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Vietnam Stress Disorder

It consists of the recognition of

one's autonomous self, and often is accompanied by finding

sexual fulfillment, choosing a career and acknowledging

certain individual features separating one from one's

parents and acceptable to one's peers.

This period has been described by Erik Ericson as a time of psychosocial self-commitment - and if inhibited or prohibited may result in identity diffusion, an inability to evolve a style of effective self-assertion and a blunted ability to trust one's intimate or idealized revelations. Productive adult societal integration is impaired.

The achievement of positive young adult ego identity appears to be facilitated by a certain period of parental and societal 'letting go', a moratorium period early in young adulthood when, prior to that time when financial self-sufficiency, marital or career commitment is expected, one is permitted more mobility, autonomy, privacy and freedom of verbal and lifestyle expression than before.

What results, should this period of metamorphic benign neglect be replaced instead by a traumatic life experience or involvement in life-threatening risk taking, exposure to inhuman acts or atrocities, the death of close friends? What if, instead of a period of self-paced adult-world exploration one is forced to adhere to a code of behavior not in accordance with one's previously formed religious or political principles, and accept injury and/or physical deprivation sustained in carrying out orders to achieve ends to which one is not morally committed? How does one accept the reality of picking bits of human flesh off one's flack jacket, sole visible remains of what, moments before, had been one's best friend and confidante, that worse of nights out on patrol?

How, in surviving such experiences, does one rationalize one's altered self-image, one's world-image? How likely is such...

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Vietnam Stress Disorder. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:48, July 23, 2017, from
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