt for what you did or what you saw and did your \r\nbest,\r\nbut couldn’t help to do even better than you wished you could have done.\r\n To\r\nsurvive a battle when your buddies don’t, to be part of an accident when\r\nthere’s no fault at all, no culpability, but you were implicated, \r\ncausally\r\nimplicated and you hold yourself really accountable.  Or\r\n to love your buddies more than you love your spouse, or\r\nyour family, and one of my soldiers said to me, “You know, I’m in a tent\r\n with\r\nsomeone day in and day out and I know when he passes wind at night.  I know that fart.”  You know, \r\nand he said, “How can I tell\r\nmy mother that I was that physically close to someone?”  So\r\n that feeling of a betrayal almost of\r\nyour home family because you've reattached to others who got you through\r\n it. 


Also feeling that life is darned boring at home \r\nwhen you’ve\r\nbeen so ramped up and revved up and hepped up, and it’s hard to find the\r\n same\r\nkind of thrill and adventure, even though it’s filled with danger.

Maddening boredom. Utter numbness. Comradeship so intense that it threatens family ties. War’s worst psychological effects can be the ones you’d never expect.

Live today! | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How often do vaccine trials hit paydirt?

Vaccines find more success in development than any other kind of drug, but have been relatively neglected in recent decades.

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars.

Keep reading Show less

Consumer advocacy groups are mostly funded by Big Pharma, according to new research

An article in Journal of Bioethical Inquiry raises questions about the goal of these advocacy groups.

Image by Jukka Niittymaa / Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Two-thirds of American consumer advocacy groups are funded by pharmaceutical companies.
  • The authors of an article in Journal of Bioethical Inquiry say this compromises their advocacy.
  • Groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness act more like lobbyists than patient advocates.

Keep reading Show less

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less

Women who go to church have more kids—and more help

Want help raising your kids? Spend more time at church, says new study.

Culture & Religion
  • Religious people tend to have more children than secular people, but why remains unknown.
  • A new study suggests that the social circles provided by regular church going make raising kids easier.
  • Conversely, having a large secular social group made women less likely to have children.
Keep reading Show less