Synopses & Reviews
Living in the shadowy interior of the brain's limbic system and invisible to the untrained eye, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can not only torture its victims for a lifetime, but reaches beyond victims to negatively influence family members and loved ones. Soldier's Heart
, titled after one of the early names for PTSD, delves into the lives of otherwise normal American veterans who, seemingly for no reason, display lasting patterns of bad choices and erratic, self-destructive behavior. Analysis of the life portraits of combat veterans brings the myriad symptoms of PTSD to light, equipping the lay reader to recognize the disorder and gain a thorough understanding that can be the foundation for steps to facilitate healing. Four men and one woman who served in Vietnam describe how PTSD still tears at their lives 30 years later. The symptoms of PTSD are conveyed in non-technical language by the veterans featured in this absorbing work, presented by authors Schroder and Dawe, both Vietnam veterans and, respectively, now a writer-businessman and a mental health counselor.
To fully explore the lifelong effects of war trauma in the 20th century, the focus must be on Vietnam veterans, explain Schroder and Dawe. Profound statements on the human condition, the narratives of the five featured veterans, from across branches of the military, offer emotional and intellectual comfort to millions of Americans whose relatives and friends have served the country in time of war. This book, which also includes a glossary of military terms, will be of interest to veterans and their families, as well as to counselors, therapists, psychologists, veteran care workers and students of studies in trauma, psychopthology, and treatment. These are more than war stories, because for these veterans the lingering war is internal—and it may never end.
"William Shroder and Ron Dawe take us into the hearts, souls and lives of Vietnam Vets, with gripping stories that will tear your heart and bring you to tears, opening your mind to the emotional devastation of war and to the ongoing needs of such courageous soldiers. Interspersed with sound psychological observations about the development of each soldier's post traumatic stress syndrome, and a fascinating review of the diagnosis, their stories are brilliantly told--as vivid as seeing a movie-with scenes that bring the stories to life. I beseech everyone to read this book. Be inspired to take some action to insure that soldiers get the honor-and treatment-they need and deserve." < p="">Dr. Judy Kuriansky, clinical psychologist, Columbia University Teachers College, Editor of < i=""> Terror in the Holy Land: Inside the Anguish of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Praeger, 2006) < i=""> <>
"Soldier's Heart provides a unique perspective of how certain reactions and symptoms may emanate from combat and other life-threatening situations. And it is written to be understandable, regardless of the reader's background." < p="">John F. Somner, Jr., Executive Director, The American Legion, Combat Medic, Vietnam <>
"Mental health professionals will find it important, not for its contribution to the professional literature on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but for the light it sheds on the continuing psychological toll that war takes on the soldiers and on their families." -
"Soldier's Heartprovides a unique perspective of how certain reactions and symptoms may emanate from combat and other life-threatening situations. And it is written to be understandable, regardless of the reader's background."
"The stories are all well-written, featuring autobiographical narratives covering childhood, detailed descriptions military traumas and post-war adjustment problems. Schroder and Dawe provide in their final chapter an excellent short history of the record of psychological trauma from ancient warfare to the present. […] All 5 stories in Soldier's Heart give us rich detailed but diverse examples of PTSD symptoms, which make the book valuable to clinicians. Because they also give us a sense of the veterans' pre-service lives, and because they are so culturally different, we get to see the diverse ways that traumas play out. […] Soldier's Heart is both heart-wrenching in its realistic stories of the post war struggles of veterans to adjust to civilian life, and it is also heartening to realize that most of the veteran story-tellers finally found insight and treatment that provided some amelioration of symptoms." -
Repetition & Avoidance Quarterly
"This highly significant and relevant volume focuses on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a devastating but little understood wound suffered by many American soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. The heart of the book consists of highly revealing interviews with five Vietnam veterans who relate, in candid and graphic detail, the impact of the disorder upon their lives, and how they attempted to blunt that impact by resorting to alcohol and drugs. Their return to civilian life often signaled the beginning of downward spirals marked by inability to relate to other people, drifting from one job to another, ultimate unemployment, and alienation from their families. The authors are to be commended for placing this crippling disorder within a meaningful context. The specialist as well as non-specialist will profit enormously by reading this volume the contents of which have obvious implications for the present and future." < p="">Willard B. Gatewood, Alumni Distinguished Professor of History (Emeritus), University of Arkansas <>
About the Author
WILLIAM SCHRODER is a writer, businessman, past helicopter pilot infantry officer, and a Vietnam veteran. He is an auxiliary cadre member of Warriors, Inc., a Hollywood film industry military technical advisory company. His own PTSD symptoms and their decades-long effects on his spouse, children, and loved ones compelled him to begin a deeper exploration of and book on the disorder.RONALD DAWE is a licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida and Executive Director of The Palm Beach Institute in West Palm Beach. His special interest is the link between early, complex trauma and substance abuse or dependence in later life. His clinical focus is on treating the underlying psychological causes of chemical dependency and other addictive behaviors. Dawe is also a Certified Clinical Sexologist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology. He served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and subsequently has struggled with PTS for three decades.