research paper # 4 - Chrystian Munoz May 9 2016 Professor Raymond Masullo English Composition II ENGL 112-61 Essay 4 Research paper Post Traumatic

research paper # 4 - Chrystian Munoz May 9 2016 Professor...

  • Rutgers University
  • ENGL 112
  • Essay
  • kamilo84
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Chrystian Munoz May 9, 2016 Professor Raymond Masullo English Composition II, ENGL 112-61 Essay # 4: Research paper Post Traumatic Stress Disorders in The Things They Carried From 1965 to 1975 the Vietnam was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the twentieth century. It resulted in thousands of American deaths and millions of Vietnamese lives. Thousands of young soldiers that left the United States to enter a war zone where many of them faced unimaginable scenes of death and chaos. Most of these individuals struggled with some form of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) brought on by combat trauma, diseases by the exposure in the jungle and guilt by the terrible actions they have made. Among soldiers who exhibited signs of PTSD after Vietnam, some of them overcame their difficulties while others failed to resist the mental disorder’s devastating effects. Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien is both the narrator and protagonist in his combat novel The Things They Carried recounts his personal experience in the Vietnam War and allows him to comment on the war. His point of view shapes the events he relates. In many, if not most, cases, O’Brien holds himself up as evidence for the generalizations he makes about the war. He also explores the effects of mental trauma on soldiers in the Vietnam War with vivid narration of the struggles experienced by him and those around him. 1
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A subgroup of Vietnam veterans suffering from combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), committed atrocities while serving in Vietnam. Years after their service in Vietnam ended, certain veterans continue to exhibit shame, guilt, self-hatred and a sense of being interminably unforgivable, all feelings related to the atrocities they committed. In this paper, the inability of these veterans to express remorse is seen as a key dynamic in their treatment. Although, various descriptions of PTSD are presented in The Things They Carried , PTSD is never directly named or associated with anyone in the story. For instance, we know that Ted Lavender did self-medicate because he probably had PTSD. Taking the drugs made the war seem easier, so he did not have to face the traumatic events of war as O’Brien’s writes, “Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot”(518). He goes on describing Ted’s drug addiction, “Ted lavender carried six or seven ounces of premium dope, which was a necessity”(518). Lavender drug abuse was a problem that many soldiers in the Vietnam War struggled with. Many soldiers like Lavender try to separate from reality in some form in order to survive the daily dangers and stress that the war offered. Veterans struggling with PTSD often resort to drugs and alcohol to help alleviate the mental stress they experience on a daily basis. Because the psychological pain persists for years, veterans’ who retreat to alcohol and drugs to lessen the pain associated with PTSD often become substance abusers. According to a study on addiction and PTSD by Josef Ruzek, “73% of veterans with PTSD also have problems with substance abuse. Drowning
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