The accounts from soldiers describing combat in general present images are of hellish nightmares where all decency and humanity could be lost. For men who fought under these conditions, coming home was a very difficult switch. Over all, these men wanted to return to “normalcy”, to come back to a life that they had been promised if the war was won. This would turn out to be harder to gain then first expected, problems ranging from the openness of jobs in the work force to child raising and post-traumatic stress would make this return to “normalcy” very difficult. This difficult task of getting back into American culture would eventually lead to problems in the gender dealings in post war America. One of the major problems that G.I.’s faced upon there return to the States was the availability of jobs. During the war, the U.S. government encouraged women and minorities to enter the industrial work force due to labor shortages and increased demand for war supplies. In the mid nineteen hundreds, there was a total of 1,360,000 women with husbands in the service had entered the work force. This, along with a migration of African-American workers from the south, filled the wartime need for labor. This attitude toward women in the work force changed noticeably at the end of the war. The half-truths promoting “Rosie the Riviter”, suddenly changed; focusing on the duties of women as a homemaker and a mother. Even with these efforts and those of the G.I. bills passed after the war, returning soldiers had a difficult time finding jobs in post war America. This freedom given to women during the war and its removal with the arrival of the returning men, had a definitive effect on gender relations in American society and which one of the seeds of the women?s rights movements in later decades. Another hardship encountered by returning soldiers was the reactions of the children they left behind. Most of the fathers that returned from the war concerned with how they would fit into the family system. Some fathers were determined to take an active role in the family and they did by being extra strict with their families. Returning fathers came to home to find out of control and wild children, a far cry from ordered military life they had lead during the war. Some children even resented the strangers who had re-entered their lives, lives that seemed complete without them. One of the roots of these feelings was that children had lived in complete families during the war and had enjoyed being pampered and hated the determination that some returning fathers had to fulfill his paternal role and impose discipline. The fathers return disrupted the home life in many different ways. Some children feared that their fathers would not stay and as a result didn’t want to become to attached to them, in fear that they might again leave. Other children were angry that the fathers had left in the first place. The homecoming was especially hard on both father and child in a family where the child was born during the war or was very young when the father left. Most of these children hardly recognized there fathers and where fearful at these new strangers. Another problem faced by returning fathers was they believe that their son had become “soft” in the absence of a strong male-role model. The return of the father in the domestic life also effected the gender relation after the war. Most childrenfound there lives complete without their fathers and some even found that they had more freedom when there father was gone. Girls that found there mothers working and performing what was before considered male role, were found to develop less traditional feminine sex roles. It could be said that the working mom inspired the children of the era to be more independent themselves. This also could serve as a starting point to the feminist movements in later years. Post-traumatic stress, “shell shock”, was common among the returning soldiers. Most wives and children noticed behavior changes in the men that the knew before the war. Veterans returning from the battlefield would suffer nightmares and flashbacks of combat, about their isolation and loneliness, desperation and withdrawal. These results of combat and the increase in alcoholism among the returning G.I.’s lead to an upward spiral in the number of divorces that occurred after the war. The return home for many soldiers was not at all comfortable. After fighting under unbearable conditions for years, the return to domestic life was undoubtedly not what was expected. With the problems of finding work and those encountered on the family scheme, this coming back into the family was anything but smooth.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) happens to be one of the leading wounds received by military personnel during the Vietnam War. It is a disorder born out of terrible stresses that are found in any war, in any country, in any one; and, unlike wounds
PTSD may be found in practically any medical book or in any psychological based teachings or work. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was first named Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome; A disorder being found well-known in veterans coming home from Vietnam, but, didn’t appear symptomatic in these veterans for years or decades after they served their country in Vietnam. When the ” syndrome ” started to appear in our society and culture to the point where it could not be ignored, our government launched a powerful study of veterans and the effects PTSD had on them.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extremely devastating condition that can occur after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm was threatened or occurred. Traumatic events that can trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults such as rape or mugging, natural or manmade disasters, car accidents, or military combat. ?Docters believe that several kinds of illnesses may be caused by prolonged or repeated periods of stress, even types of traumatizing events.? (World Book , 929).
? How stress effescts the body. Stress sets off an alarm reaction in the body. During the reaction, certain chemical substances called hormones are released into the bloodstream in increased amounts. First, a small area at the base of the brain called the hypothalamus receives signals from other parts of the brain. The signals stimulate the release of Adrenocorticotropin-releasing hormone.? (World Book, 928). Most people with PTSD try to avoid any reminders or thoughts of the ordeal. Despite this avoidant behavior, many people with PTSD repeatedly re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. Symptoms of
PTSD also include emotional numbness and sleep disturbances (including insomnia), depression, and irritability or outbursts of anger. Feelings of intense guilt are also common. PTSD is diagnosed only if these symptoms last more than one month. ?Multiphasic Personality Inventory Test, stated that conversation patterns were consistently found in all headache patients as well as traumatically stressed patients.? (Kudrow, 43).
About 4% of the population will experience symptoms of PTSD in a given year. PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood. Symptoms of PTSD typically begin within 3 months following a traumatic event, although occasionally symptoms do not begin until years later. Once PTSD develops, the length of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months while others may suffer much longer.
Treatment for PTSD includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, group psychotherapy, and medications (including antidepressants). Various forms of exposure therapy (such as systemic desensitization and image flooding) have all been used with PTSD patients.
?People with PTSD can also have other psychological difficulties, particularly depression, substance abuse, or another anxiety disorder. The likelihood of treatment success is increased when these other conditions are appropriately diagnosed and treated, as well.? (Kudrow, 85).