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Thread: A Well of Courage

  1. #21
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post

    My post-Rwanda issues--severe depression which I came to call "the Beast"--all dealt with sense saturation with violent death on a scale that cannot be fully described. In contrast, when I had the opportunity to follow up on ops which resulted in lots of dead bad guys, I was quite happy. For me it was very much a case of who was getting killed, not that killing was happening.


    Hi Tom, yea there is something about the situation that affects the effects that follow. Some people deserve to die and in that sense it's almost a relief as opposed some senseless act or acts that make a person feel entirely different about the situation. One issue as has been pointed out LE and Military are macho occupations so admitting something bothers you is somehow related to not being tough. As opposed to doing the right thing and face the problem with proper help and come out a stronger it goes.

  2. #22
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Ocean Township, NJ


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post

    I can only say that in the intel world, one never ever fessed up to such things lest you lose your clearance and thereby lost your career.


    I pray that changes.

    I'll be blunt: Hell yes, I've considered suicide. Been hospitalized for it. I was 15 at the time; teenage stuff plus disability stuff equals one screwed up mind.

    I have depression. It helped make college hell for me, but though I will admit there are days it feels otherwise, generally speaking, I'm stable (I could never call myself normal), if vigilant. I take my meds religiously, see the usual professionals like clockwork.

    But I'm open about all this. Nobody could ever coerce me with it - and my usual habit when I have depressive episodes is to shut up about anything and everything, not talk.

    So why should my mental health issues, so long as they remain treated and stable, be any bar to a clearance? Something happens, I'd give up any clearance temporarily.

    And moving aside from me...How the hell does that idea make any sense?

    You say "You have a mental illness, you lose your clearance" is the worst idea. 1 in 5 Americans have depression. Shouldn't we be encouraging people to get help?

    We don't pull clearances from alcoholics or those with drug problems instantly - we condition their clearance eligibility on getting help, I'm given to understand.

    If you say "If you've had suicidal ideations or depression or any other mental illness, no clearance for you", what does that do except give people lots of motivation to leave their issues untreated, hide them from everyone (usually badly), and lie to you?

    (Actually...Does anybody know the current policy? I remember hearing they were taking out the mental health questions to encourage people to get treatment, but then I never heard anything more about that.)

  3. #23
    Council Member wierdbeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Intel and PTSD

    My two cents worth or actually more of observations really, As Tom says you'll lose your career (apologies for paraphrasing), while in theater thay hound us to take meds or go to talk to someone because as they put it, we're outside the wire all the time and it has to be stressful, DUH! I had a pretty good idea of what to expect when i signed up, I felt that we were adequately trained to deal with whatever was thrown our way if I felt it were an issue I would go see someone. Upon return I was required to take a quiz based on time outside the wire, actions seen and levels of personal danger, based on the results I was told by the individual that administered it that I had PTSD and needed to go to counseling, not something that i felt was necessary nor warranted. While using the VA medical system for other reasons I continually heard from just about every doc that i should enroll in the PTSD study, after speaking to a VA case manager I was told that, (paraphrased) The VA has recieved a grant for the study of PTSD/MTBI, but in order to continue funding they have to have over 90% of returning vets enter into the program, whether or not they stay in the program was not of consequence. Personally I find that if the VA wants to study this and they have funds great! but not at the cost to my career. While we are being continually told that mental health issues are no longer the death knoll for Intel personnel, the reality is service members that do take part or admit to problems, find themselves in a not so favorable light. Regardless of what the rules say the mindset does not change overnight. Well i may have rambled on a bit there so I apologize now.


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