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Posted April 8, 2011
Correlations with other areas
I was recommended this book by a lawyer friend of mine who is defending a client with PTSD from some serious crimes. I have not been in the military and never had the desire to do so...however, reading this book, Philipps hits the nail on the head in at least one other area of life - which I am intimately familiar with: law enforcement.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I read this book on the Nook, and many, many pages were then bookmarked and highlighted because what he wrote as being true in the military culture is true in police culture as well. That it takes a look at PTSD from an objective, outside point of view, without trying to make it into an 'agenda' but rather a study on why things are happening makes this book even more beneficial.
Members of the military have been returning and have been different. Working in law enforcement I've seen more and more military members being arrested - and a lot of times for stupid crimes that not only make any sense but goes against the character that they exhibit even in jail. There has to be a reason for it. PTSD may be that reason. Once we can get others educated and remove the stigma of mental health problems (from both the military and our public service agencies) then maybe this trend can be reversed.
Though it is not strongly presented, Phillips does present strong evidence for and against the diagnosis of PTSD in those whom he writes about. I think the Needham case becomes the strongest presentation that PTSD can and does exist and that it can and will change people. Most of the others he wrote about, PTSD can be shaken off as merely an 'excuse' for their crimes, but how does that explain those, like Needham, who did not have the crimingal, disadvantaged background and had full and loving support of their family both before and after their experiences in war.
Only because he didn't present the contrary evidence strongly enough, in my opinion, regarding the possibility of other factors in most of his case studies do I drop the rating down a notch.
Overall this is an excellent book and highly readable. I would not just recommend it to anyone with an interest in the affects of war, in an insight into military culture, psychology or PTSD itself but if I had bought this as a physical copy, I would shove it into their hands and make sure they read it.