The power of the human brain is a mystery of science. For example, while certain parts of the brain are well known to control certain bodily functions, the brain's memory capacity is just now being discovered. Scientists believe that only a small fraction of the brain is actually used, and its potential power is much greater than one may expect or believe. Its ability to view and store information is still not totally understood by scientists today. This causes a special problem in the treatment certain mental illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a reaction to a traumatic event in which death, serious injury, or the threat of either is present. The most common occurrence
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He just sits in front of the family's color television firmly gripping his chair. People on the reservation find Henry strange and they do not know how to act around him. Lyman finds his brother hard to understand, so he purposely destroys the convertible, which he had kept in good shape since before the war, and believes that through Henry fixing it, their old relationship can be rekindled. For a while Henry shows a small bit of his old self as he intently works to refurbish the car. When the car is completed, Henry and Lyman go for a drive and end up drinking beer down by the flooded river. In the end, Henry "goes for a swim" in river where his boots fill with water and his painful memories are finally stopped when he drowns. (Erdrich 293-301)
Henry illustrates symptoms many Vietnam veterans have faced after the war. According to Arthur G. Neal and his book "National Trauma and Collective Memory: Major events in the American Century," one of the main reasons Vietnam veterans suffer from PTSD is that they were thrown back into society without a any sort of "ritualistic purification" (140). Neal tells us that unlike after World War II when soldiers were given parades and were praised as heroes, Vietnam veterans were badly treated by civilian Americans because of the huge disbelief in and hatred of the war (140). The lack of this purification was especially bad for those