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Thread: mTBI, PTSD and Stress (Catch All)

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Ironically, the US military has been hammered in the press for attempting this holistic approach to work w/ PTSD. It has been sold as a waste of money and resources that would be better spent on focusing on "what works". I disagree with this assessment, often violently. If we completely understood the mechanisms of PTSD, perhaps this would be true, realistically we have theories, but not concrete knowledge. Many of these "alternative" therapies have produced results.
    Reed

    That's interesting. From what I've been able to see, it's been mostly positive and instead of negative reactions, those who aren't so sure act more with bemusement. Here's another article along those lines. I also know one of the major Army installations in Texas, Can't remember if it is Hood or Bliss, has embraced this through their programs.

    http://www.usmedicine.com/article.cf...20&issueID=118

  2. #102
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Boondoggle,

    Very interesting article! Mixed martial arts, yoga and meditation? Really good combination to my mind.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
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    Carleton University
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  3. #103
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    Dr. Tyrrell,

    Another organization that is reaching out to the Army and Marine Corps with upcoming training you may find interesting: http://www.artreachfoundation.org/

    They are hosting a "train the trainers" 4 day event this month, including that audience.

  4. #104
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Boondoggle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boondoggle View Post
    Another organization that is reaching out to the Army and Marine Corps with upcoming training you may find interesting: http://www.artreachfoundation.org/

    They are hosting a "train the trainers" 4 day event this month, including that audience.
    Definitely interesting! Are you going on that event?

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  5. #105
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Default Safety Stand Down

    FT Campbell had another safety stand-down last week because seven soldiers have been killed in accidents (don't know if any were suicides) since the start of the fiscal year. Earlier this year, the post shut down training for a week because of the high number of suicides.

    Are these trends unique to Ft Campbell/101st? Or is it the tip of the spear for underlying Army-wide problems? Why are American soldiers dying by suicide and recklessness at rates at times higher than those killed in action? What can junior leaders do to mitigate these problems in their units?
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

  6. #106
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    When Soldiers return from a deployment, they have lots of money. They have been getting paid tax-free, had far fewer living expenses, and now they've got 12 months of drinking to catch up on.

    They will inevitably feel the need to buy cars, clothes, and bikes. They realize how far behind they are in their drinking and will attempt to catch up in order to bridge the 12-month lag. The women in the area know that 20,000 young men with fat wallets are back in town and looking to party.

    I don't know any way to get around this without assigning a member of the clergy to shadow each individual Soldier for their first 6 months home. They're young, they're back from 12 months of combat, they've got more money than they're accustomed to, and the entire local area (the women, the car dealers, the club owners, the bars, etc) are all awaiting their return.

  7. #107
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    Default Unfortunately the same phenomenon struck during

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Are these trends unique to Ft Campbell/101st? Or is it the tip of the spear for underlying Army-wide problems? Why are American soldiers dying by suicide and recklessness at rates at times higher than those killed in action? What can junior leaders do to mitigate these problems in their units?
    both the Korean and Viet Nam wars. As Schmedlap says, sort of goes with the job. I doubt much can be done without a significant improvement in the US K-12 educational system and / or better parenting, both of which are unlikely. All you can do is try to educate without hectoring or being condescending -- that'll just make 'em push harder.

    Part of the problem is that we treat them like children so they act that way. Instead of punishing miscreants, we punish all by restrictive and corrosive measures so they get their petty revenge by doing dumb stuff. I suspect the Legions had the same problem with they younger troops -- but a 25 year enlistment probably kept some of that down...

  8. #108
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Just one comment to add to Schmedlap and Ken's wisdom.

    A good leader has a feel for his boys. If you notice someone is "off," then you should engage him in an appropriate way particularly if an outgoing soldier has withdrawn.

    This does not mean you lecture. Often, you might just need to listen. He may simply need to get something off his chest- problems at home, nightmares from a bad time in combat, whatever.

    Part of that is just knowing your people.

    v/r

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I doubt much can be done without a significant improvement in the US K-12 educational system and / or better parenting, both of which are unlikely.
    Wait, are you saying that our military is made up of people, just like the rest of society? And here all this time I thought the flaws in the military were a product of the fact that only the deranged and mentally incompetent got duped into joining.
    Audentes adiuvat fortuna
    "Abu Suleyman"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Suleyman View Post
    And here all this time I thought the flaws in the military were a product of the fact that only the deranged and mentally incompetent got duped into joining.
    That's one way to put it, but the more accurate description is that they are downtrodden serfs who had no other options in life. Furthermore, they are mentally fragile and the inherent immorality of the war (made so by it being sold with lies in order to enrich oil men) caused these mentally fragile victims to do things like suffer PTSD and commit suicide in droves - almost at a rate as high as suicide rates in other developed countries. Had they not been born to poor families with low IQs, they would have gone to an Ivy League school and gotten a REAL job, selling mortgage backed securities.

  11. #111
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I've been accused by experts of being deranged...

    What is this 'real job' stuff -- not I, not I...

  12. #112
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default On the softer side...

    Schmedlap,

    I've gone through the effects of PTSD and TBI. I've been very open about the horrors and the crazyness in SWJ as an example...I don't like the categorization and labeling of the psychologists, but at the same time, don't minimalize something you haven't experienced. It sucks.

    It doesn't make you a victim; it's just something to deal with.

    For what it's worth.

    v/r

    Mike

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    Mike,

    I was simply highlighting that many assert that PTSD and suicides are not natural injuries resulting from combat, but rather that they are directly attributable to George Bush and Dick Cheney and that poorly educated individuals are portrayed as more vulnerable (and, of course, all of us who joined the Army are poorly educted).

    Sorry if my sarcasm wasn't obvious. Probably a good reminder that I should refrain from trying.

