Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Talking Out Their Rear

With apologies to Greyhair, these shrinks are so far removed from reality that most of them wouldn't recognize it if it came up and said hello. Well the going is getting tough and as usual the Bush administration is going. Going to pretend like nothing is wrong, it's all in your imagination.
Veterans Report Mental Distress: "'There is no front line in Iraq,' said Col. Charles W. Hoge of the division of psychiatry and neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the lead author of the report published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 'Individuals who are patrolling the streets will be at higher risk of being involved in combat, but folks who are largely located at one base are also targets of mortar and artillery, and everyone in convoys is a target.'

Hoge said it is more important to treat the problems that troops report and to evaluate how they function than to argue about whether there were clear-cut events that triggered a trauma, as the definition of PTSD demands.

Other mental health experts disagree. Harvard psychologist Richard J. McNally said that although just being in Iraq might cause chronic stress, it is not the kind of sudden, horrifying experience that is thought to lead to PTSD.

'Being in the war zone does not constitute exposure to trauma,' said McNally, who helped write the definition of PTSD for the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual. 'It is just stressful.'

Michael J. Kussman, principal deputy undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said the department spends $3.2 billion a year on mental health care. Although large numbers of soldiers and Marines are seeking help, Kussman emphasized that most did not immediately receive a psychiatric diagnosis.

'Readjustment and reintegration issues are very common among servicemen returning from any combat,' he said. 'A large portion of people have this temporary reaction. These are normal reactions to abnormal situations and are not considered mental illnesses.'"
You know something, this conflict is different than the previous wars and you can't always go by past data. Tell you what, why don't you strap on substandard armor; ride in an underprotected vehicle in a country that is devolving into civil war, try to rest in a "safe" area where there are attacks on your barracks or mess hall from people who you are supposed to be training to run their own country; see a few dead and dismembered bodies, one or two were formerly people you knew; be forced to return or stay longer than the contract you originally signed; drink contaminated water and sandy food; sleep with constant mortar, gunfire and bombings outside your compound; you do that for a few months then get back to us about stress and normalcy.

Stressful? Stressful? Stressful is when I run out of money before I run out of month. Worrying about dying 24/7 is mindnumbing terror, like listening to the music in a good suspense movie, it keeps building subtly until kablam! the bad guy grabs the heroines foot or he slips in silently behind the hero sidekick with the red shirt and your heart is pounding so hard you can barely hear the movie. Do that over and over every day and then see how well you respond in a "stressful" situation and see how well you adjust.

Arrogant jerks. Pitiful, just pitiful. Trying to balance the budget on the backs and minds of people you misappropriated and abused.

Support the troops. Indeed.

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