Sunday, June 17, 2018

PTSD Got a new name?

What drives the stigma is not the "D"
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 17, 2018

This morning on PTSD Patrol there is a special video on how some want to change the term of PTSD to PTS, as if that one little letter is keeping you from asking for help. 

Yep, they think that you are more afraid of the letter than anything else you faced off with that caused PTSD in the first place.

Will Google Learn that PTSD Got A New Name? by Laura Rittenhouse on Forbes June of last year. This is what she wrote.
On the subway recently, I complained about the MTA’s lousy service to the man sitting next to me. Every day, I said, there are more delays, route changes, and crowded cars. He agreed. Then I continued, “Of course there are worse things in life than subway disruptions.” He agreed.

He told me his brother-in-law, who was a veteran, had struggled with “PTSD” for two years, since returning from Afghanistan. Last week, he said, this man killed himself. “He took a gun to his head…”

“I’m so sorry,” I exclaimed. We sat and shared silence. I asked him, “Do you know that PTSD is now PTS for ‘post traumatic stress’? The “D” for “Disorder” was dropped.” He did not know. In fact, lots of folks, and Google, still don’t know this. I googled PTS and all I got was PTSD. Here is why it’s important to drop the D for "Disorder"

For some strange reason, as she wrote, she "broke the "silence" correcting him instead of comforting him. 

Aside from this guy pouring his heart out to this stranger on the subway and then getting smacked down with a correction, instead of showing empathy, she got it wrong. Imagine him sharing that kind of heartache with a stranger and then hearing a lesson on a letter!

Sure there are some folks pushing to drop the "D" but none of them really understand what the term means. If they think that one letter is feeding the stigma, perhaps they should consider what they are adding to it instead.

And then in the article she quoted George Carlin. It seems as if it has become her mission to make sure people stop using the D! She gave the same lesson to a waiter. After all, so many think it is adding to the stigma. Ya, I know, smacked me in the head too!

Rittenhouse ended with this thought.
Removing the stigma of “D” shows veterans that we support their physical, psychological and spiritual healing. It builds empathy and can transform lives.
Is she an expert on this? Nope! This is her bio.
I founded Rittenhouse Rankings Inc. after leaving Lehman Brothers in the '90s. I am the author of "Investing Between the Lines: How to Make Smarter Decisions by Decoding CEO Communications" and have been a featured author at the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. My annual CEO Candor Surveys report on companies that excel in Candor and those that do not.
See, the thing is, they have been changing the name for decades, and that has not done much good, as we're seen by the results. We have also been seeing people running around the country talking about things they learned online. Most of the time their vast information comes from millions of keystrokes on Facebook with other experts sharing what they also assumed was true.

Rittenhouse is not alone. If you Google PTS you get "About 142,000,000 results (0.58 seconds)" with everything from Physical Therapy Specialist, Precision Test Solutions and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary established way back in 1794!

Google PTSD and you get PTSD and "About 37,700,000 results (0.43 seconds)"

I am offended by her being offended with the "D" after Vietnam veterans came back and fought for all the research done on what war did to those we sent, thus reaching out to every human who ever survived traumatic events. 

So let us take a look at what the "D" actually means.
Definition of disorder transitive verb
1 : to disturb the order of
2 : to disturb the regular or normal functions of
Normal is not having something put your life in danger. Combat puts your life in danger. Others are willing to risk their own lives to save someone else. You know, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders. Some of it even do it for free while in between their regular jobs and taking care of their own families.

My life had been in danger many times since childhood. I can tell you first hand there is nothing normal about any of this.

Now, we should also look at what "disturb" means. I am not taking about the great band Disturbed, but the word itself.
Definition of disturb transitive verb 1 a : to interfere with : interrupt disturbing the flow of traffic b : to alter the position or arrangement of the items on her desk had been disturbed c : to upset the natural and especially the ecological balance or relations of wetlands disturbed by development 2 a : to destroy the tranquility or composure of
But as with everything else, things can get put back into order, even if it is not the same order it was at the beginning.

The results of all the BS about the letter "D" has prevented the one thing veterans, and all others, need to hear. The "D" also means to move forward! You know, as in the "D" on your shifter letting you get from one place where you do not want to be to get to where you do want to get to.

No one can control how other people drive their vehicles but we do choose how we drive our own. In this case, that vehicle is your body.

We need to stop going in reverse and letting people put up road blocks deconstructing terms they do not understand when there are lives on the line, heartaches happening to more and more survivors because they never heard the news that they are not stuck where they are.

When they need real facts that will change the conversation, they have been forced into silence by people doing a hell of a lot of talking about things they do not understand.

Getting back to the band Disturbed, this is one of my favorite videos. The Sound Of Silence!


Fools, said I, you do not know 
Silence like a cancer grows 
Hear my words that I might teach you 
Take my arms that I might reach youBut my words, like silent raindrops fell 
And echoed in the wells of silence
Take a sledgehammer and break the silence! Understand that PTSD hit you and that you are not a victim, but a survivor. You beat it before and can do it again.

Today on PTSD Patrol we're talking about this and how some want to trivialize the term, as if it did not matter at all. They want to blame something they do not understand. If they would stop and think about what would really get rid of the stigma, then they'd be doing something worthwhile.

Guess it is just so much easier to say what they think instead of thinking about what they need to learn.

Go to PTSD Patrol and see what a difference can be made when we change the conversation from a knowledge based on assumptions into something empowering! 

UPDATE
Happy Father's Day Gunny!
Well the midnight headlights blind you on a rainy night
Steep grade up ahead, slow me down, makin' no time,
But I got to keep rollin'
Those windshield wipers slappin' out a tempo,
Keepin' perfect rhythm with the song on the radio,
But I got to keep rollin'
Ooh, I'm drivin' my life away, lookin' for a better way for me
Ooh, I'm drivin' my life away, lookin' for a sunny day