Invisible wound and secret illness: The cultural influences of masculinity on care-seeking behaviors in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
The purpose of this study was to examine the cultural influences of masculinity in the military and post-military context. In addition, how do those concepts of masculinity influence care-seeking behaviors in OEF/OIF Veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD. Fifteen Veteran interviews were the data set used to answer the research question. After transcribing the interviews, grounded theory was used to code the transcriptions. This method was used to discover some of the broader themes discussed by the Veterans during their interviews that related to masculinity, seeking care, and treatment adherence. Concepts of military masculinity, post-military masculinity, and perceptions of treatment were found throughout the fifteen interviews. These ideas helped to inform the way that the Veterans initial sought out care for their PTSD and how they engaged their treatments. Each of the fifteen Veterans who were part of this study experienced their illness in a different and sought out care in various manners. The broader themes discovered in the interviews, military masculinity, post-military masculinity, and perceptions of seeking care and treatment adherence, were factors that helped to influence the lived experience of PTSD and how the Veterans sought out the proper care that they needed.