Ch. 14, Ch.15, and conclusion

Ch. 14 discussed stress and the effects of war on longevity.  As is expected, those who faced were involved in more violent locations during the war, were more likely than other to develop poor habits and have a shorter life.  What was also unsurprising were the bad habits that came out of the men who joined the military regardless of their station (drugs, alcohol, depression, and such).  I can see those patterns in my friend in the army reserves, his bad habits seem to return every time he goes off to training, and his demeanor is altered slightly too for a few days.  What surprised me is that the more conscientious of them were the ones who didn’t tend to be place in combat roles, which I’m curious if was purposeful or chance.  The chapter also went over the effects of trauma and its relationship to depression and other diseases.  As current studies are supporting, depression can be coded in one’s DNA but be inactive until trigger by a traumatic event.  And while depression does cause other health issues, the source of the depression is likely linked to the source of these issues.  It makes me wonder what that link is as I have depression but overall am in quite good health.

Ch.15, if I am being quite honest, didn’t say much new information.  It covered specific situations that were introduced earlier in the novel but don’t delve any further into them.  The only thing I truly appreciated about this chapter is its section about how we are over medicalizing everything.  While I agree that our progress in modern medicine are wonderful, we are often too quick to prescribe solutions to problems that can have other fixes quite often.

The epilogue spoke on how society should use this information for positive change.  This chapter again I feel had a great deal of filler information but was good in that it indicated the positive change that funds towards reducing childhood poverty and improving low income neighborhoods have on longevity.  This makes me worry more about the sweeping motion the current administration is doing to defund all of these wonderful programs.  I suppose the book’s prediction that we are going to be seeing a reduction of longevity in the coming years might prove to be true if the government doing listen to research.

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