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PTSD just an excuse?

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Showing 51-75 of 429 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 1:54:37 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Removing my tattoo would hurt a lot, Smallchief, but you've got great legs and it would doubtless be worth it to see them.

But I digress...............

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 2:02:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 4:37:54 PM PDT
<PTSD just an excuse?>

From a basic training PsyOps perspective, the greatest hurdle in training is to output a human that will kill. Man (normative man) is unable to overcome the avoidance of killing and enemy empathy. Every basic training graduate is an inherent unknown the first time in the face of an enemy. No discernible bravery or patriotism pattern correlates with the individual battlefield response. This is the reason for dehumanizing the civilian to a more primeval mental state. Mental conditioning to blindly follow combat orders is a secondary survival objective.

The Pentateuch of the Bible and Psalms are full of direct PTSD inference and practical solutions. Israelites returning from battle were 'unclean' by law. They had to be purified by a Temple priest managed process, to burn their clothes, to wash, to seek forgiveness, mourn, provide the 'sin' offering, and importantly remain in `unclean' isolation 7 days as an operating unit after a battle and before returning to wives and society.

The Bible is the only ancient reference that I know of that reveals a mental decompression process from battle horror. The Israeli military still applies the law. For the believer, it seems to work to this day to some variable degree. Can a human mind alone accomplish the release and remain notionally capable of re-entering peaceful society? It seems that it doesn't work for everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 3:15:47 PM PDT
larry cooke says:
Robert Johnston,
Sir, you are right on target. The military and basic training creates an individual that wil go to any length to accomplish an objective. They will do things that they would not have done before going into war. It especially happens when one of their friends gets killed and will do things and escalate the risk to themselves to avenge the wrong they feel. It is almost a dissasociative response where one acts but feels no fear.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 3:43:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 4:00:13 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
robert johnson----Upon reflection from some of the postings I can see that the historical perspective on combat differs from today's response. We all know how Vietnam veterans were treated by "civil" society upon their return. I had several close veteran friends and noticed how they really didn't fit in to this society. Yet they inspired young men like me to try and obtain their military experience. I wonder where those citizens that "spit upon" our returning warriors are today?

Today we're seeing a similar disrespect for veterans perpetrated through official media and psycho-babble blather. If some bad thing is reported on on the battlefront, hordes of experts descend on our airwaves to condemn specific political issues. Has so many ungrateful citizens forgot 9/11 or the African embassy attacks? Every human event has its glitches and horror stories, and our media tends to dwell on that. My OP was asking is why something as common as PTSD is being promoted as genetically inherited by the VA and other institutional sources. Everybody here knows about what was dragged through the military system over Agent Orange. Are we seeing another SNAFU on proper treatment for those afflicted with PTSD?

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 3:54:20 PM PDT
I am a doctor and have trouble telling apart people who have trivial PTSD and those whose PTSD is real. If you get a limb blown off, you re entitled to disability, in my mind. It appears that guys with PTSD can game the system. I don't Know of reliable tests for an anxiety disorder that are not self reported.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 3:54:47 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
larry cooke----Again, thanks for your observations on the subject of PTSD. Are you familiar with the writings of Bruno Bettelheim on the subject of human reaction to extreme situations? Your definitions of PTSD reflect his observations on those who spent time in the German concentration camps before and during WWII. This is a lot bigger condition than I originally assumed. Several posters suggest that extreme situations may cause increased anxiety, etc. and those habitually vigilant don't relax very well when out of immediate danger.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 4:05:58 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Anyone----Of the various military branches, my friends from the Marines always seemed the most even-tempered after they were out. On the streets it seemed most homeless veterans were Army. Is it the original conditioning in training that prepares a soldier for his/her acceptance of their experience?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 4:11:06 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
I suspect you have a point, B.A. Dilger. The Marine Corps always stressed small unit tactics and training more than the Army.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 5:28:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 5:51:51 PM PDT
<B. A. Dilger says: I had several close veteran friends and noticed how they really didn't fit in to this society. My OP was asking is why something as common as PTSD is being promoted as genetically inherited by the VA and other institutional sources.>

In the Vietnam era, I was a green-behind-the-ears rear echelon gov't agency physicist working early night vision science. A typical Vietnam era day was populated by 50% uniformed military and 50% agency and industry civilians. I do not recall a single `combat' experienced rear echelon uniform in my circle. After Vietnam, I went to industry where the NV and IR technology was developed to its current state.

In looking back, I completely understand that even in the darkest times of WW2, less than 20% of the uniforms were ever rotated into frontline action. No matter, the rear still got mortared and rocketed, but it seemed a remote statistical risk to life and ignobly routine. The rear could turn frontline in a counter attack, but these are historically and extraordinarily rare in the modern era. So my non-uniform experience in `war zones' has been in no way stressful. The older I get, the less fearful I am. I've been to the current theatres in the past year and thought nothing of it.

