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I read this book shortly after it appeared, thanks to having the opportunity to meet personally with Dr. Figley while he was still a graduate student at Purdue University. The volume still sits close at hand in my study and as recently as this morning I referenced it to one of my graduate students as we pondered the moral dilemmas associated with making split-second decisions in the course of providing emergency management service.

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I'm Charles Figley and I gave this book 5 stars. I completed the book in 1976. Many looking back on the field of traumatic stress studies, Stress Disorders among Vietnam Veterans ushered in a new era of considering traumatic events and measured by stress and a stress disorder was distinct from other types, based on the standard psychiatric nomenclature for the classification of mental illness. It is a collection of contributions by several dozen psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, and other professionals about Vietnam War veterans. Most either studied or treated veterans; most were affiliated in some way with the US Veterans Administration medical system responsible for helping Vietnam veterans.
The book is also noteworthy because the theories, research, and treatment about veterans turned out compliment the theories, research, and treatment about context other than war, such as concentration camps, torture, rape, disasters, terrorist attack, and many other traumatic stressors. Today the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, celebrating its 26th anniversary conference last week, attracts more than 3000 members from across the world and its affiliate societies. Half provide mental health services to the traumatized, the other half are scholars attempting to perfect better ways of helping traumatized individuals, families, communities, and nations through better policies and programs.
In addition to traumatic stress studies, Stress Disorders among Vietnam Veterans represented the beginning of another field, one that focuses on the power of stress and neurobiological theories, research and intervention that tracks the process by which a stress becomes a reaction in all its markers. For example, the field of psychoneuroimmunology emerged in the early 1980s with several founders who had also contributed to this book.

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