Health Caring Men: Male Veterans’ Coping with the Psychological Effects of the Iraq War - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Health Caring Men: Male Veterans’ Coping with the Psychological Effects of the Iraq War

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  1. Health Caring Men: Male Veterans’ Coping with the Psychological Effects of the Iraq War Cindy Lung Adviser: Tyson Smith, Ph.D

  2. Overview • Background of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars • War-zone stressors on OIF and OEF soldiers • Post-war adjustment difficulties among veterans • Introduce research question

  3. March 19th, 2003

  4. Major Characteristics • Asymmetric warfare • No “front-line” - there is difficulty distinguishing between insurgents and civilians. • Repeat and longer deployments

  5. By the end of 2011, 4,487 U.S. soldiers had died and 32,000 were physically wounded in Iraq.

  6. Overview • Background of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars • War-zone stressors on OIF and OEF soldiers • Post-war adjustment difficulties among veterans • Introduce research question

  7. “…we got bombed a lot…we got bombed every day for a good three months. And then on convoys we were shot at all the time.” – Derrick • “… that was my first time ever seeing someone killed you know. I’d never seen anyone killed before… I’m just staring there—standing there staring at it at this actual body with no head.” – Ervin • “You know I put casualties onto my vehicle… I mean, that don’t phase you. I mean, that’s just again that’s part of your job. You know you train for it.” - Tim

  8. Yet only a minority of the military population with mental illness seek professional mental health services.

  9. The Male Veteran

  10. How does hegemonic masculinity affect male veterans’ expression of their war experience and estrangement from professional mental health care services?

  11. Methodology • Snowball sample from PI’s initial contacts. • So far, I analyzed 9 audio-recorded interviews with Iraq War veterans. • All veterans reported at least one major symptom of PTSD. • Preliminary findings suggest that access to care was not an issue. Most vets interviewed view the VA positively. • “Yeah [the VA was helpful]. It’s taken them some time….from when I first got back, they weren’t prepared for what was coming back. Umm, but now there’s plenty of things that are set up and plenty of avenues to go, uh, for help.” - Benny

  12. Characteristics of Participants

  13. Themes

  14. “…like I said earlier you can’t show fear. I mean, you can’t. And it’s useless. It’s a useless emotion.” – Benny

  15. “And I just saw him sitting in his room like looking leaning over….I’ve never seen him cry like, you know, I don’t know. I don’t want to see him cry. That would change things. I don’t know. It’s the weirdest thing. I don’t know. It’s a man thing.” -Norman • “You know like I had a guy—I had to smack a guy because he was crying. Like I said, ‘Dude, why are you crying for? Dude, just do your job.’ ” - Norman

  16. “…they just like see me as like this strong person that’s made it through so much. And, uh, so I just feel like I can’t be like weak around them you know…and I don’t...I don’t feel like I can in front of either one of them ‘cause they all look at me as like some kind of superman, you know .” - Tim • “..I just feel like I can’t be like weak around them.” - Tim

  17. Conforming to ideas of traditional masculinity has costs.

  18. Conflict Response, Negotiation, and Transformation – From the Global to the Individual

  19. Thank you all!Shout out to Prof. Smith!