Showing posts with label journalists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journalists. Show all posts

Friday, January 27, 2023

Journalists vulnerable to trauma too!

If you are a reporter, this is why the main character of the Ministers Of The Mystery series was a reporter! This job you do is one of the lesser talked about causes of #PTSD and I thought it was time to remind people that reporters are only human too! The Scribe Of Salem is the first part and the eBook is free until the end of January. I hope you find some comfort in it! 

I covered murder-suicides, and learned how journalists were vulnerable to trauma

The Conversation
Norma Hilton
Global Journalism Fellow, University of Toronto
Published: January 25, 2023
The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma looked at the mental health of more than 1,200 journalists in late 2021. More than two-thirds suffered from anxiety, 46 per cent reported depression, and 15 per cent said they had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the past four years.
It never really dawned on me how vulnerable journalists were to trauma until I took a job as an investigative reporter. I spent most of 2021 and 2022 verifying, analyzing and writing stories about murder-suicides.

Every morning, I would make myself a cup of coffee in my New York City apartment, then sit down at my desk to pore over cases of murder-suicides — a total of 1,500 a year in the United States at the time.

I was consumed by my work. I was going through every news story about a specific murder-suicide, checking the accuracy of facts like the spelling of names, ages of the perpetrators and their victims and details of where the events occurred and how the murder-suicides were carried out. "" In one case, I spent a month working out the number of children killed by their parents in various parts of the country. When relatives I hadn’t seen in four years came to visit, I spent most of their trip elsewhere, interviewing with experts on gun and domestic violence.
read more here

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Reports spreading bird flu

UPDATE:LOL headline from WCPO on 1/26/2019

"Fact check: Viral misinformation about Covington Catholic, Nathan Phillips infects the internet"

Tweets beat the press

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 22, 2019

When reporters put together their "news" reports using social media as their "source" they are spreading bird flu!
There was a lot of hype about the Native American standoff with a group of students in Washington. Every news source jumped on the story, but it turns out the origins of the story was on Twitter.

Twitter suspends account behind video of Native American’s standoff with teens

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and supposedly belonged to a California schoolteacher named Talia — but the actual owner was by a blogger based in Brazil, according to CNN Business.
What followed was the school had to close, the student and his family were threatened. All of this because of a Tweet?

The full video received over 800,000 views by the time I saw it yesterday. Now it is over 1,775,000. It shows what else went on. Countless other videos have been put online from different angles.

The thing is, how did this end up being viral "news" when it really did not happen?

It is because somehow, someone decided that Tweets beat the press doing their jobs.

We saw it when a soldier claimed he saved a man's life with a pen after an accident. Turns out that was not true, and the Army had to retract the story.

We saw it when the couple claimed that a homeless veteran helped the female with $20 dollars and ended up collecting over 400,000 from GoFundMe, which had to be given back. It was all a scam.

We saw it when a disabled veteran set out to collect money to pay for Trump's wall. Turns out that you cannot tell the government what to do with money you donate to the government. Still he raised over $16 million before people started to catch on and now with over $20 million, he is changing his plans...with another campaign.

We saw it when the press jumped all over the report that said there were 22 veterans a day committing suicide. Trouble on that one too. It turns out that report was limited data from just 21 states. 

Over and over again, someone puts something up online and the press just uses it without knowing what it true and what is an ear worm!

And just who is going to make sure they are held to account for themselves? Their editors? Their Board of Directors? Their Advertisers? The Public?

“No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.” ― Thomas Jefferson

But it seems as if they are a little too free!!!!

The 5 Principles of Ethical Journalism

1. Truth and AccuracyJournalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. We should always strive for accuracy, give all the relevant facts we have and ensure that they have been checked. When we cannot corroborate information we should say so.

2. IndependenceJournalists must be independent voices; we should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural. We should declare to our editors – or the audience – any of our political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.

3. Fairness and ImpartialityMost stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context. Objectivity is not always possible, and may not always be desirable (in the face for example of brutality or inhumanity), but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.

4. HumanityJournalists should do no harm. What we publish or broadcast may be hurtful, but we should be aware of the impact of our words and images on the lives of others.

