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In any war the health of a fit soldier can drastically change in an instant and so it was for the men and women in the Vietnam war. While the consequences of major physical injury from a high velocity gunshot wound or from shrapnel from an exploding anti-personnel mine or from the explosive effects of an artillery shell or mortar were obvious, the effects of psychological injury were not.
Adverse psychological effects resulting from war have been known for many years and labels such as Shell Shock or Battle Fatigue were applied. However since the Vietnam experience and subsequent research, those adverse psychological effects are now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD can result from experiencing a near death incident, or the violent injury or death of a mate or from treating the major wounds of battle casualties. A high percentage recover from the acute effects of psychological injury but for many, the experience may be the start of a chronic disorder that can affect the well-being of sufferers for the remainder of their lives.
Dave Morgan gives a detailed and clear account of his battle with PTSD. He describes his traumatic experience in Vietnam and how PTSD gradually emerged after his return to Australia. He experienced negative thinking, confusion, intense anger, alcohol abuse, and thoughts of suicide. This caused great distress. He expresses his experience adn that of his family frankly and opens a window to understanding the problems of a man suffering from PTSD. In this he has made a valuable contribution and his book adds value to those who are interested in this chronic disorder.
There is no completely effective treatment for PTSD, but people like Dave Morgan are doing all they can to reach that goal.