Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences

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Overview

Much has been written of the short-term experience of combat trauma. Almost nothing has been documented about how that trauma impacts individuals years after their first conflict experiences and into later life. Here, Johnson relates the stories of fifteen of his combat brothers to share with the world what their terror of four decades ago has done to them and how it affects them to this day. With candor and vivid detail, they reveal how their combat trauma symptoms still infect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on a daily basis. Those returning from battle now and their family and friends will find here a roadmap of what to expect from those suffering from PTSD as a result of combat. With this knowledge, today's veterans and those who love and care for them can tackle the issues and challenges so that symptoms may be minimized and addressed. Those who still carry these wounds will find that they are not alone, and that there are ways of dealing with the horror, no matter how long ago it may have been. Johnson concludes the book with resources for obtaining help and mending the spirit in the face of what can be debilitating thoughts and fears.

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Editorial Reviews

Jason A. Stewart
James Johnson's Combat Trauma offers a searing account of the impacts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as told from the perspective of sixteen combat veterans who have suffered, endured, and gained valuable insight from their experiences. Anyone seeking to understand the effects of combat stress and the men who suffer from it should read this book.
Michael Anthony
It's no easy road for returning veterans and that return home can be a lot easier with a map-Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences is that map. There are a lot of things I could say about this important piece of work, but in simplest terms, this book will save lives.
Stanley Krippner
If you are puzzled by the term "post-traumatic stress disorder," you could do nothing better than read Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences. In this bombshell of a book, sixteen veterans of the Vietnam War describe their heroic battles, first with the enemy and then with their own internal demons. They describe PTSD as "a lifetime sentence," "being trapped in the past," "four decades of pain," and "walking the point alone." Anyone who has a friend or relative with a PTSD diagnosis needs to read this book in order to gain at least a partial understanding of a sear to the soul that never seems to heal. For mental health professionals, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder; for me it is also a combat wound, and this incredible book bears testimony to that judgment.
The Stanly News and Press
While the information was helpful to both the men and women who may have been suffering from PTSD, either knowingly or unknowingly, the information was also helpful to their families.
Stanley Krippner Ph.D
If you are puzzled by the term "post-traumatic stress disorder," you could do nothing better than read Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences. In this bombshell of a book, sixteen veterans of the Vietnam War describe their heroic battles, first with the enemy and then with their own internal demons. They describe PTSD as "a lifetime sentence," "being trapped in the past," "four decades of pain," and "walking the point alone." Anyone who has a friend or relative with a PTSD diagnosis needs to read this book in order to gain at least a partial understanding of a sear to the soul that never seems to heal. For mental health professionals, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder; for me it is also a combat wound, and this incredible book bears testimony to that judgment.
Publishers Weekly
In this incredibly courageous expose, a group of 16 Vietnam veterans look at the realities of combat trauma and their own PTSD, offering an intensely personal glimpse into what brings it on, why it isn't curable, what people can do to cope, and most importantly, how loved ones can come to terms with it. While this is by no means a clinical guide written by medical professionals, it is a strikingly honest look at an issue that is becoming more apparent in our society as combat veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan. Readers will be drawn in immediately-not to the jungles of Vietnam, but the internal hell of the men who fought there. Forty years after the fact, these men experience regular flashbacks; readers will be shocked and angered by the lack of government resources being devoted to the problem, and moved by the effects that these experiences have had on the soldiers' personal and professional lives. While a medical counterbalance might have been helpful for readers seeking a more clinical understanding of PTSD, in creating an emotional understanding, Johnson's book is a success.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442204355
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/24/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 816,747
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James D. Johnson is a retired Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) and was a counselor/therapist in Fayetteville, NC for over fifteen years. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff college and completed four units of specialized training in Clinical Pastoral Education. He spent a year in Vietnam as an infantry battalion chaplain in the Mekong Delta. He was awarded several Bronze Stars (two with valor), the Air Medal, and nine other American and Vietnamese awards. He also was awarded five Meritorious Service medals and two Army Commendation medals. He is author of Combat Chaplain: A Thirty-Year Vietnam Battle. He has written or been written about in many publication including Vet Extra, Vietnam Magazine, Front Porch, the Fayetteville Observer and others.

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Table of Contents

1 1. Then and Now 2 2. We Sixteen - Who We Are 3 I. GOING TO THE HELL OF COMBAT 4 3. Our Trauma 5 4. Broken Bodies, Minds and Brotherhood 6 II. HOME (BITTER) SWEET HOME 7 5. On The Home Front 8 6. Ignored by the Government, Society and the Public 9 III. LIVING WITH OUR TRAUMA - SYMPTOMS 10 7. Sleep Problems and Nightmares 11 8. Flashbacks 12 9. Triggers 13 10. Withdrawal, Numbness and Depression 14 11. Fear and Anger 15 12. Hyper Vigilance, Startle and Concentration 16 13. Guilt, Trust, Denial 17 14. Memories and Re-experiencing Combat Trauma 18 15. Work and Career 19 16. Family, Faith and Morality 20 17. Physical Problems and Combat Trauma 21 18. Wannabees, Liars and Pretenders 22 IV. HOPE AND HELP - Care and Treatment 23 19. Re-establishment of the Brotherhood 24 20. Treating Ourselves 25 21. The Veterans Administration 26 22. Veterans Helping Veterans 27 23. Then and Now - Again 28 24. In Memoriam - Mitch Perdue

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