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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 8 October 2012

The Rising Social Impact of Traumatic Stress

Troubling events in the battlefield can sometimes trigger post-traumatic stress disorder for soldiers.
Sadly, so have his wife and children.
This is a heart-breaking story of a man who suffered in the line of duty and has been abandoned by a society that doesn't understand his condition.
We can keep deluding ourselves that it's all about "being tough" or whatever in a dog-eat-dog world.  The fact is, though, that dealing with aggression at work bleeds over into the same at home, and vice-versa.  There is just one person leading just one life.  By expecting people to do the impossible, we are forcing fractures into the homes and workplaces of the nation.  Hence, the mental health crisis.
This can change, but change must start with perspective.  People with anxiety or depression aren't weaklings who should "tough it out" - the act of being "tough" furthers the condition and results in spill-over behaviour that hurts others.
Real strength isn't about aggression and endurance - it's about resilience and the ability to accommodate.  That's both internally, with social-emotional tools, but also externally through dialogue and empathy.
This is the great challenge we face at this particular point in history.  Until we recognize that true strength isn't an individual trait, we will continue to fall.

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