Friday, June 26, 2009

Wound of warrior, traumatic recoil

Chaplian Kathie

–verb (used without object)
to draw back; start or shrink back, as in alarm, horror, or disgust.
to spring or fly back, as in consequence of force of impact or the force of the discharge, as a firearm.
to spring or come back; react (usually fol. by on or upon): Plots frequently recoil upon the plotters.
Physics. (of an atom, a nucleus, or a particle) to undergo a change in momentum as a result either of a collision with an atom, a nucleus, or a particle or of the emission of a particle.
an act of recoiling.
the distance through which a weapon moves backward after discharging.

Traumatic Recoil? Why not replace Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with something like this? Would it sound tough enough? After all, we tend to forget the troops are humans and not machines. "The distance through which a weapon move backwards after discharging" seems to really fit this. They do move backwards when they have flashbacks and nightmares. Until they begin to heal, this is the condition of their lives.

It's stunning to me, even now, that people would rather be labeled a drug addict or alcoholic than be associated with any kind of mental illness. PTSD, while it actually means change after trauma, is hard for the wounded to accept. There is much to be done in removing the stigma associated with the mind but until we actually manage to get society passed the part in the Seven Deadly sins, we're not about to have any major breakthroughs any time soon.

I'm sure you're wondering why I just put in the Seven Deadly sins, because we don't want to understand the origins of them any more than we want to understand what Sloth actually was referring to.

Originally Sloth was listed as two "deadly sins" Acedia and Tristitia. When you read what these two terms mean, you see what we now know as clinical depression and mental illness. While science has shown there are reasons for the mental conditions all humans experienced, too many of modern day humans still associate the judgment of others with clueless assumptions. If you see someone sitting in a chair for hours on end, you assume they are lazy and tell them to get off their butt and do something. If you see someone appearing to be happy about nothing, depressed, crying, you tell them to "cheer up" and do something. After all, it's a lot easier responding this way than actually investigating what is behind the way they are acting, or not reacting to life.

We are still doing it when it comes to mental illness, still dredging up words like "nuts' " mental case" "crazy" along with a very long list of insults. The problem is that when it comes to PTSD, there is an epidemic of suicides that need to be addressed today, not tomorrow when the mentality of the citizenry finally catches up to scientific advancements.

Traumatic Recoil also fits because I've come to the conclusion there are different types of PTSD that really need to be set apart. While all humans are susceptible to traumatic events, there are two groups not only exposed to them, but are participants in them. Military and police officers.

Firefighters and emergency responders are exposed to traumatic events more often than any other group of civilians, therefor, more of an increase in their risk. They respond after the traumatic event has happened. They respond after the fire has begun, after the accident has happened, after the storm has already come and after the tornado has already left.

Police officers rush into it while it is happening with guns drawn, speeding chancing fleeing suspects, ready to react with split second-life threatening decisions. The members of the military are also facing the same kinds of events but in combat face them more often. Both groups use weapons.

Playing around with words to describe this wound needs to be done if we are ever going to wake up the walking wounded and get them to the point where it is better for them do heal than to be self-medicating and more readily to be called drug addict or alcoholic than to admit they need mental health care to heal.

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