August Spotlight on Moral Injury

August Spotlight on Moral Injury

Moral Injury Recognition and Care Title Card

Although PTSD is no longer classified as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-5, it is well recognized that anxiety or arousal symptoms are common responses to trauma. One consequence of exposure to trauma that has been misunderstood is moral injury, which occurs when an individual's deeply-held values, ideals or expectations are severely transgressed leading to inner conflict or what has been described as "soul wounds."

In recent years, moral injury has received increased attention both in the psychological literature and popular press. Some experts suggest that the extended operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where US Service members were exposed to unconventional guerrilla warfare and greater ambiguity (e.g., the enemy wasn't clearly defined, rules of engagement changed, mission goals fluctuated, and improvised explosive devices were widely used) may have posed greater risks for moral injury to ripen. Many clinicians are unaware of moral injury and will benefit by becoming educated about it in order to better assist those military clients who may be struggling with it.

For all of the above reasons and more, moral injury is an important subject for those who work with Service members and Veterans. Providers interested in learning more about moral injury are invited to explore the resources below. In addition to the CDP Presents webinar "Moral Injury Recognition and Care" by William Nash, M.D.,  we've got several great blogs on the topic, and links to external sites with additional resources.