Date of Paper

5-2017

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Pa Der Vang

Abstract

This research paper focuses on moral injury, which is a lesser-known psychological problem that veterans face. Veterans face several challenges when they return home from deployment. These challenges are associated generally with combat experiences. Experiences such as roadside bombs, failures of leadership, deaths of fellow service members, the killing of others, friendly fire, and other transgressive acts all contribute to the challenges that veterans face. These experiences can and often do violate our beliefs; our sense of right versus wrong; good versus evil; what it means to be a member of the United States military, etc. These violations can lead to shame, guilt, depression, suicidal ideation, anger, feeling unworthy, loss of meaning, difficulty connecting with loved ones, and feeling unforgivable. In a culture that is dominated by the need for its members to be strong and fearless, it is not surprising why veterans are unable to reconcile their altered reality. All of these feelings contribute to moral injury. They can have a devastating influence on someone’s worldview and throw them out of balance. Nevertheless, the most common problem that people hear about is post-traumatic stress disorder. The results showed that there were very few research articles on moral injury when compared to post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI). This result was found to be the case even though PTSD and moral injury can be co-occurring.

Available for download on Thursday, July 12, 2018

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