The cold dark abyss of PTSD is described in perfecting detail and striking emotion in one sentence from Morris: "PTSD is a disease of time." The vital importance of this social crisis is written with an honesty that survivors and loved ones can understand: for trauma victims like my close loved one, this book validates her and all those who suffer in a timeless dissociative warp of fight or flight.
A must read for all of us.
This is probably the most illuminating of several books I've read on PTSD. Most importantly, it's the only one written by someone who's experienced the condition. But he's not content to write an "autobiography" of his own PTSD. As a journalist and historian, Morris's book is also the only one to look back in history to see not only how (mostly) war has affected those who participated in it. He writes unflinchingly about the VA, who in the US "owns" PTSD, as they get billions of dollars to research and treat it. He also alludes to other forms of trauma, including rape, natural disasters, and severe injury. Without asking, most of the time, for pity for himself, he provides an inside view of what it was like to go from being a gung ho Marine to one who could not trust his government, or anyone else, and ultimately find a certain emotional balance. He is an extremely good writer, and a decade after his Iraq experience, writes a page turner. He provides no definitive answers to the mystery that is PTSD, but the last sentence brought me to tears. I'd have given him five complete starts, except that at times he becomes repetitive. A small cavil at a wonderful book that everyone concerned about what trauma does to people needs to read.
Smart, compassionate, well-researched, thoughtful. We need more writers who can so intelligently make a complex subject understandable. Thanks!
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