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January 1969

Unhappy Odysseys: Psychiatric Hospitalizations Among Vietnam Returnees

Author Affiliations

Fort Knox, Ky
From the Psychiatric Ward, Ireland Army Hospital, Fort Knox, Ky.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(1):78-83. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740130080007

IN AN excellent paper on psychiatric disorders in military personnel during World War II, Grinker1 pointed out that the majority of psychiatric admissions among returnees are not men who have returned with war neuroses, but those who develop signs of illness after completing a full term of duty. It was speculated that this may have been due to mild neuroses which were held in check only as long as there was a purpose for so doing. After release from combat this motivation failed. It was also speculated that the return of a weakened individual to a conflictual or distorted home situation might be a precipitating factor, or that there were difficulties of a changed personality attempting to adjust itself to relatively normal circumstances. Major categories observed included passive-dependent reactions, hostile aggressives, depressives, psychosomatic reactions, and psychotic-like states. The largest group, the dependents, seemed

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