Raising PTSD Awareness, hardly working
June 30, 2019
While it seems as if there are more people "raising awareness" on PTSD and suicides, than ever before, we need to recognize that it is hardly working. Once we accept that fact, then maybe we can change the outcome. Until we stop settling for something that is not working, nothing will change.
Back in 2008, I was at an event with the VA. I talked with a couple of mental health professionals, I once admired, until I asked them what they thought of "Battlemind."
It was a program the DOD was using to get servicemembers to "train their brain" to become mentally tough. The results we astonishingly abysmal.
When they gave me the usual talking points as to why they were spreading the program out as much as possible following the DOD as a guide, I pointed out the results.
The reply from the "professionals" was "it is better than nothing."
Thirty-seven years ago, that answer may have been acceptable, since few knew what was going on with researchers working very hard on finding the best treatments.
I know because I read their books with a dictionary at the local library month after month with as much free time as I could spend there. It was 1982 and we did not even have computers in our homes.
Now we have cellphones, putting the world in the palms of our hands, but as oblivious as most were back then, it seems to be accepted as trendy now.
I read stuff being shared all over social media and wonder if anyone has really given any of it any thought at all. Do they ever wonder how large the chain of domino knockdown is?
Sure, it is cool to watch stunts like this, but the result is, something that stood up...fell down.
Statistics on PTSD in VeteransU.S. News and World Report
By Elaine K. Howley, Contributor
June 28, 2019
This article is based on reporting that features expert sources including Freda C. Lewis-Hall, MD, DFAPA; Janina Scarlet, PhD; Rand McClain, DO; Ken Yeager, PhD, LISW
AS GENERAL WILLIAM Tecumseh Sherman famously noted during the Civil War, “War is hell.” It’s hell for civilians caught in the cross-fire and can be hell for the political powers that petition for it. But most especially war can become an exceptionally cruel and lasting hell for the soldiers tasked with waging it.
Once called shell-shock, then Vietnam Veteran’s Disorder, a condition now referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder is common among military personnel who have served, and it, too, is considered a hellish condition by many people who have it. Though PTSD occurs at higher rates among military personnel than the general population, we now understand that it can develop in anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.
How Common Is PTSD Among Veterans?The article also had this.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among veteran varies depending on which conflict a service member was involved with.
About 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans (or between 11 and 20%) who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year.
About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year.
About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam veterans (15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD when the most recent study of them (the National Vietnam Veteran Readjustment Study) was conducted in the late 1980s. It’s believed that 30% of Vietnam veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
These troubling statistics point to another complication of life after war for veterans – a lack of support and connection to others, Yeager says. “The whole idea of the band of brothers is a very real neurophysiological situation. You never feel more alive or more connected with people than you do when you’re in that combat field and I think for many vets combing back who’ve had their neurotransmitters firing at a very high rate, they struggle with ‘how do I find this again? Where can I get this kind of feeling alive?’”Should you wonder if it is worth it the next time you see something you want to share? Yes! Share what works. Share what is offering hope to those who have lost theirs. Share facts. Share real support. Then maybe we can run the knockdown of dominos in reverse and watch them all stand up.