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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In The Odyssey

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The Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs claim that PTSD is a growing epidemic, with roughly 5.2 sufferers of the illness in the U.S. today. Homer’s The Odyssey illustrates the story of Odysseus after the Trojan war and his journey back home to Ithaca. During his expedition, Odysseus faces many physically and emotionally challenging situations that affect him psychologically in the future. Many scholars recognize Odysseus as a brave warrior in Homer’s The Odyssey, but in fact, Odysseus is a soldier who displays evident symptoms, including depression, excessive anger, and paranoia, of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or a “psychological injury,” as psychologist Jonathan Shay refers it. Throughout Odysseus’s story, Odysseus shows signs of suicidal thoughts, a symptom of those who suffer from depression as a result of a psychological illness. In book 12, Odysseus and his crew attempt to move past the sirens, with the help of Circe. The Sirens are seducers, acting as an obstacle to the crew’s journey, and they are capable of hypnotizing anybody who listens to their…show more content…
Symptoms such as depression, impulsive anger, and paranoia continue to affect Odysseus in his life, though he and others might fail to recognize it. While The Odyssey might be a fictional epic, the issues it addresses are still very real even in today’s society. Post traumatic stress disorder is still a significant issue, and though rates of the illness have improved, work still needs to be done. However, the solution to PTSD is not reducing the impact of warfare, but instead, providing a better, more welcoming environment for returning soldiers like Odysseus. This story might still provide comfort to soldiers today, because they witness Odysseus overcome his adversities, giving hope that they too can
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