Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Christian Century on PTSD as Moral Injury


The June 2015 issue of Christianity Today features a cover story by Annalaura Montgomery Chuang entitled “War Torn: PTSD Is Not Just A Trauma Of The Mind But Trauma Of The Soul”.   The article follows a psychiatrist, Warren Kinghor, whose work in Veterans Administration hospitals led him to the conclusion that theology and spirituality offer deep insights into our understanding Post-Trauamtic Stress Disorder as a moral injury.  Kinghorn’s work led him to doctoral studies in theology and a faculty position at Duke Divinity School where he works with veterans of America’s recent wars.  Here’s an excerpt from the article.

 "Kinghorn’s training had taught him to focus on fear.  But his patients didn’t talk primarily about fear.  They talked about right and wrong.  He realized that the focus on fear had blinded him to veterans’ deepest struggles.  Those with severe, long-lasting PTSD, “the burner under the pot” was often “a combination of fear and guilt and shame”.  Those potent emotions came not only from what they had witnessed, but also from their own actions in the morally confusing situations of modern combat. 

Michael Yandell, a veteran, wrote for The Christian Century earlier this year.

“For me, moral injury describes my disillusionment, the erosion of my sense of place in the world.  The spiritual and emotional foundations of the world disappeared and made it impossible for me to sleep the sleep of the just.  Even though I was part of a war that was much bigger than me,  I still feel personally responsible for its consequences.  I have a feeling of intense betrayal, and the betrayer and the betrayed are  the same person: my very self."

Complete article is here.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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