  14. #114
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default No worries...

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    Mike,

    I was simply highlighting that many assert that PTSD and suicides are not natural injuries resulting from combat, but rather that they are directly attributable to George Bush and Dick Cheney and that poorly educated individuals are portrayed as more vulnerable (and, of course, all of us who joined the Army are poorly educted).

    Sorry if my sarcasm wasn't obvious. Probably a good reminder that I should refrain from trying.
    and no offense taking...Three years ago, I would have probably replied the same way you did- until I went through it. To say it sucked is an understatement- I went through a period where my life was torn apart, and I thought I'd gone crazy. B/c of my rank and experience, I chose to be public about it to help others. In truth, I'm actually harsher on the subject than you are with those that fake or use it as a crutch. The mental health of the boys (as well as our own national defense) should be apolitical.

    I'm working on an article right now for Newsweek to try and explain PTSD from my vantage point. Hopefully, it'll be published. I'll keep y'all informed.

    In the end, it's just part of life...sometimes, you just have to take a knee, pull out your map and compass to regain your direction, drink some water, and drive on....it's that simple.

    v/r

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeF; 10-18-2009 at 03:17 AM.

  15. #115
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    Default Relooking PTSD

    MG (ret) Bob Scales gave a Vietnam Veteran appreciation speech at the Truman Library. Some wise words that I wanted to pass along. H/T to Craig Mullaney.

    Let me give you the bottom line up front: Iím proud I served in Vietnam. Like you I didnít kill innocents, I killed the enemy; I didnít fight for big oil or for some lame conspiracy I fought for a country I believed in and for the buddies who kept me alive. Like you I was troubled that, unlike my father, I didnít come back to a grateful nation. It took a generation and another war, Desert Storm, for the nation to come back to me.

    Also like you I remember the war being 99 percent boredom and one percent pure abject terror. But not all my memories of Vietnam are terrible. There were times when I enjoyed my service in combat. Such sentiment must seem strange to a society today that has, thanks to our superb volunteer military, been completely insulated from war. If they thought about Vietnam at all our fellow citizens would imagine that fifty years would have been sufficient to erase this unpleasant war from our conscientiousness. Looking over this assembly itís obvious that the memory lingers, and those of us who fought in that war remember.

    The question is why? If this war was so terrible why are we here? Itís my privilege today to try to answer that question not only for you, brother veterans, but maybe for a wider audience for whom, fifty years on, Vietnam is as strangely distant as World War One was to our generation.

    Vietnam is seared in our memory for the same reason that wars have lingered in the minds of soldiers for as long as wars have been fought. From Marathon to Mosul young men and now women have marched off to war to learn that the cold fear of violent death and the prospects of killing another human being heighten the senses and sear these experiences deeply and irrevocably into our souls and linger in the back recesses of our minds.
    As I've had the opportunity to talk with many wounded veterans from different wars over the past year, I'm constantly struck that those that suffered through PTSD, TBI, or a physical injury are not victims. Most found ways to prosper and go on to achieve great things after their war. MG Scales is much more eloquent about this phenomena calling it Post Traumatic Growth.

    v/r

    Mike

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    Default Thanks for your openness

    MikeF, it is needed for officers to explain their situation so the problem becomes real and not one just for psychologists.

    As to this issue in its entirety, I blame the high op tempo when soldiers return. I know, deployment is bad, but when your battalion/brigade returns stateside and every single officer and senior NCO is replaced, then suddenly you are back to non-stop training. The higher officers all stress that they want to bring home every one, but in the mean time they drive wedges between families and the health of their men by going to the field for a week or two at a time, even when you are three months removed from combat.

  17. #117
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    Default Stolen Valor

    Mike,

    Have you read "Stolen Valor" by Burkett (sp?)?

    He posits that anti-war people have co-opted PTSD to paint vets as victims and created a cottage industry of resourcing the VA, to the extent that the VA has paid benefits for "Vietnam PTSD" to thousands of frauds- from true veterans who never served in Vietnam to people who never even served in the military at all.

    I believe that PTSD exists, but I think it is exagerated (by the "professional caregivers" with an agenda) and that with the proper support group (which must be composed of veterans) MOST people will overcome their trauma, as you appear to be working through.

    ATW, ABN!!!!

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    Default Traumatic Stress as a growing experience

    The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program plants lot of flags on resiliency and growing from traumatic events. http://www.army.mil/csf/

  19. #119
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    Default Good order and discipline

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    both the Korean and Viet Nam wars. As Schmedlap says, Part of the problem is that we treat them like children so they act that way. Instead of punishing miscreants, we punish all by restrictive and corrosive measures so they get their petty revenge by doing dumb stuff. ...
    Struck a chord Ken... Long ago in a battery far away... I used that approach...

    Soldiers deserve to be treated (rewarded/disciplined) as men and women - Since we are all human, second chances are appropriate for offenses that don't warrant immediate dismissal... a third strike was not a given... of course we could administratively remove under-performing soldiers back then... point being... my Soldiers had the lowest DWI and serious incident rate in the Corps... when asked for our unit's "secret" and I explained why... The senior leaders were usually dissatisfied with the response.

    Now I caveat.... I had to deal with long deployments with tax free dollars, but not the mental aftermath of close combat stress...
    Hacksaw
    Say hello to my 2 x 4

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    Default beginning of a trend unfortunately no

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Are these trends unique to Ft Campbell/101st? Or is it the tip of the spear for underlying Army-wide problems?
    Well the army has been walking down the High-risk behavior and suicide prevention. I have seen a lot of attention in that direction as it is a serious issue but I don't know how much we have improved at preventing these tragedies but God knows we try.

    Number one rule is the guy that takes care of me is to my left and my right and i take care of them but sometimes it just ain't enough.

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