A Soldier's Home

Topics: Psychological trauma, World War I, Stress Pages: 3 (1046 words) Published: April 8, 2013
The experiences that a soldier endures, regardless of which branch or war fought in, are traumatizing to say the least. Post-traumatic stress disorder has the potential to develop anywhere from minutes to years after a traumatizing event and negatively affects a person’s health, success, ability to socialize among other aspects of life. The disorder is characterized into three main symptoms: hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction. In Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “A Soldier’s Home”, the main character Harold Krebs spent time as a young Marine in World War I and suffered constriction symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). While Krebs symptoms appeared much less severe than other reported cases in history, the disorder still affected his everyday life and his relationships with others. The debilitating effects of PTSD in soldiers are prevalent in Harold Krebs life as well as millions of other soldiers after returning from war.

Post-traumatic stress disorder did not become a “household name” until the 1980’s. During the time of World War I, the disorder was known in veterans as “shell shock”, “soldier’s heart”, and “war neurosis’. (Crocq). “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma”. (Smith). The affliction is characterized by three main symptoms, hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction. Since PTSD can develop after someone’s personal safety is risked, especially after a prolonged amount of time, sufferers often experience a “constant expectation of danger”, or hyperarousal. This level of stress has a high tendency to weaken the immune system. Intrustion refers to the lingering effect that shocking and life altering events have on the mental processes of the (dare I say)...
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