Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A misguided mindset about PTSD

You probably shouldn't turn to a blog about national security for good information about PTSD. But when Foreign Policy's "Best Defense" blog popped up in my PTSD news alert this morning, I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

Hoo boy.

In discussing the epidemic of veteran suicides, guest author Blake Hall repeats these so-called "valid questions" that a military commander asked him:

"How much of that is self-selection? Were these vets already struggling with problems before the military? Were they already pre-disposed to engage in high-risk activity? How many of them fought in combat?"

In other words, let's distance ourselves as much as possible from any culpability, because the best way to manage these suicides is through minimizing the people who took their own lives.

Then Hall starts talking about a fellow soldier who served under him, and who obviously has PTSD:

"... PTSD, a term I hate, for PTSD is a disease that every veteran suffers from to some degree or another."

What? Really?

Okay, Hall does redeem himself somewhat with this statement:

"We soldiers have been conditioned to never, ever admit we are hurt or suffering. But dealing with the aftermath of war, when you are no longer surrounded by the men who fought with you, when you are no longer working for a chain of command that can give you feedback from a position of authority, when you are alone -- is a battle that far too many of us lose."

...but for this most part, this article isn't helping anyone.

Read it if you feel like it:

What every American needs to know

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