However, after Vietnam, I did have one friend on my staff that was frontline and ruined. He was a small guy that was deployed as a tunnel rat. He contracted a parasite that could not be diagnosed and suffered gastrointestinal illness and the VA as long as he lived. He got divorced as nightmares haunted his bedroom and he supposedly very nearly killed his wife in his dream state. Later, he killed himself. He's still a young hyperactive `kid' in my memory.

Another very close friend was a uniformed rear echelon signal corps relay station engineer. His site was a mountain top defoliated over and over by orange. He died of liver cancer at 40 but his war experience was more MASH-like than mental trauma inducing. Another thought he was safe on a carrier deck and got blown up and crippled in a landing crash ... no combat disorder but a horror nonetheless. One vet wore out his draft obligation in the Navy trying to get to his ship after appendicitis grounded him in Australia followed by a ship-board broken leg accident. So out of Vietnam, I knew only one real combat veteran and nearly everyone in my circle was a `veteran'.

A genetic propensity toward PTSD is goofy science or conspiracy fodder. I recently read EB Sledge's account from the `shield wall' With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa. No human surviving what Sledge survived could NOT have PTSD. I have doubts that the VA is using anything from genetic science to preclude treatment. One has to have a sense regarding how limited genetic cause & effect really are in this time. There is zero chance that PTSD can be represented as genetic in science..

One 'combat' exception was a peer who was a SIGINT/ELINT operator and captured and tortured in the Pueblo Incident in 1968. He was haunted ... more over Bucher's fate then the RNK torture experience. He had an institutional hatred of the US Navy that precluded his working on Navy programs.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 5:41:43 PM PDT
I. Dunn says:
B. A. Dilger says:Now those that can't prove to have a predisposition for the combat-enhanced condition are denied benefits?

This does not seem to be the case. In fact last year changes were made to make it easier for vets to claim benefits.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:32:41 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
robert johnston----Thanks for your post on service-connected injuries. As I stated earlier the diagnosis of PTSD seems to have expanded beyond just a military experience. Several posters have included many life-threatening situations as causing the anxiety condition. But another poster who said they were a doctor believes diagnosis is difficult. Having been there with the VA about disability ratings I wonder, with the current overload of veterans, wonder how this is being handled.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:42:49 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
I. Dunn----"This does not seem to be the case. In fact last year changes were made to make it easier for vets to claim benefits."

Yes, I read about a lot of changes being made to VA procedures. But still there is a gap between intentions and reality. On another thread I posted that 20,000 soldiers were still waiting for their disabilities to be rated while still on active duty. The question being asked is why the "Stars and Stripes" would print the new PTSD gene alleged to have family links:

There is cause for concern if military personnel aren't being diagnosed sufficiently in the overload of cases.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 7:56:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 8:14:01 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Here's a link for veterans looking for greater access to medical benefits:

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 9:09:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 10:26:53 PM PDT
larry cooke says:
Dr. Farmer,
PTSD as noted earlier is a symptom cluster for an axiety d/o. The DSM IV-TR states that
People will present with:
1 Symptoms of intrusive memories:
2 Flashbacks, or reliving the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time
3 Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event
4 Symptoms of avoidance and emotional numbing may include:
5 Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
6 Feeling emotionally numb
7 Avoiding activities you once enjoyed
8 Hopelessness about the future
9 Memory problems
10 Trouble concentrating
11 Difficulty maintaining close relationships
12 Symptoms of anxiety and increased emotional arousal:
13 Irritability or anger
14 Overwhelming guilt or shame
15 Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or drugs.
16 Trouble sleeping
17 Being easily startled or frightened
18 Hearing or seeing things that aren't there. (flashbacks)
19 extreme escalation in behavior that is beyond what the situation calls for. (over-reacting)
It is difficult to r/o malingering. The symptoms have to have an affect on their ability to live in society. Their behavior is the true identification for PTSD or malingering. Some individuals will have a personality d/o in conjunction with PTSD. Only time can r/o the difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 10:09:45 PM PDT
larry cooke says:
A. Dilger
I am familiar with Bettelheim. PTSD is not only combat related. It can be any situation that stresses our coping skills. Each individual has their own unique response to ovewhelming incidents. I posted a later note describing common symptoms. Yes, PTSD has an anxiety quality to it that create the reaction. Thank you for your note.