5. AccountabilityA sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold ourselves accountable. When we commit errors we must correct them and our expressions of regret must be sincere not cynical. We listen to the concerns of our audience. We may not change what readers write or say but we will always provide remedies when we are unfair.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Military writer, 53, hanged herself beside love letter to her husband

Military writer, 53, hanged herself beside love letter to her husband as memory loss and ME began to stop her ability to pen articles
Daily Mail
31 August 2018
Kate Perrett-Clarke's symptoms meant she was overwhelmed by fatigue
Mother of three compared getting around her home to 'running a marathon'
Writer was described as a 'joy and a whirlwind' by family and friends
A talented writer and mother of three hanged herself after she began losing her ability to pen magazine articles due to bouts of illness.
Kate Perrett-Clarke, 53, had forged a successful career in writing academic pieces for military publications but her medical conditions, which included memory loss and the chronic fatigue syndrome ME left her barely able to draw a clock face.

This inability to continue to pursue her passion led her to take her own life.

She was found by her husband Malcolm last March, next to her was a love letter she had previously penned to him before he had travelled to Scotland for six weeks.
read more here

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dean Yates Battle With PTSD After Reporting on War

The Road to Ward 17: My Battle With PTSD
By Dean Yates
Filed Nov. 15, 2016
HOMELAND: In the study at my home in Evandale, Tasmania. In the island’s rainforest, touching the ancient trees and gazing at the misty mountains, I thought I’d found the peace I was looking for. REUTERS/Cameron Richardson
Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t just for soldiers. After years of covering war and tragedy in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for Reuters, it happened to me.

EVANDALE, Australia – When the psychiatrist diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder at the end of our first session early this March, I finally had to accept I was unwell. The flashbacks, the anxiety, my emotional numbness and poor sleep had long worried my wife, Mary. I had played down the symptoms, denied I had a problem. Five months later I’d be in a psychiatric ward.

I covered some big stories as a Reuters journalist. The Bali nightclub bombings in 2002, the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia’s Aceh province in 2004, three stints in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 and then a posting to Baghdad as bureau chief from 2007 to 2008. From 2010 to 2012, based in Singapore, I oversaw coverage of the top stories across Asia each day.

Then, after 20 years working in Asia and the Middle East, it was time to settle down. I moved my family in early 2013 to the Tasmanian village of Evandale, population 1,000, to edit stories for Reuters from home.

Rather than relaxing in Tasmania, the beautiful Australian island where my wife was born, I unravelled.

In a letter that was painful for her to write, Mary, a former journalist, outlined her concerns to the psychiatrist ahead of that first session: “When we came home to Tasmania three years ago it was a real ‘tree change’ for Dean and he spent much more time with the family. Very soon I began to notice changes – a loud-noise sensitivity, a quick temper, irritability, impatience, and an atmosphere of what seemed like misery that sat like a pall over the household,” Mary wrote.
read more here
Linked from PBS

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“Task Force Violent: The unforgiven” Earns Journalism Award

Andrew deGrandpre
(Photo: Alan Lessig/Staff)
Military Times earns journalism honors for investigative series on betrayed Marines
Military Times
May 9, 2016

For his powerful series exposing how a team of elite combat Marines were wrongfully accused of war crimes and the truth buried for political expediency, Military Times senior editor Andrew deGrandpre has been awarded the prestigious Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation's Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.

“Task Force Violent: The unforgiven,” a five-part series, details the ordeal endured by the special operations Marines of Fox Company who bravely fought to survive an enemy suicide attack and ambush only to be accused of recklessly gunning down innocent Afghan civilians — and then betrayed by their superiors and the service they loved.
read more here

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Only The Dead See End Of War--Michael Ware's Darkest Moment

Operation Iraqi Truth: New Documentary Reveals
Why War Is Hell
Michael Ware spent seven harrowing years covering the Iraq War – and he has the scars to prove it
Rolling Stone
By Reeves Wiedeman
March 25, 2016
By 2009, however, another IED attack debilitated Ware's senses of smell and taste – "I get too salty, too sweet, and that's about it" – and he soon realized he had to get out. He moved to Brooklyn, but found himself unable to walk to the corner store, much less work on the book he had a contract to write. He took assignments from CNN that sent him back to conflict zones. Eventually, he went on leave from CNN, citing post-traumatic stress disorder, and never went back. "That's when I started watching the tapes," Ware says.
read more here
Only the Dead See the End of War
His footage captures the violence, fear and confusion that defined the Iraq War, as well as his self-described “darkest moment” of the war, which haunted him long after he left the country.
Directed by two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag in collaboration with Australian journalist Michael Ware, Only the Dead See the End of War examines the Iraq War and its moral consequences through the story of the rise and fall of jihadi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the progenitor of ISIS. A harrowing and graphic account from both sides of the war zone, as well as an illuminating window into the origins of a modern terrorist organization, the film is told through visceral hand-held video footage culled from hundreds of hours that Ware shot while reporting over the course of the war. This unique, on-the-ground view is combined with eye-opening narration for a frank, unsparing look at the Iraq War unlike any before.

