War psychiatry – in 100 words

Every month, the British Journal of Psychiatry has a 100 word summary of key issues in mental health and psychopathology. March’s edition had a fantastic summary of military psychiatry by consultant psychiatrist to the UK Army, Simon Wessely.

War is hell, but it can be a job–a strange job in which one voluntarily (these days) exposes oneself to the risk of physical and psychiatric injury. Our generation think we discovered post-traumatic stress disorder, but it is neither new, nor the commonest, mental health problem in the UK Armed Forces. That ‘honour’ goes to depression and alcohol. Are these always the result of going to war? No, things are rarely that simple. Can we treat them? Sometimes–but what makes people good soldiers makes them bad patients. Can we prevent them? Possibly–but only if we don’t send people to war.

As a follow-up to our recent post on Tim Crow’s ideas on schizophrenia, this month’s BJP has a 100 word summary, by Crow, where he does a remarkable job of getting the details of the genetics and neurobiology into succinct description of his theory.

Link to ‘War Psychiatry – in 100 words’.
Link to ‘Psychosis: the price Homo Sapiens pays for language ‚Äì in 100 words’.

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