Feb. 3, 2020
13. Growth After Trauma: Moral Injury, PTSD, and PTG
Combat deployments affect people, and veterans return changed. Some come back worse than others, but no one comes back the same. Many have experienced various forms of trauma, and whether directly from combat operations or not, trauma can be a significant part of one’s experience in war. Trauma can cause severe physical, emotional, and psychological reactions, often displaying symptoms referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma may manifest symptoms of PTSD, but the injury to the psyche, or soul, is much more than just symptoms of a disorder, reparable through medication and therapy. There is a deeply spiritual aspect to combat that is much more than merely psychological or physiological, yet they are interrelated. Therefore, the treatment of combat veterans’ symptoms needs to address the moral aspects of the combat experience.1 Hence, some behavioral health and religious professionals have begun to talk more about moral injury in the last few years.