Arriving in Baghdad in 2003 as a novice reporter, Michael Ware was initially on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops, as well as a myriad of demons -- the after-effects of witnessing seemingly endless, horrific violence.
read more here

Only The Dead

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Marine Veteran Starts "The War Horse" News Site

Veteran Launches 'The War Horse' to Tell Stories of Iraq, Afghanistan
by Hope Hodge Seck
Jan 03, 2016
"I think the one common thread that I bring to the table is I know the fear that exists [among troops] when it comes to approaching journalists. Having people who are personally involved in these different worlds is going to open up the possibilities."
Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran-turned-journalist, is preparing for the launch of
The War Horse, an independent journalism site dedicated to chronicling the effects
of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy Cindy Schepers)
One Marine veteran is on a mission to make sure the war stories of his generation are told -- and told right.

Thomas Brennan, a medically retired staff sergeant-turned-journalist, is preparing for the launch of The War Horse, an independent journalism site dedicated to chronicling the effects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The website brands itself "the authority on the post-9/11 conflict and the ONLY digital magazine profiling all men, women, interpreters, and dogs killed since 9/11."The idea for the site came to Brennan while he was working as a staff writer for The Daily News out of Jacksonville, North Carolina, a town adjacent to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

"It all started with me getting aggravated that stories weren't being gathered about World War II vets and World War I vets and we've waited so long to tell the stories of years prior," Brennan, 30, told "War has been a constant in human existence since the very beginning, and I just think it's about time that we really report on it and understand and conceptualize everything that war is."

Brennan is in a unique position to tell those stories, as someone who has experienced the realities of war as a Marine and who has reported on the military as a civilian. Brennan served nearly nine years in the Marine Corps as an infantry assaultman before retiring in 2012.

On Nov. 1, 2010, Brennan was wounded on a deployment to Afghanistan when a rocket-propelled grenade detonated next to him. He was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, and has since also documented his struggles with post-traumatic stress.
read more here

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tina Fey Reporting from Afghanistan?

Tina Fey heads to Afghanistan in first ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ trailer (Video)
The Celebrity Cafe
Daniel S Levine
December 17, 2015

Tina Fey has a new movie opening this weekend and you might see the trailer for her next one ahead of it.

Fey stars in the new Paramount comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which was directed by Crazy Stupid Love team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. It is based on Kim Baker’s 2012 memoir The Taliban Shuffle, about her days as a photojournalist during the war in Afghanistan.
read more here
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Trailer (2016) - Paramount Pictures

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Topsfield Massachusetts Remembers Coast Guard on Veterans Day and PTSD

Topsfield Veterans Day service Saturday, Nov. 7
Posted Nov. 6, 2015

Veterans Day Services in Topsfield will be held on Saturday, November 7 at 10 a.m. on the Veterans’ Memorial Green in Topsfield.

According to Richard Cullinan, Topsfield Veterans Officer, the new Memorial flagpole will be dedicated, and the 225th anniversary of the US Coast Guard will be observed during the ceremony.

The Paul Revere Bell, one of the few left in the country, will be rung to honor deceased veterans.

Cullinan adds, “The service of today’s Veterans is to remember and honor past Veterans, and to teach our students about Veterans’ service and sacrifice for our communities.”

Iraq War veteran and Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) will bring a first-of-its-kind veterans event to Massachusetts on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th. Inspired by acclaimed author and director Sebastian Junger, the event is a community forum aiming to establish greater understanding between local veterans and the friends and neighbors they served.
In a June 2015 Vanity Fair article, Sebastian Junger, highlighted the challenges of post-traumatic stress among veterans. He suggested “making every town and city hall in the country available to veterans who want to speak publicly about the war.” Holding these community forums would “return the experience of war to our entire nation, rather than just leaving it to the people who fought.”
read more here

Sebastian Junger: Why veterans miss war

Monday, October 26, 2015

Michael Ware Found Healing PTSD in Writing Only the Dead

Michael Ware, war correspondent, relives his Iraq War hell in Only the Dead
The Sydney Morning Herald
Karl Quinn
National Film Editor
October 26, 2015
"One night in Brooklyn I woke and heard somebody screaming blue murder, and suddenly realised it was me." Michael Ware
Only the Dead documents the experiences of Australian war correspondent Michael Ware in the Iraq War, which he covered for almost seven years. Photo: Transmission
As Baghdad bureau chief for CNN, Michael Ware was living a life almost unimaginable to a working-class boy from the suburbs of Brisbane, or to the lawyer he later became before finding his way into journalism.

