1 in 6 returning troops has PTSD

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by primroselane, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    Families are alarmed by military statistics showing that 80 percent of soldiers who have been flagged with mild symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder have been sent back to Iraq and Afghanistan, many with anti-depressant pills aimed at ensuring they can still fight. Experts say repeated exposure to combat is the greatest predictor of whether a person will get post-traumatic stress disorder and how severe it will be.

    If they are able to see a VA doctor, hundreds of veterans with severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are being denied disability benefits because their condition is obscured by drug or alcohol abuse, which is labeled "willful misconduct," said Elinor Roberts, legal director for Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco-based veterans organization.

    The VA is allowed to give benefits to veterans dealing with alcohol abuse but not illicit drugs, and only if a clinician finds that the veteran also has post-traumatic stress disorder. VA officials say many vets with the condition have trouble making appointments to get that diagnosis in the first place.

    The VA is proposing a $339 million increase in mental health care spending next year, Katz said Tuesday. That would bring total annual spending on those programs to about $3.2 billion.
    Implementation is another question. As of late September, about $42 million of $200 million directed for initiatives to close gaps in VA mental health care in 2006 had not been spent, the GAO found.

    "Requesting more money is a step in the right direction," said Paul Sullivan, director of programs for Veterans for America, who was a senior analyst at the VA until he left six months ago.

    But he added, "The VA's problems are systemic, and the solutions must be more comprehensive than simple increases in funding."

    He noted the GAO findings that the VA lacked a comprehensive plan to implement the funding in last year's budget.

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    The VA is like a mule pulling a plow, very little flexibility. If a person fits into their manuals, they can get help. If a person does not fit into the system, even though his physical problems are military incurred, he is screwed.

    I just wish all the people who spout. "We support our troops," would walk the walk.
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The Veterans Administration has been severely weakened via the currant administration, I, being a VN vet, with PTSD (50%) am legally insane. The currant vets are allowed 2 years to file claims toward compensation for their involvement in such activities. Does anybody smell a skunk here?
     

  3. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    My soon-to-be-ex-husband was a veteran and on medication for a mental health problem. For years, we paid for his meds via insurance or out-of-pocket. Times got tough, and we turned to the VA for help. After jumping through numerous hoops, including having his prescription denied because the medication wasn't in the VA's formulary, and appealing, the VA approved issuing the medication ... at 50 percent of the dosage he'd been taking for many years. :help:

    We tried to explain to the doctors that the lesser dose would be ineffective to the point of uselessness ... but got nowhere.

    We continued paying for his drugs out-of-pocket, to the tune of $200 a month ...

    I really feel sorry for the guys coming back from over there ... the system is screwed up, and I have a feeling it's only going to get worse as the number of vets from the current war increases!
     
  4. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    "I just wish all the people who spout. "We support our troops," would walk the walk."

    And just how would people do that? The government, IMO, is totally unresponsive to it's citizens when it comes to this. It's not just this administration. We are all to willing to "fight the noble fight" but don't do right by the soldiers when they come home. Nothing new here. It's been happening to our vets since WW1. :shrug: It might get much worse now that we have an all volunteer military because they can just say you knew what you were getting into.
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    This is wrong.

    Good grief, our boys are coming back with mental and emotional scarring from fighting for US and we can't give them the help they need?

    Excuse me while I go throw up. Incompetent so-and-so's....mumble...
     
  6. FarmGoddess

    FarmGoddess Well-Known Member

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    I find it hard to believe that it's only one in six.

    Once again, the powers that be, who have no qualms about voting themselves sweetheart retirement packages with all sorts of nice medical benifits, make our veterans jump through innumerable hoops just to recieve the basic medical care promised to us when we signed up. :flame: :flame: :flame:
     
  7. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    I was over in Iraq, I would bet the number is quite a bit higher.....I know I have some ptsd symptoms, I know a lot of my buddies that I am touch with do as well. It's hard to admit to yourself that you might have it though....so a lot more are going to have it than will talk about it or admit to it.....
     
  8. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    I have to say those numbers are extremely conservative. I know for a fact that most active duty will not seek treatment for ANY mental health issues because it becomes part of their file. Such a notation can and will restrict opportunities for plum assignments and promotions. So ... they avoid getting treatment and either just suffer or self-medicate with booze and high risk activity.

    By the time they retire or ETS it is often too late to file a claim with VA becuase the condition wasn't documanted during their active duty service.

    Nikki
     
  9. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    is there a difference in PTSD and just having to decompress off the battlefield?

    my uncle who was in korea... buldozing fields of dead koreans... took about a yr before he was "readjusted" to peaceful life.

    are they sure, what they call PTSD isnt just readjustment?
    it take a while to get used to the response triggers... I dont think some of these are PTSD.

    I dont doubt PTSD is a problem but.... one in 6? and we are not even in a proper "vietnam" or "ww2" kinda war.

    if 1 in 6 gets shell shocked [can I say shell shocked?] from super dangeous police action....

