AP News

'I'm a monster': Veterans 'alone' in their guilt


WASHINGTON (AP) — With American troops at war for more than a decade, an unprecedented number of studies are looking into war zone psychology.

And clinicians suspect that some troops are suffering from an emotional problem they call "moral injuries" — wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code.

A moral injury tortures the conscience. Its symptoms include deep shame, guilt and rage.

A former psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general, retired Col. Elspeth Ritchie, says it's not clear how to treat moral injury.

The Defense Department has approved funding for a study among Marines at California's Camp Pendleton to test a therapy that doctors hope will ease guilt.

But officials say a solution could be a long time off.


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