"I had a private army of 50 people," he says over a few drinks in the bar of the Cinema Nova, where his documentary Only the Dead will screen from Thursday. "I had checkpoints set up at either end of the street because we always knew the car bomb was coming – what we wanted was stand-off, so that when it did come it wouldn't be able to get too close."
"I turned to all sorts of things to try to find some kind of relief. I just wanted the pain to stop, anything that would give me some pause from the demons that surrounded me constantly."

For years, he couldn't sleep, and even when he could it was no better. "One night in Brooklyn I woke and heard somebody screaming blue murder, and suddenly realised it was me." While wrestling with his demons, he had torn his shoulder. "For a period of time there, you had to be very careful how you woke me," he says.

He did the equivalent of seven tours of duty in Iraq – first as a print correspondent for Time, then as the man trying to help American audiences make sense of the war on television every night. He finally left in 2009, but only began to emerge from the darkness in 2012, when he penned a piece for Newsweek after two former colleagues were killed.

A month later, he wrote a piece on post traumatic stress disorder. "It begins: 'I should be dead; I wish I was'," he recalls. It was a major turning point, he says now. In writing it, he rediscovered his will to stay alive.
read more here

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

UCF Community in shock after Steven Sotloff beheaded

Purported killing of journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS shocks UCF community
Orlando Sentinel
By Gal Tziperman Lotan
September 2, 2014

A video purporting to show the killing of journalist and former UCF student Steven Sotloff by militants was released today, sparking outrage and calls for more action against his killers.

The White House is working to determine the authenticity of the video, which shows an Islamic State militant beheading a man he identifies as Sotloff, 31, and threatening British hostage David Haines, according to the SITE Intelligence Group monitoring service.

"I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State," the man said, according to SITE. "So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people."

If the video is legitimate, Sotloff would be the second American journalist killed by the Islamic State militant group known as ISIS in two weeks. Reporter James Foley was beheaded in a video released Aug. 19.

Sotloff attended UCF between 2002 and 2004, took a few journalism classes, and wrote for the student paper, the Central Florida Future. He left during his junior year.
read more here

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ISIS Video Shows Journalist Beheaded in Iraq

BREAKING: US officials confirm video released by ISIS shows gruesome beheading of US journalist James Foley
Aug 20th 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A grisly video released Tuesday shows Islamic State militants beheading American journalist James Foley, U.S. officials said, in what the extremists called retribution for recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. The militants threatened to kill another captive they also identified as an American journalist.

Separately, Foley's family confirmed his death in a statement posted on a Facebook page that was created to rally support for his release, saying they "have never been prouder of him."

"He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people," said the statement, which was attributed to Foley's mother, Diane Foley. She implored the militants to spare the lives of other hostages. "Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."

The statement was posted on a Facebook page called "Find James Foley," which his family has used a number of times since his November 2012 disappearance. Earlier Tuesday, a red-eyed but gracious Diane Foley said the family would not have an immediate statement when approached at her home by an Associated Press reporter. A priest arrived at the home several hours later.
read more here

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

War correspondent Michael Hastings had PTSD

This would have been a better title "War correspondent Michael Hastings had PTSD" instead of ending it with "used drugs" because while that may get more attention it is a disservice to veterans with PTSD using medical marijuana topped off with the fact it was not part of the accident that claimed his life. Shame on CNN!
Journalist Michael Hastings had PTSD, used drugs
By Matt Smith
August 20, 2013

Michael Hastings likely died instantly, autopsy report states
Drugs residues in his system don't appear to have played a role in the crash
Hastings was known for a Rolling Stone piece that got a top general sacked
He had been using medical marijuana to treat PTSD, the report states

(CNN) -- War correspondent Michael Hastings may have been using marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder before his death, but drug use doesn't appear to have been a factor in his fatal car accident, according to his autopsy report.

Hastings, 33, likely died within seconds when his Mercedes-Benz slammed into a tree in Los Angeles on June 18, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office found. He was best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, that led to McChrystal being sacked.
read more here

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Americans hold military in highest esteem, journalists not so much

This is something that you have to read because it points out the total disconnect of the media and who Americans really value.

