Effects of Moral Injury

Moral Injury breaks the spirit. It makes people question their ability to do the right thing and leaves them contaminated with the feeling that they're "bad," "disgusting," or "beyond redemption." They may feel that they have an evil twin lurking inside. Moral Injury often leads to self-harm. People turn to alcohol, drugs, and self-isolation to avoid the pain of their feelings. The War Inside may leave some emotionally dead.

Imagine a soldier who takes a life in the line of duty. No matter how much good he does, he believes he’s a bad person. He hates himself, hurts himself. He lives with Moral Injury.

Imagine a nurse who blames herself for losing a patient. She questions her own self-worth and abuses pain killers to numb the constant emotional struggle. She lives with Moral Injury.

Imagine a defense attorney who wins a trial for a guilty client. He did his job, but he sees himself as a villain. Even when he leaves the profession, he drinks to forget. He’s one of the many who struggle with Moral Injury. At Volunteers of America, we can help him find peace.