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 6:36:13 PM PDT
Thank you so much for the criteria. Now we know what we are talking about. My main feeling is that none of these is objective, like an elevated temperature. I think the important question is How has this disability affected your daily living? What activities can you no longer do?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:18:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 9:19:30 PM PDT
larry cooke says:
Good question. Evaluations are based on mostly subjective perception. It is an instinct that you develop. As I posted earlier it is a symptom cluster. It is not as concrete as a b/p. temp. or skin color. It is not only what the patient tells you but what you see and others describe. It affects daily life in varying degrees. The most comment is "I can't live in my own skin", "I can no longer live in society" so they create their own safe ground. Some will live in the desert, some will live in Alsaka, working sporatically. Some isolate, can not leave their home, have vivid nightmares (flashbacks or fugue states) that can cause problem with relationships. Some will have anger issues and some can not sustain a relationship. Predominant symptoms are depression, isolation and substance abuse.
Those coming back now have a different view point. If you look at the development of combat, WWI the enemy was at a distance, WWII the closeness of the enemy got closer and had more physical contact. As wars have progressed the enemy gets closer and now they are all around you and you have no clue where they enemy. There are approx. 15 SWAT like entries daily. Think what that would do to your anxiety level. It is not paranoia b/c paranoia is an unrealistic view. The process of coming home is about two weeks and they enter society still with the crisis response.
To answer your question about what they can no longer do some have trouble holding down consistant work, maintaining a relationship, and tolerating any confrontation. They then live alone or are homeless or in jail because of their explosive behavior.
I hope this was helpful. Also try researching There are two ways of treating PTSD. One is trauma focused and the other cognitive education.
With respect,

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 11:32:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 11:33:39 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
larry cooke----Looked over your DSM-IV criteria for anxiety attacks and found a couple that might fit me. Don't think I can apply it to me though. We are not isolated fragments of human flesh but exist in a "social" medium. But what has society done to make returning vets or trauma victims welcome to its esteemed graces? When society itself is disfunctional and laced with hypocrisy and lies how can an individual affect integration and self-improvement? The myth of the crazy vet seems perpetrated after every recent conflict by those that distort events for their own gain. Those entrusted with the nation's defense are then given over to misrepresentations by the media or rumor mill. It seems the part of our concerned citizens not to accept its warriors with unsuspicion, but with some mistrust. And a refusal to pay for their rehabilitation.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 12:44:30 AM PDT
larry cooke says:
A. Dilger
Your are very articulate and pretty perceptive. When one reads the criteria everyone can relate to some aspects of the symptoms. When one comes back from combat or a traumatic event those who "dis" you are those who have never experienced what you have and are ignorant. What you experienced is real and painful. I have had vets. choose to return/re-enlist just to get into an environment where they know how to act. With "vicarious traumatization (learned from a parent with PTSD) through parenting reactions. The learning included "do it my way and do it the right the first time", extreme anger escalation and obedience w/o question, compliance w/o question. The things learned in training were what allowed some to survive. . If you look at the training in boot camp it has the same aspects. Boot camp creates hypervigilence, dealing with sleep deprevation and depending on your fellow soldiers for safety. When you come home you do not have the "I got your back" so you see it as being alone.
People who encourage others or demand that their rights be protected are the same ones who are the first to ridicule what you did it. It was not something you wanted but you got it and you can't get rid of it.
Obama regime has recently started to dismiss PTSD claims b/c of the expense. It is not uncommon to be denied atleast twice. At this time it can take up to 18 mons or longer to get a reconsideration.
I hope this was helpful.
With deep respect,

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 1:53:27 AM PDT
G. Cates says:
I spent a year in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and have been in Afghanistan for almost two years now.
Thank you Gates.

Good job too.

[[It all boils down to the individual.]]

yes, and it all boils down to chemical reactions in our brains. (i don't means drugs.) I never had anxiety but my sister has nearly been disabled by it since she was 16. They only way she could deal with things was by taking an ativan. Of course , 30 years later, she is seriously addicted to it.

There is so much left that we don't know about the mind. We are still quite clueless.

Here is something new that might help PTSD.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 1:54:25 AM PDT
G. Cates says:
I'm still in Afghanistan. :) It's 4:17AM here and I'm rather bored.
I support the military, but I would like to see you guys home though.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 2:04:29 AM PDT
patrick says:
looks like the 2nd term is almost a lock, and the presidential debates are going to be valium pills as well...they werent that great Obama vs McCain..
McCain should had positioned himself as a wise grandfather type instead of trying to act younger. He looked like a fool when he kept refocusing his eyes during the debates.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 2:08:28 AM PDT
larry cooke says:
Robert Johnston,
Sir, you are right on target. The military and basic training creates an individual that wil go to any length to accomplish an objective

we need something like a reverse basic training before discharging soldiers. I know this is not a new idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 2:16:15 AM PDT
robert johnston says: He got divorced as nightmares haunted his bedroom.
It is important to get someone having nightmares to sleep through the waking point. The emotions of the dream are brought into the waking world and cause a lot of problems such as you noted. One option is Ambian CR. But it is not an end all to be all. Getting the person to sleep through the waking point can go a long way in providing relief.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 7:52:04 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 24, 2012 7:56:11 AM PDT]
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