Survey: Americans hold military in highest esteem, clergy in middle, lawyers at bottom.
Military ranked the highest with 78 percent perceiving those in the armed services contributed a lot to society.

That was down from 84 percent in 2009. Teachers (72 percent), doctors (66 percent), scientists (65 percent) and engineers (63 percent) rounded out the top five.
The drop in how people feel about journalists shows people don't think they really do much for society. Do you think that could be because they do so little reporting on the members of the military and our veterans? I do. I have to track news reports across the country for Wounded Times. Most of the time I am shocked to discover a news report at a local level that used to make national news. Now it is almost as if the national news forgot they were supposed to be reporting on national news stories including the troops.
The decline in public esteem for journalists was most pronounced among women. Pew found about three-in-10 women (29 percent) say journalists contribute a lot to society’s well-being, down 17 percentage points from 46 percent in 2009. Pew also found that the drop in the perceived contributions by journalists cut across all age groups, education levels and partisan politics.

Clergy are not off the hook either. Far too many of them could be doing something for the veterans coming home from combat and their families but too few care enough to help them.
The poll of about 4,000 adults by the Pew Research Center also found that just 37 percent of the general public said clergy contribute "a lot" to society's well-being.

Amazing when you consider the best way to fight PTSD is spiritually but the number of suicides, attempted suicides, divorces and suffering goes up every year. Do you think journalists and members of the clergy will change now? I doubt it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Reporter, Marine vet, Austin Tice likely in Syrian custody

Reporter, Marine vet, likely in Syrian custody
By Bethany Crudele
Staff writer
Marine Corps Times
Posted : Thursday Aug 30, 2012

LINKEDIN Freelance journalist Austin Tice is being held by the Syrian government, McClatchy Newspapers and the Washington Post said. The former Marine captain went missing in Syria as one of the few foreign reporters covering the Syrian civil war.

Former Marine and freelance journalist Austin Tice is likely being held in custody by the Syrian government, according to McClatchy Newspapers and The Washington Post.

Tice, 31, a former Marine captain who left the Corps early this year, was one of the few foreign journalists reporting about the Syrian civil war from inside the country. Friends, family and colleagues have not heard from him since Aug. 11.

Tice filed reports for various media outlets, including McClatchy, the Post and Al Jazeera English, the international television news channel.

“If he is in fact being held by the Syrian government, we would expect that he is being well cared for and that he will quickly be released,” said Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy vice president for news, in a statement posted to the McClatchy website.
read more here

Friday, December 17, 2010

When the news breaks the journalist: PTSD

When the news breaks the journalist: PTSD
By Frederik Joelving
NEW YORK | Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:08pm EST
(Reuters Health) - Chris Cramer, 62, was a fledgling war correspondent when one spring day 30 years ago he got much closer to the battle than he'd ever intended.

Just back from Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, his boss at the BBC had asked him to fly to Tehran, where militants were holding dozens of Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy.

But as he went to pick up his visa in London on April 30, 1980, he jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire: Six gunmen stormed the Iranian embassy, taking Cramer and 25 other people hostage.

"I lasted two days before I became sick -- well, I actually feigned a heart attack to get out," said Cramer, now global editor of multimedia at Reuters in New York.

While the experience left his body unscathed, his mental health was in tatters.

"I went through real anguish for a couple of years," he said. "I had flashbacks, I had extraordinary claustrophobia, which I'd never had before. For several years, I did not go to a cinema, I did not go into an elevator. If I ever went into a restaurant, I positioned myself near the door for a fast exit. For many, many months after the incident I checked under my car every morning before driving it. I was a basket case, I was a mess."

It is becoming increasingly clear that there is nothing unique about Cramer's case. In fact, a 2003 survey found, more than a quarter of war correspondents struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

That's just shy of the 30 percent of Vietnam veterans who have suffered the mental breakdown, and nearly four times higher than in the general population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And there are signs that journalists may be facing more dangers now than ever, putting both their physical and mental health at risk.

"There are a lot of undetected emotional problems in the profession," said Dr. Anthony Feinstein, a psychiatrist at the University of Toronto, Canada, and one of the first to explore the psychological toll of war reporting. "Some of the big organizations are very aware of it, but many are not."
read more here
When the news breaks the journalist: PTSD

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CBC journalist's kidnapping in Afghanistan 'happened so quickly'

CBC journalist relied on instincts to survive Afghanistan kidnapping
The Canadian Press - TORONTO
1 hour ago

TORONTO — It all happened so quickly, the big men with guns jumping out of the car, stabbing her in the shoulder and shoving her into a car.

