Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Research Journal 6- Estelle

My research topic was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder found in child soldiers. This is a mental condition that is triggered by seeing or experiencing terrifying events. It brings back memories of trauma that brings intense emotional and physical reactions. This condition can last months, years, or be lifelong. Symptoms are normally flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety. People often feel empty inside. They become aggressive, hostile, irritable, self-destructive, and socially isolated.

There are over 300,000 children used as child soldiers, or guerrilla fighters (small group of combatants that use military tactics to fight a larger traditional military). All of these children have been abducted and forced to be soldiers between the ages of 9-12. These children experience traumatic events such as witness murder or are forced to murder someone. Sierra Leone alone has suffered more than 10 years of war that involved children as being victims to it or one of the main causes of violence. Once the war was over many of these civilians didnt want these kids to return to their homes, they often would threaten to kill them if they ever were to see them again. Many kids were able to receive some type of help and return home but, often moved away to avoid the hostility and discrimination from their home communities.

The Revolutionary United Front (RUF)  invaded Sierra Leone from Liberia. It created a civil war that was brutal and sadistic. They claimed they wanted to end corruption and bring peace to the country, but often raided villages and abducted the children turning them into forced soldiers. They made them do/witness horrible things done to their families or other occupants of villages, tortured or raped them. The RUF, the local civil defence forces ( CDF), and the government all created child soldiers and took advantage of it.

During various stages of the war the child soldiers were slowly demobilized. Groups were created to help these kids.The psychological damage was wide spread. Many had conditions of somatization, depression, PTSD/ malignant PTSD. Since they are younger they are in an impressionable formative period, which has caused a lot of these kids scarring of their developing personalities. The PTSD rate of children in the war was measured at 48%.  In most cases the PTSD was chronic because it was years later they were able to get help after coming back from captivity.


  1. I think you did a really good job with your research and presentation. I have learned a lot more about PTSD after reading and listen to your topic.

  2. You did a very good job with your research about PTSD. It is said to see that so many kids are effected by it from the war.

  3. I thought you did a great job on your research. As a mom, I could not imagine not letting my kids come back to me.

  4. Great job on your research! I for one have had experience with PTSD, as my father had served in the U.S. special forces and still to this day, at the age of 49 (being in combat at age 22) and still to this day he is battling to overcome his experiences. I can only imagine what children go through as they battle to overcome their experiences and live normal lives.

  5. You explained PTSD very detailed and well for me that I understand what ti is now. It's so sad to see theses children being taken from their homes and being thrown into fighting for the RUF. Children shouldn't know half the things that the rebels teach them at such a young age. They lost their identity thanks to the rebels.


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