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Psychology of War; What happens to Individuals and Society?

War, humans have fought each other as long as they have lived on this planet. They will continue to do so in whatever planet they are going to live next. Aggression is unique to humans alone, as fight for territory and domination range all over the animal kingdom. Often these fights can turn into injuries and death.

The oldest recorded war in history dates back to approx. 2900-2700 BCE of the wars between the Sumerians and Elam.

(Left) The artist Eugen Stepanovich Kobytev the day he went to the front in 1941. (Right) In 1945 when he returned

History Of Wars

The oldest recorded war in history dates back to approx. 2900-2700 BCE of the wars between the Sumerians and Elam. Evidences of armed combat dates back further and cemeteries as early as 10000 BCE shows evidence of violent deaths in mass numbers. There are also ruins of ancient cities with fortifications that allude to attacks by enemy forces.

Over the millennia of human civilisation war hasn’t gone away. It in some ways propelled innovation and technologies that helped humans take control of the planet as it now does. During the last couple of centuries, it may seem that the amount of death and scales of war has truly gone global. From wars that involved small cities and clans to world wars where each individual has to pick a side.

These wars as it seems not only impacts society as a whole it ranges to a large impact on the lives of people affected by it. The soldiers who fight it as wells as the common folk who are living their lives in war torn countries.

PTSD can result in people inflicting self-harm and suicides.

The psychological impact of wars on people also influences future generations it may lead either to positive outcomes towards a general aversion to war, or negative whereby more and more get indoctrinated in violence.

How war affects individuals

These are the most general psychological effect on individuals due to war. Even though PTSD may not just refer to traumas with result to war, it can also be inflicted by war. This can result in individuals having disturbing thoughts, increased aggression or fear. This disorder can result in people inflicting self-harm and suicides.

Even though men are the primary participants in war, the psychological impacts are seen higher on women. Women are more vulnerable to indirect effects of war. Leading to physical problems in new-borns during the war. Mental health issues in mothers can also lead to trauma for children. These association to trauma will eventually result in wars affecting generations to come and increase likelihood of future wars.

After wars its general for the whole society to have better positive outlook.

The symptoms of disorders are likely to increase with higher levels of both mental and physical trauma during war. Studies also suggest that of various age groups adolescents are the most vulnerable.

Psychological impact of war directly is applicable to the soldiers and other belligerents in war. They are directly affected by battleground realities and shocks they deal with. People who serve sides during war are returned changed individuals. These can result them in having higher chance of anxiety and increased fatigue. The mental trauma in war results in physical issues.

Damaged City of Lille, During German Occupation, World War I, 1916

Post-War Societies

Results of the war decide the trajectory of the communities involved in the war. Even then there are certain similarities. After wars its general for the whole society to have better positive outlook. This can also be attributed to various cultural changes. In certain countries the result of war may lead to internal political changes. These changes can result in economic booms like, Japan or recessions in the case of Germany after World War 1.

At the ground where they are fought people will be affected.

Unrecognizable biker riding along demolished houses in Idlib, Syria

Wars in the Future

Its common knowledge that humans won’t stop fighting each other. The types of warfare might change with newer technologies. Internet warfare and psychological warfare will use subtle ways to war indirectly. Modern countries will keep on looking for ways to minimize their citizens direct involvement in war. Even then at the ground where they are fought people will be affected. That will shape humanity as long as civilization exists.

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