PTSD In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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The times have changed, the technology has increased but the end result remains the same. War at any time will leave many soldier dealing with a mental turmoil that can linger with them forever. This mental condition that can take a grip hold over one’s body is called PTSD. This ailment known as post-traumatic stress disorder is a clinically diagnosed mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines the criteria and many signs and symptoms related to experiences of a traumatic event like the exposure to war and acts of terrorism (PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (n.d.). Retrieved April 23). Tim O’Brien published a story that was able to demonstrate several different…show more content…
O’Brien’s short story entitled ‘The Things They Carried’, or TTC in this paper was based on the author’s time spent as boots on the ground in Vietnam. This war story wasn’t about the shooting and fighting, but instead it took a glance at what makes up a drafted soldier. As the title would imply, TTC conveyed much about the weight of the gear, supplies and personal items they would carry with them every day. The narrator would tell of each person’s weapon and ammo, “weapon weighted 7.5 pounds unloaded, 8.2 pounds with its full twenty-round magazine. Depending numerous factors…carried anywhere from twelve to twenty magazines adding 8.4 pounds minimum, fourteen pounds maximum” examples the physical weight they had to carry (Charters). There was even the mentioned the weight of personal belongings that were a necessity, some for survival. What the story doesn’t directly state is that hidden signs and symptoms of PTSD that was scattered throughout the entire company of men. This mental baggage doesn’t have a true physical weight but the memories of traumatic events can cause a person’s mind fail under the pressure. TTC has many examples of PTSD, but this paper will only outline three individual soldiers who display classic signs, symptoms, and meet multiple criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic

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