Trauma and War

Published: 2019-11-18 08:30:00
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Over the recent past, war and its ill effects have tainted the world. Until now, stories about the holocausts, dictatorial leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini who brought great turmoil to the people are still vivid. The survivors of such horrifying events are still recovering and struggling to adapt to the new world. In synopsis, the traumatic experiences of war are permanent and cannot be overcome quickly. The recovery process necessitates enduring commitment and comprehensive support. Flipping through the news channels, viewers often stumble over cases of war, nations going to war over territories, political ideologies, terrorism, among an array of other reasons. As a result, the effects of war are undeniable as they open up to long haul impacts on individual psychological well-being. Nevertheless, there lacks a comprehensive approach that can effectively describe the mental and emotional well-being following traumatic exposures in regards to such events. Besides, it is evident that there are singular contrasts in versatility; and risk reflects that assume a critical part due to the conceivably traumatic exposures that hinder an illustration of a reaction to an occasion that would influence individuals consistently. Some of the traumatizing experiences include; torture, executions of friends and relatives, rape, amputations, and separations. Consequently, the past few decades have seen numerous researchers and scholars endeavor to explore the constructs of war and trauma. For instance, Atka Reid and Snjezana Marinkovic, through their books, set out to pen down endearing memoirs on war experiences that depict stories of redemption and restoration. Echoing these authors, it becomes imperative, therefore, to take a gander at trauma theories, the influence of trauma, recovery, restoration, and healing in light of the Bosnian War.

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The early 1990s saw the onset of civil wars that rose to be Europes deadliest war experiences since the Second World War. According to Hjern, by 1992, the war in Bosnia had displaced many Muslim and Croation families (Hjern, Ingleby & Angel). Synder describes the conflict region in Bosnia as a triangular territory bordering Croatia and Serbia (Snyder, May & Zulcic 610); an area that has always been subject to growing political and ideological conflicts. The war, therefore, was plausibly bound to happen. Ultimately, the war had resulted in nonmilitary causalities and setbacks as well as the scandalous war atrocities such as rape, ethnic purging, and violations against humanity. Bosnia was reported to have lost close to 80 percent of its population to the war by the time it ended. Thus, the Bosnian war was perceived to be the worst after the destruction regime of the Nazis under Rudolf Hitler (Snyder, May & Zulcic 611).

After the occurrence of the Second World War, states such as Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro, which were Balkan states, united to become part of Yugoslavia. In 1980, the death of Josip Broz Tito who was the republics leader propelled the nationalism that was rising such that conflicts arose, disharmonizing Yugoslavia. By mid-1980s, the tension increased; especially under the leadership of Slobodan Milosevic from Serbia who stirred the developing conflicts between the people from Serbia living in Croatia, and Bosnia, as well as their neighbors from Albania. In 1991, the states of Macedonia, Slovenia, and Croatia proclaimed their independence. Following the recognition of the independence of Bosnia by the U.S. and other European countries in 1992, the Serb forces in Bosnia, with support from Yugoslavia army orchestrated an attack that was directed at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. This attack marked the beginning of the war (Snyder, May & Zulcic 611). A developing assemblage of literature has been giving plausible confirmation on the troublesome impacts of military conflict in various settings as far as the human capital expenses of survivors are concerned. Succinctly, the continued traumatic exposures also led to an intangible and probably incomprehensible long-haul mental damage.

In her 2011 book, Goodbye Sarajevo, Atka Reid narrates her story that commenced at a tender age. Twelve years of age, her younger sister, Hana fled the war-torn City of Sarajevo parting ways CITATION Atk11 \l 1033 (Reid). Contrary, to their expectations, the war escalated, drifting them further apart. Eventually, Atka secured a job as a translator, an event that was a turning point in her life. Her story is a testimony of survival and recovery. The book further portrays that some people lost ties with their closest family members with some even giving up on them with the perception that they were already dead. Successively, Snjezana Marinkovic also pens down her personal experiences about the traumatizing war that almost saw her city of Sarajevo deleted from the world CITATION Snj11 \l 1033 (Marinkovic). By drawing inspirations from Maya Angelo, Snjezanas journal effectively narrated her experience on the unpleasant recollections and decimation of a traumatizing experience that was tainted with disdain over bigotry and religion. The Bosnian war brought about anguish to innocent civilians caught up in a clash of religious contrasts and ethnic character. A young woman who returned home to Sarajevo, only ended up as an outsider in her country, confronted with battle and dejection. Families have drifted apart, while the citys standpoint deteriorated.

