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Psychological Effects of War

             Fighting, battle, combat, and war. These words bring to mind thoughts of .
             guns, smoke, planes, bombs, and killing. However, there is another .
             characteristic of this type of combat, one we rarely consider. The .
             psychological effects war has on those who are fighting, or those who know .
             people who are fighting, adds up to a great cost. This is one aspect of .
             fighting that is often overlooked, but there are great probabilities of being .
             affected, responses to those affected, costs in government and human terms, .
             and remedies for those who are affected.
             A psychiatric casualty is "a combatant who is no longer able to .
             participate in combat due to mental debilitation.but with proper care, is .
             able to be rotated back into the line [of war]," (Psychological 2). These .
             psychiatric casualties were first discovered in World War 1. This was .
             because the wars before that were called "gentlemanly wars," in which they .
             fought during the day, and took breaks at night. Many of the circumstances .
             that the soldiers go through are all "found in cultural, geographical, or .
             social circumstances, and when the ingredient of war is removed, individuals .
             exposed to these circumstances do not suffer mass psychiatric casualties," .
             (Psychological 4). With the ingredient of war added, however, they suffer an .
             "exhaustion of such magnitude that it appears to be almost impossible to .
             communicate it to those who have not experienced it," (Long 2).
             In every major war of the century, there has been a greater probability .
             of becoming a psychiatric casualty than of being killed by enemy fire. This .
             means that individuals who survive combat may very well end up paying a .
             psychological cost for a lifetime. As I am speaking of cost, psychiatric .
             breakdowns remain one of the most costly items of war when expressed in human .
             terms, but "rarely do military establishments attempt to measure the cost of .
             war in terms of individual suffering," (Psychological 2).

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