Basic Retraining

Dr. Carmen Russoniello leads the Training for Optimal Performance(TOP) program at ECU.

For their sacrifices made in the defense of our nation, wounded war veterans hold a special place of honor in America. There is a deep, abiding respect for those who carry the physical reminders of war so that the rest of us need not. They are remembered on national holidays observed in their honor. Seats are given up for them on buses and at ball games. Hollywood makes movies celebrating their deeds.

But for as long as the machinery of war has injured, the psychology of war has exacted a toll of its own, even from those otherwise spared by bullet, blade, or shrapnel. These are the hidden injuries of war. They can be difficult to recognize, and as a result, not only is adulation often absent from the lives of those who suffer from them, but basic understanding as well.

As a nation, we are beginning to understand the severity of psychological and emotional wounds. In the past, names like “shell shock” and “battle fatigue” have been used to refer to the collection of symptoms that medical professionals now refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD, along with traumatic brain injury (TBI), are the signature wounds of the Iraq more -->