Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Civil War Reenactors

Kimberlee Bruce


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the meaning of Civil War reenactments in military men with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Six Caucasian males who have PTSD symptoms were interviewed in depth by responding to two questions. I. Why do you reenact? And 2. What sticks out in your mind about Civil War reenacting after having served in the military? Five themes emerged; escaping reality, structure and discipline, honor and duty, friendship and companionship, and love of history. The findings of this study will add to the body of nursing knowledge about PTSD by exploring a form of behavior modification and redirection therapy that is socially acceptable. 11