In Iraq, counselors are helping U.S. soldiers develop coping skills so that they can handle the stress of combat. But doctors are finding growing anxiety among Iraqi people who see themselves as caught in a helpless situation. NPR’s Emily Harris reports.
I’m glad to see a discussion of civilian stress in this NPR report, as this is all too often ignored in discussions of this sort. It is heartbreaking to hear an Iraqi psychiatrist describe how destructive behavior by children (such as arson) is now considered “normal” by their parents.
Regarding stress among American soldiers, the fact that it is as high as 6% shows a marked increase from the first Gulf War, when it was only about 1%. It has been dropping because the advance in US military technology has been keeping soldiers much further away from battle than they were in World War Two, when stress accounted for a “whopping 23% of American soldiers evacuated from battle.” [To see other posts about stress, click on the “
health” category link.]