Friday, February 27, 2015

Will American Sniper Trial Feed PTSD Stigma or Will Reporters Do It?

'American Sniper' trial likely to increase stigma of PTSD but this has been brought up by reporters for a long time. No, not just since this trial but for decades. It seems they just keep making statements without noticing they are the ones feeding the stigma instead of helping to end it.
"The jury got it right — that helps to some degree to destigmatize PTSD," said Harry Croft, a San Antonio-based psychiatrist who evaluates veterans with post-traumatic stress. "The bad news is: The headlines before the trial was that PTSD will be used as a defense. Unfortunately, that's the message many people will remember."

Pathetic! I am so sick and tired of reporters spinning this instead of actually telling folks what is really going on. If veterans think this famous trial will feed the stigma, they need to actually stop reacting and start thinking.

When Vietnam veterans came home, like generations before them, combat tagged along for the rest of their lives. They were not about go quietly into the abyss most folks were ready to help them into. They were called crazy, druggies, along with baby killers plus a lot of other things not fit for publication. They turned around, fought every established veterans service organizations, every politician, every psychiatrists and reporter getting in their way. The battle they fought after they came home managed to save a lot more lives, not just for their own sake but for all generations of veterans and civilians alike.

Crisis Intervention Strategies, By Richard James, Burl Gilliland gives credit to where credit is due for what happens when all of us are faced with traumatic events. Support groups and crisis intervention specialists ready to help us right away. (Ok, so I am one of those responders. I was certified in programs from 2008 to 2010 when I took just about every class I could.) These steps were established simply because Vietnam veterans pushed for all the research.

Then there are the Veterans centers. Those started in the 70's as well. Vietnam veterans didn't have a choice. They were not welcomed by other veterans. They did it without the internet and Facebook.

It wasn't until the Vietnam Memorial Wall was built that they were finally being honored for their service.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as a symbol of America's honor and recognition of the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Inscribed on the black granite walls are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing. Yet the Memorial itself is dedicated to honor the "courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country" of all who answered the call to serve during the longest war in U.S. history. The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, Inc. is the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1980 to fund and build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Incorporated on April 27, 1979 by a group of veterans led by Jan C. Scruggs, who was wounded and decorated for service in Vietnam, the organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in the war.

By separating the issue of individuals serving in the military during the Vietnam era and U.S. policy carried out there, VVMF hoped to begin a process of national reconciliation. Two members of the U.S. Senate, Charles Mathias (R-Md.) and John Warner (R-Va.), took the lead in Congress to enact legislation providing three acres in the northwest corner of the National Mall as a site for the Memorial. It was dedicated on Nov. 13, 1982.

If the stigma is still strong then you can thank reporters for feeding it all these years.
This came out in 2009.
Some military commanders still stuck on stupid when it comes to PTSD

"Our goal is to eradicate the stigma," he said. "We're not there yet."

Encouraging more soldiers to seek help, and training leaders to spot signs of trouble, have taken on new urgency since the fatal shooting last Monday of five U.S. service members at a counseling center at Baghdad's Camp Liberty.

Army Sgt. John M. Russell has been charged with five counts of murder. He was finishing his third tour in Iraq and had been ordered to seek counseling at the center, the Army said.

Sergeants on their third or fourth assignments to Iraq or Afghanistan are more than twice as likely to suffer mental health problems as those on their first assignment to a combat zone, according an Army study last year.

You can also thank them for letting military leaders get away with claims without being challenged like the one General Ray Odierno made back in 2014,
"First, inherently what we do is stressful. Why do I think some people are able to deal with stress differently than others? There are a lot of different factors. Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations.

But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people.

This pathetic attitude was carried over as the public was finally made aware of what was going on in Warrior Transition Units and those seeking help faced the ultimate betrayal.

Guess Odierno didn't remember Ty Carter or the Medal of Honor he had around his neck after he not only showed "intestinal fortitude" in combat but then had to show it even more with his battle to heal PTSD to the point where he went on a mission to have the "D" dropped from the term to help fight the stigma being fed by the military all these years after Vietnam Veterans fought to have it treated.
In the battle that earned him the nation's highest military honor, an outpost in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province was surrounded by almost 300 insurgents who opened fire with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades the morning of Oct. 3, 2009. Fifty-three Americans were stationed there; eight were killed in battle, and 25 were wounded, including Carter, who suffered hearing loss, shrapnel injuries and a concussion.

Guess he forgot about Dakota Meyer and all the others over all these years coming out also with the Medal of Honor on their necks and trying to save lives proving that having PTSD was nothing to be ashamed of.

Guess he forgot about the Generals coming out admitting they struggled with PTSD and speaking up for soldiers with their own battles to heal and prove that it was ok to talk about PTSD.

The stigma of PTSD is alive because far too many people want it that way. If everyone understood what it was and how long it has been going on, then they'd all be fighting the right battles toward healing. But hey, why bother to point out that PTSD isn't just about veterans but because of them, civilians have treatment to recover from traumatic events as well?

UPDATE Example of Crisis Intervention teams and what they do.
Girl's police call exposes trail of death: 7 killed in 4 Missouri homes

Classes for the district's 1,000 students are in session Friday, in part to give them a sense of normalcy, he said.

"We do have counselors available, and other offers from other districts to help out. As a small town, we all cry together. My principals are all assessing the situation now, and we will make a determination on what to do next," Dill said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.