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In the Shadow of Iraq: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in 2007



JGIM EDITORIALS David L. Greenburg, MD, MPH and Michael J. Roy, MD, MPH Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University, Room A3062, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-007-0172-x © 2007 Society of General Internal Medicine 2007;22:888–889 raq has become a more effective incubator for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the American service members than any mad scientist could conceivably design. The combat zone in Iraq has no frontline, no safe zone, and the embattled soldier has little with which to differentiate friend from foe, no warning of when or where the next improvised explosive device will be detonated. It is hardly surprising that we are seeing high rates of depression, PTSD, and other anxiety disorders in service members who have been deployed to Iraq.1 The moniker of PTSD was established in a similar war environment, Vietnam, but the condition has been present for as long as men have fought wars over religion, ethnicity, land, or greed. Homer’s saga of Achilles in The Iliad represents perhaps the oldest detailed account of the ravages of PTSD in the soldier, a portrayal vividly dissected by psychiatrist Jonathan Shay.2 PTSD and depression are by no means unique to combat



Journal of General Internal MedicineSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2007

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-007-0172-x

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