A Brief Introduction
Essentially,war is a manifestation of death and destruction – an exhibition of all the things negative in life, so to speak. So accordingly, the vast whirlpool of bloodshed and demolition that are the main ingredients of war, surely has great psychological impact on any soldier who has not been utterly emotionally anesthetized throughout the experience.
So basically, the effects of war are evident in any warrior's life as well as his world of emotions and state of mind.
The Emotional Effects of War on Soldiers
Oneof the first sources of trauma a soldier has to endure is the taking of another's life. This means that a soldier will often find himself forced to carry out his duty – which is to destroy the enemies forces – at a closer and rather personal level (that is to say face to face combat with another soldier). And killing another human being is, unless we are talking about a deranged person, a tremendous source of sorrow – no matter the personalty.
Now, with this said, it is not hard to imagine what witnessing this tremendous trauma at a daily basis could do to a soldier's psyche. Furthermore, a soldier does not only have to deal with the fact that he is ordered to shoot and kill other human beings that he does not even know, he also needs to bear the grief of the suffering fellow-soldiers who have been crippled or have died fighting at his side.
Simply put, the depressing effects on the soldier's consciousness hit from all sides and have nothing left to offer than the deprivation of a peaceful state of mind.
These kind of circumstances can only lead the soldier to a sort of daydream of other, happier days of his life. Eventually, these memories cause a deeper depression and, counter-productively, cause even more emotional pain. The soldier is then prone to thinking of his family, and starts feeling regretful for the fact that he is unable to be with them if they need him during the war. Furthermore, the soldier is unsure whether or when he will even be able to return to his family if he survives the war, that is. All of these thoughts only cause more pain to the already emotionally disrupted solder.
All of the above results in what is called post-traumatic stress disorder, and many soldiers who return from war suffer from it. The effects of this disorder include: nightmares, feelings of detachment, irritability, sleeplessness and last but not least concentration difficulties as well as a sense of solitude and mental insecurity caused by the homesickness experienced during war. The results of the heavy violence evidenced are mostly manifested through distress.
Conclusively, it is America's duty to make sure that these soldiers are well taken care of and receive proper treatment for the traumas they have suffered – as this currently, and sadly, is not the case.