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Life After War: The Mental, Physical, And Social Health Effects

1334 words - 6 pages

From the Roman gladiators to today's revolutionized warfare, war has been a focal point of our society since the beginning of time. Some may argue that war is an essential component to maintain our lavish lifestyles and establish homeland security; however, “War integrates deprivation of basic existential needs and of all human rights and values, it eliminates emotional comfort, it causes irreversible material and kin losses, physical exhaustion, psychological breakdowns, and makes futile all everyday routines” (Flogel and Lauc.)Each type of health plays a tremendous role in the overall metabolic processes of every living organism on the earth. An equal combination of all three types of health is crucial for human survival. The benefits of war may be keen; however, warfare is a multifaceted danger to the existence of the human race because it touches on every strata of an individual’s physical, mental, and social wellness.
The human body is an unbelievable phenomenon with complex mechanisms that benefit from good physical health and well-being. A major contributor to positive physical health is nutrition; however, according to a dietitian employed at the Alexandria VA Hospital there is indisputable evidence that veterans suffer from malnutrition due to food rations and lack of resources. Furthermore, war exposes soldier to harmful physical situations that destroys the symmetry of the societal infrastructure that supports physical wellbeing.
One common effect of armed combat is exposure to infectious disease and toxic chemicals. Malaria, a parasite transmitted to a human host by mosquito bites, is a fatal disease that infects veterans that travel tropical or subtropical areas. Symptoms include nausea, headache, chills, and fever. The disease has several different strains; therefore, medical scientists are having a harder time combatting the steadily evolving disease. Also, the disease can occur and develop in stages; therefore, it may occur during service or several years afterwards. The toxic chemicals found in Agent Orange have been linked to the growth of malignant neoplastic disease in veterans and Vietnam citizens affected by the chemical. The Vietnam Red Cross reported as many as 3 million Vietnamese people have been affected by Agent Orange, including at least 150,000 children born with birth defects (Agent Orange.)
In addition to diseases soldiers may also develop dependence for drugs. Veterans are prone to all the addiction problems prevalent in our society; however, without out proper rehabilitation veterans are easily victims of substance abuse. During World War II, veterans would inject drugs for pain relief which would later produce dependence. As a consequence, when being reprogrammed into life in America, they brought the addiction with them.
The effects of war on physical health are horrific; however, the psychological effects of war are just as tragic. Sound mental health can provide a life of prosperity, while poor mental...

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