Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New PTSD Study and the Media

There's a new study out on Vietnam vets verifying that about 19% of all Vietnam vets suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And the study also proves that it can be devastating to those suffering from it.

So what does the media do with this new information?

"Fewer Vietnam Vets Suffer PTSD"
"Study Downsizes Number of Vietnam Vets Suffering from PTSD"
"Few Vets Suffer from Stress Disorders"

These are typical headlines from a Google News search. Granted, this percentage is down from the vastly inflated one-in-three figure that has been bandied about for the last several years -- a number that I doubted myself when I first heard it -- but mostly overlooked in all of these media stories is the fact that this new study has verified and validated PTSD for the veterans actually suffering from it.

Combat can leave lasting psychological scars. The new study establishes beyond doubt that the stresses of combat result in debilitating and devastating mental consequences later in life. Very few of the media stories focus on that aspect. (One of the notable exceptions is the Boston Globe story on the study.)

Instead most of the headlines tend to come off as dismissive of Vietnam vets and our whiny-assed crybaby attitudes.

The media ought to be focused on what this study means for the new crop of veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but, like their masters in the BFEE, they don't really give a shit about veterans once they've wrung out of them the last drop of what they can give for the furtherance of the Empire.

1 Comment:

Harry Homeless said...

You've got that right. One of the most sad and shocking sights I've witnessed is the "What, me worry?" Prez and an amputee soldier jogging together. He just uses people and throws them away - or uses them for a photo op. If the dead could jog he'd use them for a photo op too.