Thursday, May 11, 2006

PTSD? What PTSD?

Out of all the new veterans coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, less than 25% of those who show signs of post-traumatic stress are referred for mental health treatment or evaulation.

According to a GAO report, about 5% of veterans returning from combat tours showed signs of being at risk. This in itself is a questionable number. Apparently someone interviewed these guys when they got back and made a decision based on their answers to a series of questions whether they were affected by PTSD.

Bullshit. It can take literally years for PTSD symptoms to appear. I know this from personal experience with friends of mine who were in Vietnam thirty-plus years ago. Asking a few loaded questions the minute someone steps off the plane is not going to get you anywhere. Take a look at the questions at the bottom of the news story and tell me what you would do. You just got off the plane, you haven't seen your family in a year, and some whitecoat asshole is asking a bunch of questions, a "yes" answer to any one of which could trigger an evaluation and a delay in getting home.

Let's do a followup on these same guys in a year or two or twelve and see if the PTSD symptoms develop over time. I think you will see a very different set of statistics.

2 Comments:

JBlue said...

I have a student this semester who is just back from Iraq (2 tours). I wonder what will become of him. He seems to have everything completely under control, and that worries me for some reason. He's a great guy.

Puma said...

Ever read any Joe Bageant? I highly recommend it:

Drink, pray, fight, and fuck.