June 8, 2016
War Wounds That Time Alone Can’t Heal, New York Times article by Jane Brody missed a lot of what should have been in this. For starters, there are few remaining serious reporters using "22 a day" when discussing suicides tied to military service.
After all, since they are more than "just a number" to be repeated, their lives actually meant something to the family members and friends they left behind wondering so many questions that will never be answered. Anytime I read that number quoted, I take the rest of the article less seriously.
The problem is, too many may in fact take it as fact. Especially this part.
Father Thomas Keating, a founding member of Contemplative Outreach, says in the film, “Antidepressants don’t reach the depth of what these men are feeling,” that they did something terribly wrong and don’t know if they can be forgiven.That followed a claim that "moral injury is not yet a recognized psychiatric diagnosis" but is has been for a very long time and Dr. Jonathan Shay put a spotlight on it when he wrote Achilles in Vietnam way back in 1995.
An original and groundbreaking book that examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorderPlus there is the fact that many groups have been dedicated to treating this part of PTSD for almost four decades.
In this strikingly original and groundbreaking book, Dr. Shay examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the Iliad was written twenty-seven centuries ago it has much to teach about combat trauma, as do the more recent, compelling voices and experiences of Vietnam vets.
The article went on to point to what veterans did wrong preventing them from seeking help. OK, right and no clue where that came from. They do not seek help because no one told them all the things they need to know beginning with what PTSD and why they have it topped off with the least talked about thing of all and that is they can heal.
There is what they think they did wrong and what they actually may have done wrong. Amazing how the mind works trying to sort things out when emotions get stuff jumbled up and twisted around so they actually think it was wrong when the truth is, it was all they could actually do at the time.
What was learned over 40 years ago is that the mind, body and spirit have to be treated since every part of the veteran is being slammed by PTSD. It lives in the emotional part of the brain and spreads out from there so if they miss that crucial part, healing does not happen but medications numb them to the point where they just do not want to feel anything. How is that healing them?
If they are not treated in the place where PTSD lives, they will not live better lives but they will exist until the day comes when they do not want to spend one more day hoping it will be better than the last day was.
There is so much bullshit out there veterans have no clue where to turn and when they finally reach the point when they figure out they will not just get over it, they turn to the wrong people and end up losing hope.
Too many folks think they can just pluck out some nonsense out of the air and walk away patting themselves on the back as if they actually did something, but for other folks living with this, it is not something we can ever walk away from. We live with it. It is our life on the line along with everyone we care about.
So please go on thinking that you can give a veteran a service dog and everything will be ok even though he may not be able to feed himself. Go on and take them on a sporting trips so they can spend the day making you feel good about giving them a nice day out and then they go home to be alone with the same problems they had the night before. Keep complaining about the VA the same way we have been complaining for decades because nothing has changed.
Get upset and then believe you made a a difference because what you leave behind is more heartache because the politicians you listened to just fed you another load of crap with the same worn out speeches they gave when they first got into office.
Write your stupid articles quoting something that was never true and had you actually read the report you would have known the truth. It is only 59 pages long but too long for anyone playing tourist in our world.
Where are all these folks when families are freaking out because someone they love survived combat but is on the brink of being buried here at home and they do not have a clue what to do or how to help? Where are you when there is a veteran in crisis and they need someone to talk to? What are you going to do? Look up a phone number online they could have found all by themselves? Or will you know what to say or even be able to just listen to them?
We cannot walk away. If we do, then we are walking away from veterans who only want to heal from where we sent them.
So, no, time alone cannot heal this wound especially when it was not time well spent. Had time been spent actually learning any of this, then maybe there would be more veterans alive this year.
As for PTSD Awareness Month, that started in 2010 when the problem was so bad congress pushed for it. The same year that limited data from just 21 states was collected and put into a report in 2012. Too bad they missed reporting going on all over the country that veterans commit suicide double the civilian rate, most over the age of 50 and that there are over 41,000 Americans a year killing themselves leaving over 70 veterans dying by their own hand everyday. After all, it is just too damn easy to reduce them all down to a number that is easy to remember.