The entire children of alcoholics grew out of the Veteran Administration's inability to cope with the constant need of PTSD'd Vietnam vets. Thus, group therapy began to be studied and shown to be actually MORE effective with traumatized populaton. However, the groups need to be monitored. The suicide threats need to be taken seriously. Perhaps this is another reason the VA chose to reject help seekers. It simply does not want to hear the damage that is being done. It is morbid to read that veterans waited so long that they believed the VA wanted them dead before acting on their requests for help. The gross neglect and incompetance that has been shown when processing claims is a topic for a whole other blog item. For shame! For shame!
These men and women, although probably sadly mislead when recruited, should not have to suffer endlessly due to "CONgressional oversight". I know the lobbying that went into obtaining the media's attention when pounding the hallways in the CONgressional offices didn't work. Why must vets suffer while the past Secretary of Defense was too busy playing with war toys to notice their very real concerns? As for BUSH, the commander in chief, who is so busy PLAYING Commander in Chief, this mistreatment of "his" troops is paralyzingly appaling and insensitive.
The WaPo article below mentions many many side topics -- including the questionable and baffling response of commanders to the mental (and emotional) problems of these troops - both before and after service. On the websites I have posted on the topic, I have insisted that more literature concerning PTSD be made available to EVERYONE.
The poor publicity that the VA has had as a result of the Jeans Cruz case, has certainly started "motivating" some action. He had given up his appeals case. And with good reaon: he was feel more hopeless and helpless than ever. These two "feelings" are exactly what sets PTSD apart from other "mental" "illnesses". Hopeless and helpless before those who employed his life and had him track down the enemy Saddam Houssein. It is a wonder Jeans Cruz was still alive. They are bloody lucky they've seen fit to keep him alive. The publicity could have been enough to send him over the edge.
At this juncture, ONLY 200 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers have been added to America's effort to help shell shocked, war wearied, messed up ex-soldiers. It ain't enough and it ain't bloody enough.
We won't stop screaming about this until there is enough in place.
This affects/afflicts my family, too. My son was on mainstream media begging them to help the veterans with PTSD and addictions. I am SO proud; this took real courage. I just wish our whole family could finally rest assured that there will be enough care to get us all through the terrible mess ...
I read also about the two new Defense Department centers to be set up to study mental health. My God! Don't they read ANY thing! What ARE they thinking ..? What is the drive that leads them to ignore what is clearly within policy initiatives before the war. It was so predictable it is frightening to think that they are that bloody thick.Their own PR department must be having a very bad day as this all looks horrible on them.
One last cranky observation - the only DRUG that Big Pharma has on offer besides their ineffective and overprescription of atypical antipsychotics is beta blockers. Yes, beta blockers. The ones that are on time release are best, but they are expensive if living on a veteran's pension. I would rate it highly unlikely that they will be prescribed. The only known "cure" for this all too human soul affliction is LOVE. Yup, you read that right. LOVE. That getting in touch with the spirit within type of LOVE. Time that the DOD morphed into something it really does not intend to be - concerned and caring about the future of America's next LEADERS.
Don't settle for PR. Write a letter TODAY and every day demanding that this be fully addressed with the proper funding and FULL attention.
Military Psychiatric - Care Overhaul
Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Page A07