Influence of the Bosnian War

The war saw the most exceedingly terrible abominations Europe had seen since the Second World War. Emanating from a conflict between Muslim gatherings and the Serbs, the war was responsible for the shocking scenes of ethnic purging, death camps, and mass graves. Five years through the war, approximately 100,000 individuals were dead with numerous injured, causalities, homeless people, and refugees CITATION Den07 \l 1033 (Dzidic). More than a decade after the war, its effects can still be felt in the country. One of the chief setbacks is the resulting psychological trauma that Bosnians continue to suffer to date. It is worth noting that the manifestations of such post-traumatic stress disorder are rapid in ex-soldiers who served in the war missions. Professor Ismet Dizdarevic, terms such events as the Vietnam syndrome whereby there were increased suicide cases among the war veterans CITATION Den07 \l 1033 (Dzidic). Following the extensive traumatic exposures, soldiers and victims of war have a tough time adapting to peace and serenity. Most of them appear to distance themselves from the society such that they prefer moments of solitude as opposed to spending time with their families.

Through an article in the Croatian Medical Journal, a group of researchers sought to assess the effects of trauma in nonmilitary personnel women in Herzegovina (Hjern, Ingleby & Angel). These women had been exposed to drawn out and redundant traumatic war occasions and after war social stressors. Prolonged exposure to the war and after war stressors brought on mental setbacks in nonmilitary women, with trauma being stand out of the clutters. After war stressors did not impact the pervasiveness of trauma but rather they contributed to some posttraumatic side effects. Experiences drawn from Atka Reid and Snjezana Marinkovic stories mirror such side effects. The authors, narration of their personal experiences coupled up extensive explorations on the political violence depict the vast marginalized effects on women. Epidemiologic research into results of war trauma built up that PTSD, in spite of the fact that it was more frequent, was once in a while the main mental issue among the overall public of war-stricken nations (Somasundaram & Sivayokan). As a result, women portrayed poorer psychological well-being. Additionally, the Journal of American Medical Association points towards a connection between the nature and power of trauma, past traumatic experience, and mental outcomes (Cardozo, Bilukha, & Crawford).

Survival, Recovery, and Healing

Through the eyes, Atka Reid, the plea of Sarajevo was heard and felt across the world. The women in Sarajevo who survived the ordeal still have a vivid scar and dark memories of the old Yugoslavia formally named Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a long, persistent dim time of dreadfulness. A huge number of Bosniak women, Muslim, and Christians, endured horrible torment and rape cases in what got to be known as ethnic purifying by Bosnian Serb forces and their patrons in neighboring Serbia. Rape camps were set up where women, numerous of whom had lost spouses and children and saw their families separated, were provoked by abusers who crowed about decimating or contaminating Bosniak ethnicity. Despite the fact that Sarajevo was a social capital where ethnic peace had prevailed for a long time, most of the populace were Muslim. Survivors of the ordeal narrated the tormenting experiences of cruelty and brutality. Some of these women are still recovering from the experiences of their husbands execution, multiple rapes, and various displacements. Summoning the valor to keep alive the unending stories of Bosnia's mishandled women, a substantial portion of whom remain physically and mentally harmed, only a few can gather the courage to speak up today.

Decades after the war, the road to recovery has been an uphill task. The country was left divided, with an unresolved past. These unresolved issues were not favorable for the healing process as they worsened the situation. In light of the widespread problems, it was evident that peace was not forthcoming. Diverse ethnic gatherings developed becoming confined from each other, and together with the ascent of patriotism, and the way that a broken tripartite coalition government, hindering recovery and cohesion represented Bosnia.

Trauma Theories

Synonymous to the influences of the Bosnian war that can be deduced from Atka Reids Goodbye Sarajevo,' Susan Brison also set out on a journey to explore trauma CITATION Sus01 \l 1033 (Brison). She published a trauma narrative the Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of the Self. The book was very efficient and fruitful because it combined a philosophy approach, trauma theory, and a narrative. Similar to her counterpart authors, Susan approaches her injury, and trauma hypothesis as a rule, from the point of view that consolidates logic and experience. Rape and trauma pose a hurdle to reason and logic since they uncover how encapsulated we are holistically. On the one hand, philosophy and theory do not, for the most part, align bodies CITATION Sus01 \l 1033 (Brison). On the other hand, Logic is rehearsed by scrutinizing the self-evident, making inquiries. Be that as it may, when Susan was faced with an overwhelmingly experience, she found no solace in philosophy. Her rape that almost led to her death triggered a series of events that rendered philosophy useless. In this case, the focus was not primarily on PTSD, but the trauma was rape. Such constructs can still be borrowed today to address the recovery process in Bosnia as rape was used in the war to gain control over women.

Trauma theories are however challenged by real life experiences of war victims such as Snjezana Marinkovic and Atka Reid. Some of these real experiences as depicted by the backdrop above, are not as theoretical as most trauma hypothesis. The experiences may not be as transparent, given the rhetoric approaches employed by the authors but these experiences are therapeutic. Typically, some trauma theories are not aligned with such experiences. Experiences from the Bosnia war present a new perspective whereby, trauma is recorded on the mind in a way that is preverbal, and thusly inaccessible to account review, in any event without broad treatment.

Subsequently, it becomes imperative to...

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