Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood:He swore an oath of loyalty to the military

One of the questions that needs to be asked over the terror Maj. Hasan inflicted on the troops he was supposed to be taking care of, is what was he telling them? He was their psychologist! What did he tell them when they went to him for help with combat trauma? Did he end up with secondary PTSD from hearing their stories and seeing the wounded at Walter Reed?

Families have been wounded by secondary PTSD from living with PTSD veterans. Mental healthcare providers have been wounded by it because of all they have to hear and the repeated stress. Burnouts happen all the time. This has happened to me more times than I can remember and readers of this blog have witnessed it in me when it has gotten too much for me. But all of this leads to even more questions.

Did he make things worse for them? According to news reports, he was not that great at his job in the first place. What kind of training did he have on PTSD? Was he just what the DOD had their hands on to use to take care of the increased need of our troops to heal from all the traumatic events they were exposed to, especially with these multiple deployments? The Army study a few years ago stated clearly the redeployments increased the risk of PTSD by 50%. Didn't the troops deserve experts on PTSD instead? Don't they still deserve it?

Details Emerge on Hood Rampage Suspect
November 06, 2009
Associated Press
"He swore an oath of loyalty to the military," Grieger said. "I didn't hear anything contrary to those oaths."

WASHINGTON - His name appears on radical Internet postings. A fellow officer says he fought his deployment to Iraq and argued with Soldiers who supported U.S. wars. He required counseling as a medical student because of problems with patients.

There are many unknowns about Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the man authorities say is responsible for the worst mass killing on a U.S. military base. As of this morning 13 people are dead and 30 wounded following his alleged shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.

For six years before reporting for duty at Fort Hood, Texas, in July, the 39-year-old Army major worked at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pursuing his career in psychiatry, as an intern, a resident and, last year, a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry. He received his medical degree from the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001.

While an intern at Walter Reed, Hasan had some "difficulties" that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time.
read more here

This Major was supposed to be loyal to the troops like they were his own family because it is a military family. They are supposed to be willing to die for the sake of their brothers and sisters. We saw examples of this yesterday when they were pulling off their uniforms to bandage the wounded while waiting for help. This is as if it were domestic violence because a trusted member of the family killed others. I fear not many are taking yesterday's events seriously enough.

Over the years I've heard all kinds of statements that cause me to fear what is coming. I heard a Chaplain say that he does not know anything about PTSD but was sent to be counseling Marines in Iraq. While Chaplains are supposed to be taking care of the spiritual needs of the troops, this is a concern because PTSD is an emotional wound, caused by an outside force with one of the biggest issues is spiritual. They question their lifetime of understanding their faith, remembering a loving God, then wonder where God was with all of the horror they saw. They wonder how a loving God could allow all of that. They wonder if they were judged or abandoned by God. They need someone who not only knows God but what PTSD is as well. The other factor is that with the lack of trained psychologist, the chaplains are the next best thing for them to turn to, but over 60% seem to more interested in proselytizing than ministering to their needs.

Some psychologists and therapist believe that telling the troops they can prevent PTSD by training their minds is the answer, but it's not. They cannot stop being human. Scientists found the region of the brain where emotions live. They have seen the changes after trauma. PTSD is not a mental illness the way many think it is but an anxiety disorder caused by an outside force and it attacks the compassionate because they carry away the pain of others as well as their own pain. If they simply tell them they can train their brains, they are missing what PTSD is.

Are any of the troops prepared with what they really need to hear? Do they know how to heal? Do family members know what to do? After what I've seen in news reports, the answer is doubtful. With the increase of suicides and attempted suicides, that answer is supported by the results of the attempts they've come up with to address this.

With what happened at Fort Hood, there are many things they are missing. Now the biggest one after yesterday is the fact they were attacked by one of their own on their base where they are supposed to be safe. The "secondary stressor" of yesterday piled onto what they've already been exposed to will cause many to experience a full blown assault of PTSD without warning. Many think that their mild PTSD is as bad as it can be and they have not been given the proper treatment to begin to really heal. With this striking, there will be many in crisis and shocked over the sudden changes in themselves. The military has proven they were ill prepared for all of this and now it is very doubtful they will be prepared for what is to come.

Calling in crisis teams is the best thing they can do to take care of people who need to talk. Who will call in crisis teams for the already wounded now exposed to trauma at home? This was a man trusted to take care of them instead of trying to kill them and now there are 13 of their own they will have to grive for along with 30 more wounded. They will be looking for answers and wondering who they can trust. Aside from this, they will also be wondering who the miltiary decided was worthy of trusting with their care.

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