    I fear what we face if we go to real war again.
    will they all freeze up?

    I'm not being a jerk, I'm making a valid point;

    maybe we are raising a nation of kids to sensitive to defend themselves with a clear conscience, and to soft to defend a nation without getting shell shocked doing it.

    I've not been to war... I've studied the history of war...of OUR wars. and the further we go ahead the less able we seem to be able to handle the dirty end of national defense...... the trauma of having to kill people to secure it.

    I see it as a real problem, if we end up in a world war. we cant have 1/6th of the armed forced down with shell shock. we will get creamed.
     
  10. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    Warfare has become high-tech with long-range killing. The Gulf War of 91 proved that. Todays soldiers are simply not trained nor accustomed to the type of warfare which was present in our past wars. That has to have a direct bearing on how close-in fighting/Killing will effect any modern day soldier IMO.

    The VA is a joke. The American people KNOW how inept the organization is yet they refuse to lean on Congress and force Congress to make the organization perform as it should "To care for those who have borne the battle".............. :flame: :flame: :flame:
     
  11. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Numb,

    The problem lies with the fact that a lot of these troops are being exposed to repeated combat without that time to "decompress". I have a good friend who, in the last five years has been to Bosnia, Afghanistan, and 2 tours in Iraq. He has been home less then 1 year out of the last 5. The sad part is, this isn't all that unusual.

    This, combined with the disinclination to seek treatment at the initial onset of readjustment problems will set up this country for another generation of wounded vets.

    The problem has more to do with the still present stigma attached to seeking or receiving mental health services. The millitary has attempted to confront this tto a certain extent by requiring all troops returning from combat to go through numerous "debriefing" sessions. But the unwritten rule is, that you tell the nice shrink what he wants to hear, punch you ticket for attending, and then move on. The individuals who seek further treatment are stigmatized.

    Sad, but true.

    Nikki
     
  12. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i dont think the # are that high but i do think it is an excuse for some people to get on the gravy train looking for a free check and so on
    and before anybody says anything i am a combat vet VIET NAM era
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    I can see where that does drive men a bit crazy. thats why they are SUPPOSE to rotate the troops. I do forget we no longer feel the need to honor our enlistment contracts.

    and thats gonna be a fatal error on our part.

    MtMan Ive know several vietnam vets and have heard them tell me stuff that you almost cant believe... I'm sure you can concur.

    thinking back on those guys and their tales, the common "thing" that drove many of thier comrades off the deep end was lack of R&R, and lack of treatment, mental and physical.
    one guy told me when he came back to the states, the VA hospital was full of rats.
    IN THE USA...
    he said that was not the bad part, he had lived with rats, at least the rats were entertainment to watch.

    See my uncle was a nice gentle guy as a civilian, as a marine he was a mean fistfighting man who didnt seem bothered by anything he experienced. he didnt live to long after he got home, the stuff they sprayed on everything gave him some wild exotic kind of lukimia.
    but he sent home skulls and ears... he thought it was just "war", and after he got out, he wasnt bothered by the experience. well till the chemical baths killed him anyway.

    this relates alot to "survivalism homesteaders" as I have abad habit of occasioally pointing out.
    No one is really prepped for the psychological backlash of what you will have to do to survive.
    and none so far really openly accept that as part of being prepped for SHTF.

    your gonna have to shoot your neighbors maybe... maybe, their kids.
    or they will shoot you. its going t happen if it falls apart, worst case.
    no little house on the prairie escape for you... life is gonna be one non stop tour of duty. probably, far worse.
    if you get shell shocked then, youll die. not just you, your family will die. No time for bad dreams and psychological problems... those will be fatal disabilities.

    we better find out what to do about the condittion now before its kinda late to do anything about it.

    if you thinkits tough for a military man to cope with shooting people.... wait till you get shell shocked civilians who arent preped to handle it at all.

    if you think about it, thats one good aspect of the draft... it will allow more soldiers more downtime... in then and the long term it might save more lives than it takes.
     
  14. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    If most of us were examined I imagine we ALL have symptoms of PTSD. Life is stressful. Now they call it a "disorder" and give you pills for it. I imagine that same percentage would have some mental problems no matter what their situation. They would just give it a different name and a different pill

    "Overall, 5.3 percent of children took some type of behavioral medicine in 2003, including 3.4 percent on ADHD medicines and 2.3 percent on antidepressants. Some children are on both types of drugs. That compares with 44 percent who used antibiotics at some point, 13 percent on asthma medicines and 11 percent who used allergy drugs."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/17/health/main617768.shtml

    Is it so strange a nearly identical percentage have the same problems in the military?
     
  15. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I know their are some folks out there abusing the system, I knew a guy when I was in the army the first time that got benefits for an old injury from before he joined that he had covered up.