CBC journalist Mellissa Fung had just enough time to yell out to her Afghan fixer, telling him not to call the police, but rather a CTV colleague who would know what to do.

She knew it was money they were after when they kidnapped her Oct. 12 after she had just finished interviewing Afghan refugees.

And she knew she would spiral into a depression if she thought about all the terrible things that could happen to her, so she was determinedly optimistic.

"I'm not dying here," Fung, 35, would tell herself. "Dying is not an option. Help is coming. I will get out of here one way or another."

"That's not to say that there weren't some really awful days...There were some days when I thought, 'When am I ever going to get the hell out of here?"'

She was released Saturday after being held for a month, and she spoke to the CBC on Wednesday about the experience during an hour-long interview in an undisclosed location overseas.

In the midst of her abduction she fought back and hit one of the kidnappers. They stabbed her in the shoulder, shoved her to the floor of the back seat of a car and sped off.

Held down on the floor of the car and bleeding from the stab wound on her shoulder, Fung didn't know where she was going or who was taking her there.

"That was one of the scariest moments," she said. "I didn't know what was happening
click link for more

Friday, October 19, 2007

PTSD and journlists

Online clinic to help journalists tackle post traumatic stress
March 12, 2007
A new self-assessment website has been launched to provide journalists and those who work them with a confidential tool to help them determine if they are suffering the effects of post traumatic stress. This unique web-based clinic and research facility has been designed by Dr Anthony Feinstein, the world’s foremost authority on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in journalists, and is backed by CNN.

The online clinic at is entirely independent, completely confidential and available to all media organizations and journalists around the world. The website provides a self-help resource for all news media professionals, even those who do not have access to a company-supported PTSD resource. One of the innovative aspects to this service is that journalists can use it while on assignment in zones of conflict.
click above for the rest

At least 118 journalists have been killed in Iraq while on duty, including nearly 100 Iraqis, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Yes, even journalists because they risk their lives to deliver the information about what is going on in the world. They travel to some of the most dangerous parts of the world. They travel with the men and women who fight the combat missions. They risk their lives to find out what the people are really thinking so that no one can get away with just putting spin on whatever fits their own agenda.

PTSD has different names when you look back at generations. What remains the same is that after trauma, there is stress and often illness. It doesn't matter if the report came from the ancient world or from the world today. From Egypt to India to Israel, from the US to the UK, to Canada and Australia, all humans suffer after trauma.

For a diagnosis of acute stress disorder, symptoms must persist for a minimum of two days to up to four weeks within a month of the trauma.

A person may be described as having acute stress disorder if other mental disorders or medical conditions do not provide a better explanation for the person's symptoms. If symptoms persist after a month, the diagnosis becomes post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms include:
Lack of emotional responsiveness, a sense of numbing or detachment
A reduced sense of surroundings
A sense of not being real
Depersonalization or a sense of being dissociated from self
An inability to remember parts of the trauma, "dissociative amnesia"
Increased state of anxiety and arousal such as a difficulty staying awake or falling asleep
Trouble experiencing pleasure
Repeatedly re-experiencing the event through recurring images and/or thoughts, dreams, illusions, flashbacks
Purposeful avoidance of exposure to thoughts, emotions, conversations, places or people that remind them of the trauma
Feelings of stress interfering with functioning; social and occupational skills are impaired affecting the patient's ability to function, pursue required tasks and seek treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the treatment that has met with the most success in combating ASD. It has two main components: First, it aims to change cognitions, patterns of thought surrounding the traumatic incident. Second, it tries to alter behaviors in anxiety-provoking situations.

Cognitive behavioral therapy not only ameliorates the symptoms of ASD, but also it seems to prevent people from developing post-traumatic stress disorder. The chance that a person diagnosed with acute stress disorder will develop PSTD is about 80 percent; the chance that they will develop PTSD after cognitive-behavioral therapy is only about 20 percent.

Psychological debriefing and anxiety management groups are two other types of therapy that have been examined for the treatment of ASD. Psychological debriefing involves an intense therapeutic invention immediately after the trauma, so that traumatized individuals can "talk it all out." In anxiety management groups, people share coping strategies and learn to combat stress together. However, both types of therapy have proven to be largely ineffectual for the treatment of ASD.

This is why early intervention works best. The longer they go without treatment, the deeper it cuts into them. Get them help as soon as possible but keep in mind, it is never too late to stop PTSD from getting worse.