Is post-war post-traumatic stress disorder unique to industrial warfare?

Thirty years ago, clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shy drew attention to the similarities between the traumas received by Greek warriors, as recorded in the American epic “The Iliad” and the Elders of Vietnam. Can the experience of war of different cultural similarities affect people in the same way?

The survey was published this week Researchers at Arizona State University Sarah Matthew And Matthew Jefferman, a former postdoctoral researcher at ASU, a professor at the National Academy of Sciences, explains that Kenyan Turkana priests have experienced PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms even though their experience is war-like. .

However, these priests experience fewer PTSD-related symptoms of depression than members of the American service experience. This difference may be due to the aspects of the Turkana military organization and practice.

The pressure of fighting is considered to be a large part of the human cost of industrial warfare. It is estimated that 10% to 20% of American fighters in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from PTSD.

The roots of PTSD are controversial. Some people think that PTSD is basically a syndrome of military service members of industrial organizations who usually do not have social support in small societies while others hope that it is a universal phenomenon that occurs due to the adaptive response to acute life-threatening incidents.

“It was challenging to distinguish between these theories because PTSD was studied among terrorists from almost large industrial organizations,” said Jefferman, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and an assistant professor at Monterey Navy Postgraduate School. Jefferman was a postdoctoral researcher Human Genesis Institute He started the project at ASU.

Matthew Jefferman is entering data in the Turkana region. Image by Matthew Jefferman.

Jefferman spent six months interviewing fighter jets in remote Kenya, near the border with South Sudan, where Matthew has been running a field research site since 2007. Matthew is an associate professor at ASU School of Human Development and Social Change And a study approved by the Human Genesis Institute. In 2015 he was awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship which allowed him to continue this research.

In many priestly societies, together with the generally deadly cattle attacks continue in this part of Kenya, where semi-automatic rifles began to replace spears in the late 1970s.

“Turkana communities in the region are campaigning as an integral part of their livelihoods – they cannot recover lost cattle after the attack and will continue to come out of the dry season pastures and water wells after the attack continues.” Matthew says.

Turkana is in contact with high-level warfare in the region, with almost half of all adult males being the cause of warfare. Eighteen percent of the 218 fighters interviewed for the study reported a significant score of PTSD that would qualify for a temporary PTSD diagnosis.

For further research, he compared the symptoms of Turkana with American veterans seeking treatment. They found that Turkana had an equally high level of symptoms compared to members of the U.S. service, which Jefferman and Matthew assumed were learning and reacting to future war-related threats. However, they have lower rates of depressive PTSD symptoms.

Researchers have suggested that depressive symptoms have a different evolutionary source than other symptoms of PTSD and may be related to moral beliefs – from the testimony or participation of anyone who violates moral beliefs.

Researchers believe that the lack of classified leadership in Turkana helps them avoid ethically questionable measures compared to members of the military in industrial unions. Since the fighting in Turkana is so extensive, there is no difference between military and civilian life. After being killed in battle, Turkana uses a number of rituals that can relieve these symptoms.

To see if Turkana’s PTSD symptoms supported his proposal, he looked at aspects of Turkana’s war experience such as frustration (negative beliefs / feelings, low concentration, and annoyance / consent) versus “learning- and reaction” (comma, nightmare). Flashback).

They found that war predictors were more strongly involved in learning-writing than in learning the depressive symptoms of PTSD.

Conversely, the prophet was more strongly associated with measuring the risk of moral violations related to the pressures of war, compared with saving the lives of other Turks, shooting or killing people, killing the enemy, or approving socially war-related activities. And reactive symptoms.

“Investigations provide an evolutionary and mutually informed framework for further investigation into the causes of PTSD connections and related fights and moral injuries,” Jefferman said.

In 2018, ASU sponsored Center for Development and MedicineThe researchers conducted a workshop with the founding director of the center, Randy requirements. The workshop brings together anthropologists, clinical psychiatrists, and evolutionary psychologists to discuss future interdisciplinary research methods.

Matthew said, “Which aspects of PTSD depend on social and moral strength and will help establish whether it can be universal.

The study found that “the stress of fighting in a small society identifies evolutionary roots in the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” Matthew R. Gerard and Sarah Mathews, proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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