Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Hero’s Disease and the Forgotten

By Samantha Kilbourne and Brock Kilbourne.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As a result of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been increased attention directed towards military service members with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Combat PTSD has emerged in American society as the face of PTSD and as an “American Hero’s Disease.” Yet, far greater numbers of civilians in American society suffer from PTSD or will suffer from PTSD than military service members. Most civilian victims of PTSD are in fact women and children who have fallen below the public’s radar screen and who have somehow been collectively forgotten. The present paper takes a close look at the high numbers of women and children in American society who suffer from PTSD and places these high numbers within a socio-historical and cultural context. It is concluded that combat PTSD is a special case of PTSD and cannot be regarded as the prototype for PTSD research and treatment. There are many faces to PTSD and combat PTSD is just one of them.

Keywords: PTSD, Military, Mental Health, Women, Children

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp.25-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 764.187KB).

Dr. Samantha Kilbourne

Doctoral Student in Forensic Psychology, California School of Forensic Studies, Alliant International University, San Diego, Temecula, CA, USA

Samantha Kilbourne received her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 2009. Her undergraduate internship was completed at a dual-diagnosis rehabilitation center in Bloomington, CA. She is currently a third year doctoral student at the California School of Forensic Studies at Alliant International University, San Diego. She is currently working on her second graduate practicum where she is working with Juvenile Firesetters and burn survivors, and is actively involved in developing and expanding this site and its services for the community as well as for future clinical forensic psychology practicum students.

Dr. Brock Kilbourne

Licensed Psychologist and Director, Psychology, El Camino Psychology Services, Temecula, CA, USA

Brock Kilbourne, Ph.D. received his doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1983. He completed two postdoctoral fellowships (NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Heidelburg, and NRC National Academy of Science, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA.). Dr. Kilbourne was licensed to practice psychology in 1988 (CA. Lic.# PSY10467). He worked for 14 years as a clinic supervisor (administrator-practitioner)with the Department of Behavioral Health, San Bernardino County, CA., USA while maintaining a part time private practice. Dr. Kilbourne is currently in full time private practice in Oceanside, CA and he works with civilian and military clients. Dr. Kilbourne has over twenty years of clinical experience working with chronic psychiatric populations.


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