Chapter 14& 15 with epilogue

It wasn’t surprising that men exposed to trauma or extreme stress are very likely to increase their drinking and if available their use of other drugs. This statement makes a lot of sense because men typically try to self medicate or treat themselves rather than talking about their feeling with someone else. It was also interesting that different personality types were associated with different deployments, for example in the book it says that the more conscientious subjects were less likely to be sent to the pacific theater, while the more careless, vain and impulsive men had been as a child typically wound up fighting the Japanese in very dangerous and stressful pacific operations. It was interesting that the psychological stress of war itself is not necessarily a major health threat. For a while, I thought that war was the main cause of PTSD, however after reading this chapter I learned that it is how veterans deal with their traumatic experiences that determines their overall health. This is shown in the book from the statement that those individuals who can find meaning in a traumatic experience and are able to re-establish a sense of security about the world are usually the ones who return to a healthy pathway.

Chapter 15 felt like a waste of reading to me because it basically summarized the entire book. I feel like chapter 15 wasn’t needed in this book because the book is already repetitive. Chapter 15 was also hard to follow because it seemed like it tried to cover too many topics in one chapter. In addition, most of the key points in the chapter weren’t really that surprising, in fact most of them could be inferred through common logic. The topics in each chapter build upon one another and tend to be repeated, so I’m not sure why the author felt the need to restate his findings in a separate chapter.

I liked how the epilogue highlighted that the connection between mental health and physical health. A lot of times people think that these are two separate entities, but are not aware of the fact that mental health can heavily influence physical health. It is not surprising however, that well adjusted children who grow up in a socially stable environment are much more likely to become healthy long living adults. As the book has previously stated several times, having healthy social connections are necessary for physical and mental health. Overall, I thought that the book was okay, it had some good points but also had points that I disagreed with. The main thing I did not like about the book was that most of their findings were based on self report.

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2 Responses to Chapter 14& 15 with epilogue

  1. Alexis Russell says:

    I disagree with how you interpreted how to be diagnosed with PTSD. I do not think that veterans have a lot of control over whether or not they obtain PTSD. I can see how, potentially, different outlets can help avoid it but I think overall it is more neurological than anything else. I do, however, agree with your point on Chapter 15. The whole book seems repetitive and it seems that very few things that they discovered were outside of our common sense. After reading this book, I do not feel like I have gained any wealth of knowledge that I did not already have.

  2. Jacob Roberson says:

    Yeah, guys love to self medicate and are too “tough” to admit they have emotional issues. It’s annoying and counterproductive in my opinion. Being emotionally intelligent, open, and vulnerable isn’t weakness and talking about past experiences (including war) with people different from you (i.e. women) is much more beneficial than men realize. But anyway, yeah, chapter 14 just reified my lack of interest in going to war. Like, I a part of me almost wants to go and serve and rank up and even see some combat just to comeback and prove I can be “normal” and “healthy”… But then I think, “why would I put myself through that just to prove a point.” I’m rambling, moving on.
    I agree chapter 15 was essentially just a summarization of the book, but hey, it was a good refresher to conclude an interesting, data filled piece of work.

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