PEACETIME STRESS IN INDIAN ARMY
No human being is exempted from stress and so is the case with indian soldiers. The only exception is that the soldiers stay in a particularly stress breeding envt due to frequent and unpredictable uncertainties and their comrades facing the same conditions leading to lack of adequate imdt sp. These are few of the many reasons leading to alarming rates of suicides and fratricides which has been a major but neglected issue of the Tri-services. 2.
Soldiers and Stress.
A No of studies have been carried out to identify reasons for unacceptable levels of stress felt by Indian soldiers. Unfortunately, the emphasis has always been on mtrl, obvious and well-known reasons – prolonged dply in highly dangerous envts protracted separation from families, financial inequalities and lack of liberty (as enjoyed by other civilians). These are all very relevant factors and do contribute in generating considerable stress. However, as mentioned earlier, these factors have always been in existence and soldiers have been braving them with fortitude. Therefore, there ought to be other reasons that generate stress which crosses the threshold of endurance of some soldiers and makes them break-down. AIM
To identify various reasons causing stress in soldiers and suggest remedial actions so as to achieve the intended goals of peacetime postings. PARTS
For critical analysis, assimilation and understanding, the paper has been divided into fwg parts :-
Soldiers, Stress and Identifying Stress
Longer Wk Hrs and Shorter Respites
Ambitious Ldrs and Comn Gaps
Non-availability of Quick Appellate Mechanism and
Reluctance to Help
PART 1 - SOLDIERS, STRESS AND IDENTIFYING STRESS
Although stress is a biological term, it is commonly used in a metaphorical sense. It has also come to be accepted as a euphemism for describing difficulties faced by an indl. Every one faces challenges in life. These could be due to professional, social and domestic envt. These challenges vary in intensity and are handled appropriately by indls, both at physical and emotional levels. Failure to adapt to challenges results in perceiving them as threats, which in turn generates pressures. When pressures become severe, indls gets strained to respond. Extreme pressures become stress. Some experts consider stress to be as a subjective sensation as it differs with indls with varied symptoms. When stress surpasses ability to handle, it becomes a threat to both physical and emotional well-being. 6.
Stresses faced by soldiers are entirely different from those faced by civilians, both in nature and intensity. These stresses threaten emotional and psychological equilibrium of soldiers and generate the “fight-or-flight” response. In such conditions, the lack of imdt shoulder to avail sp or an imdt psychiatric help caused by the people around being in the same psychological envt can lead to an augmented and alleviated emotional as well as physical reactions leading to suicides as well as fratricides. 7.
A soldier contemplating suicide/fratricide :-
Appears depressed, sad, and tearful and/ or may display changes
in patterns of sleep and/ or appetite.
Believes he is in a hopeless situation.
May talk about or actually threaten suicide, or may talk about
death and dying in a way that strikes as odd.
May display changes in behaviour, appearance or mood.
May increase or start drug or alcohol use.
May injure self or engage in risky behaviour.
Abandons planning for future.
May start withdrawing from others, including family and close
May give away possessions.
May appear apathetic, unmotivated and /or indifferent.
PART 2 - LONGER WORK HOURS AND SHORTER RESPITES
Given India’s geographical compulsions with long boundaries with inimical neighbours and...
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