Monday, July 6, 2015

Adding Insult To Injury to the War Veterans

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

This medical/psychiatric diagnosis has been troubling me for many years. It took a long time for me to figure out why I found it so disturbing. In short, it's the use of the word disorder. The dictionary, in part, defines this word: to disturb the regular or normal functions of. (fill in the blank) In this instance or example is the normal everyday functioning of people. More specific, the ability to function in a normal manner after experiencing the horror of war. That sounds simply put to quickly understand this resulting stress or PTSD.
It just rubs me the wrong way like an insult. There is no doubt in my mind that PTSD creates a strong disruption in what most of us would say is the norm. I thought about it and I don't think that's the right approach to define and understand the scope of this concern.
A behavioral base line was defined through some observatory measure of functioning in a civilian and military environment. I would assume that it also includes the mixture of both from a post military war experience. Some how that still doesn't satisfy the feeling that the word "disorder" rubs like an insult.
PTSD is a form of branding similar in nature as the Wounded Warrior. Look at your own thoughts and feelings after reading the last sentence. Would you think and feel the same way if the brand was Post Wounded Warrior Disorder? I'd bet that it would leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable but maybe not as uncomfortable as being among soldiers with PTSD.
Let me go even further to illustrate my point.
A war veteran meets with a therapist seeking help to resolve stress trauma. The veteran carefully describes symptoms of recurring nightmares, inability to sleep, anger, depression, guilt etc. The veteran boldly takes the step to describe the incident that shaped the trauma.
He was one of four soldiers in a humvee that was destroyed by a roadside bomb. He was the only one to survive from death, dismemberment and permanent injury. The veteran fell silent afterwards.
The therapist, in an act of empathy, tried to mirror the veteran's feelings. He expressed how the bombing was a selfish and unreasonable act resulting from the soldier who was driving the humvee. He expressed how that soldier was unfit to drive and obviously suffering from War Zone Road Safety Disorder.
That's how ridicules this sounds to me. It's the soldier with the disorder that manifest the disruption of the alleged norm. It's the branding that puts the weigh on the soldier to find resolve. Or is it just another way of denying the soldier the normal reaction/response to feelings of horror?
It's the branding that comes without the multiple-million dollar charity singing star, movie star, politician patriots. And don't forget to tell that soldier thank-you for their service.
Let's just call it Traumatic Stress and stop branding the soldier with Disorder. They've been through enough.

When you're near I feel your warmth
I can feel you breathe
Don't ask why I need to know I'm alive
Tether me I'm blind but see
I'm falling as I fly
Finding the place of the heart

pov and words and music by roman blazic_all rights reserved

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