plastic, leather, and robotics
Dimensions: 20" x 16" x 22"
© William Paul Amoureux, 2014. Photo credit: Carrie Quinney.
PTSD, armor, robotics, veterans, identity, military
We don't know why some soldiers develop PTSD and others don't. With the ending of the Iraq war and the drawing down of the Afghanistan war, there are approximately 2.5 million veterans emerging back into civilian society, with roughly thirty percent suffering from some forms of PTSD. The systems of PTSD; re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoidance, increased anxiety, and emotional arousal, drive many veterans into coping methods that are hazardous.
A common coping mechanism for veterans suffering from PTSD is "Armor", putting up barriers between the affected individual and the people or experiences that cause them discomfort. This armor isolates them, closing down and cutting them off when they start feeling exposed. Commonly, the armor emerges as avoidance or removal from social situation and activities. A large number of PTSD sufferers consciously do not recognize what they are doing or why. What are they protecting? What is causing the discomfort? How can we make it stop?
For me coming back from Iraq in 2005 there was many things I had to deal with; time change, restlessness, problem sleeping, and my biggest one was issues with crowds. The crowds themselves were not a problem, but who was in the crowds. When I was with friends at one of their homes having drinks, I was fine. But once I went out to the bars or some other place I was not accustomed to I was instantly on edge and was hyper-aware of who or what was around me. I took me several months to find out what were the causes and several more on how to deal with it. In the end, what most veterans are trying to protect are themselves, their identity, who they see them self as, as well as, those around them they care about.