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PTSD Linked to Morality

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be linked to more than the combat of war, but also to actions that violate a soldier’s sense of morality, according to new research.

The study, which will be published in the April issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that PTSD levels can be influenced by the amount of support the nation has for the war itself, which can impact the perception of the conflict’s moral standing. Although citizens may express support for their nation’s troops, a wide lack of support for the war being fought—such as displayed through anti-war protests—can cause a soldier to feel that his actions may be in violation of what is morally correct. The result is an increase the level of PTSD in that soldier.

“What we would suggest, however, is that it is not protest, per se, that puts a soldier’s mental health at risk, but the initial decision to go to war,” David Webber of the University of Alberta and the study’s lead author told Raw Story. “War protest usually only occurs when that war is unfounded. If war is enacted for legitimate reasons, the public will usually support that effort.” …”

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