What War Can Do to One’s Mental Wellbeing?

War has been a harrowing reality of human history, leaving profound scars on nations and individuals alike. Beyond the visible physical casualties, the invisible toll on mental wellbeing is often overlooked. People who have undergone the traumatic experiences of war often find themselves struggling with the memories of war, long after the conflict came to an end. This blog article will examine the effects of war on an individual’s mental wellbeing.

Hidden Scars

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common mental health problem for war veterans and survivors of armed conflict. Along with the immediate symptoms of this condition, it can result in a spiral of negative social behaviors such as strained interpersonal relationships, drug and substance abuse, and self-destructive tendencies, including suicide and suicidal thoughts. Veterans with PTSD or any other survivors of armed conflict must seek treatment or a professional intervention to learn about the different coping mechanisms. That said, it’s essential to be cognizant of the fact that social stigmas surrounding mental health issues can prevent an individual from seeking professional treatment, hence the reason why people must learn to empathize with survivors of war. 

Struggles with Reintegration

Most soldiers returning from an armed conflict do not get the reception they deserve from friends and families mainly due to the negative connotation attached to war. As a result, these soldiers struggle to cope and transition back to how their lives were like before the onset of the war. Reintegration for these soldiers implies having to deal with the problem of reconciling with who they were before the war started and the person, they have turned out to be after it. The culture of war that suppresses emotions and idolizes bravery hinders veterans from seeking assistance or expressing their emotions, resulting in a sense of alienation and isolation.

Impact on Civilians

The collateral damage of war can also extend to civilians caught in war’s crossfire. Like the soldiers, civilians also experience trauma after undergoing the horrific experiences associated with conflict. In events of war, civilians lose their livelihoods and homes, and this usually takes a toll on their mental wellbeing. Furthermore, the constant fear of war and the memories of the horrific experiences of war place a burden on their mental wellbeing. Children, in particular, are vulnerable to long-term psychological damage because armed conflict corrupts their sense of safety, resulting in developmental and emotional challenges.

Road to Recovery

Acknowledging the devastating effects of war is important in allowing for effective intervention for both the soldiers and the civilians caught in the crossfire. Professional intervention in the form of counseling or therapy is quite effective in assisting survivors of armed conflicts to cope with trauma. In addition to that, efforts aimed at minimizing stigma and increasing mental wellbeing awareness have proved to be of great help when it comes to alleviating psychological issues linked to war.

Bottom Line

If you are a veteran or a survivor of war, you should ensure you seek professional help when struggling to cope with the aftermath of war. At the same time, society must offer a supportive environment that will allow survivors of war to easily reintegrate without the fear of judgment.