Monday, March 11, 2019

Brain & Moral Injury

Reportedly, the term “moral injury” was first used in the context of members of the armed services to describe individual responses to a person’s actions in a war situation. The concept of moral injury includes psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of trauma. Moral injury among combat veterans tends to be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. An individual signs up for the military believing in the purpose and then finds out that the purpose is actually different from what he or she believed. This can result in a sense of moral injury due to a sense of betrayal. Individuals who have seen and experienced death, destruction, and violence and/or who have had their beliefs shattered (e.g., sanctity of life, safety, love, health, peace) can also suffer moral injury. It can also be experienced by those who have been transgressed against (e.g., whistle-blowers who identify something they believe is unconscionable and then who are retaliated against). Identification of moral injury begins in the brain.

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