Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (6):644-662 (2020)

Although post-traumatic stress disorder is now constituted by a set of characteristic symptoms, its roots lie in Post-Vietnam Syndrome, a label generated by a Vietnam-era advocacy movement that focused not on symptoms but on war’s traumatic context. When Post-Vietnam Syndrome was subsumed into the abstract, individualistic, symptom-centered language of DSM-III and rendered as PTSD, it not only lost this focus on context but also neglected the experiences of veterans who suffer from things done or witnessed, not primarily from what was done to them, in war. This agent-related trauma has been rediscovered in contemporary work on moral injury, but moral injury too is increasingly subjected to the hegemony of the symptom. Focusing on symptoms, however, unhelpfully pathologizes and individualizes trauma, neglects traumatic context, and legitimates problematic therapeutic approaches. Trauma researchers and clinicians should decenter the language of symptoms and focus instead on context and on alternative accounts of trauma.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhaa023
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Traumatic Neuroses of War.Abram Kardiner - 1942 - Science and Society 6 (1):82-84.

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Crisis in Psychiatric Diagnosis? Epistemological Humility in the DSM Era.Warren Kinghorn - 2020 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (6):581-597.

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