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Friday, March 23. 2012
I am skeptical about the existence of the diagnosis as a disease entity, because it sounds like a normal, or at least unremarkable, reaction to me. Intense reactions to intense things in life is not pathological. It's how life shapes us, twists us, and eventually wears us down and ultimately kills us. Who said "Reality is for people who can't handle drugs"?
Show me one adult who does not harbor some deep pain which affects his life in mostly negative ways. I'd like to meet them. There's a CS Lewis quote which I cannot remember but which goes something like "Be kind, because everyone you meet is enduring some deep struggle and pain." It's not called "a vale of tears" for nothing. People - and kids - are commonly permanently wounded by divorce, for example. Some joy and delight in life too, thank God.
However, I do understand that nowadays people want their struggle called a disease so they can get insurance and/or disability checks.
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Here's the problem. It starts with a condition called Combat Stress Reaction - what used to be called combat fatigue. The general symptoms may include one or more of the following: fatigue, slower reaction time, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, inability to prioritize, nightmares, nights sweats, hallucinations under stress - a whole host of various psychotic and psychological conditions. Usually, it is short term meaning that as long as there isn't a lasting physical event (like brain injury, concussions, etc.) the problems generally resolve themselves over time. It could be a long time, but they will resolve themselves.
The problem is in how combat veterans react long after their immediate symptoms are reduced or eliminated. Using myself as an example: I never enter dark rooms - ever. I have not been in a movie theater or attended a concert since 1970 when I left Vietnam. Low light is fine (as in a restaurant) as long as there are windows I can see out of (for example every room and hallway in my house has night light). I always sit with my back to a solid surface, preferably in a corner close to an exit, but I've gotten better about that over the years - doesn't mean I'm comfortable, but I can deal with it . I always note exits and where I am in relation to them. I cannot get adequate sleep period - I am a very light sleeper and will wake up at the slightest sound - I have never gotten more than three hours of uninterrupted sleep in over 40 years and I average a total of roughly 5 hours a night. Its even worse when I travel. I'm constantly thinking meaning that my mind is never at rest - I just can't stop thinking about this, that or the other thing. The nightmares and flashbacks slowed down over the years, but occasionally they crop up. It's not always the same nightmare or flashback - the setting is always the same, but the details are different every time. Every night for the past 40 plus years, I do a "perimeter patrol" around the house and property making sure nothing is out of place, door and windows are locked, etc. Additionally my barbiturate and alcohol issues were the direct result of attempting to handle all this.
That is PTSD. I've lived with it for a long time. It has affected almost every aspect of my life, but I've dealt with it and handled it and massaged it - in short, I'm a fully functioning member of society - I just have a few quirks.
Now can it affect you in other ways - such as killing sprees or what not? I don't know. Do I understand how it could happen? Yes. We've all had times where we've been frustrated and angry, the adrenalin flows, the blood pressure rises and you scream out "F-IT" or swear or some other action to relieve the immediate stress. Put a weapon in the hands of somebody who experiences this - yeah, I could see it happen - I just can't say for sure it would happen.
Recently, I participated in a brain injury study because I have had a number of concussions over the years, four or five while in-country and an automobile accident about fifteen years ago. Turns out that I have some cognitive and perception issues, minor motor control problems (for example my right hand has a back shake when I'm under some kind of stress - it's weird looking because the fingers curl in to a semi-fist and I shake from the wrist down but I digress) and a couple of other things like eye problems, blah, blah, blah. I talked to the psychologist who was conducting the study and he indicated that my PTSD symptoms could be a combinations of the combat stress issue and the traumatic brain injuries I've had.
But to answer your larger question of if PTSD exists or not - I'm not qualified to say - I'll leave that to others much more professionally qualified to say. I will say that what ever it eventually is called, I've suffered with it, dealt with it and lived with it. It does exits. You can call it anything you want.
Well, even though I am not a vet, I have this as well, although not to the degree of some vets, i.e. flashbacks. But it is a real disease, or rather malfunction of the endocrine system. Docs don't really believe in it, though, so until I found some patient groups on the internet, I didn't make any progress. Also, you have to use a diurnal saliva cortisol test to figure out what is going on, but my mainstream docs didn't believe that either.
It takes some alternative docs and ND's to get help. Hydrocortisone helps by resting the adrenals and allowing them to pick back up and using the gray unprocessed celtic sea salt as adrenals need salt and the minerals, contrary to mainstream news also.
I'm not a doctor. I can't even begin to think about all the possibilities of issues these people are dealing with, nor do I have the qualifications to make a diagnosis. But to some degree, you can piece together a story.
I think there is something there, in the sense that you develop actions (or reactions) based on extended time in hyper-intense situations. These actions and reaction begin to sink deeply into the recesses of the mind altering the perception of the world.
In a sense, to me, it seems like a hyper-intensive form of what pro athletes do, programming themselves to develop disciplines and behaviors so, when they are in game situations, their bodies and minds just take over. Now multiply this about a thousand times and it becomes an exponential impact, altering the overall experience of life for the sufferers.
Of course, the current 'diagnosis' of PTSD has taken on many things beyond what was originally termed 'combat fatigue'. Today, there seem to be a basketful of different behaviors and (I believe, in some cases) physical attributes.
This reminds me of the approach some lawyers take to class-action lawsuits. If everyone eats a candy, and a certain percentage get various illnesses, lawyers will take all the illnesses, link them together with the candy, and call it a "disorder". Nevermind that, taken alone, each illness is occurring at levels very close to the percentage you'd expect to see in the general population amongst all the candy eaters.
The difference here, of course, is that PTSD is so common and has so much history behind it, I'm sure there's a real psychological issue which needs to be dealt with. Whether it's overdiagnosed is a question of whether or not certain behaviors which the patients may normally have are being tossed into the whole basket simply because they share a common experience with the real PTSD sufferers.
My earliest memories are of a mother, grandmother, grandfather and aunt all waiting for the man they called "your father" to come home. I was nearly 3 when the train brought him home from "recuperation" in "Holland" (where the little girls wear wooden shoes). He swept me up in his arms when he stepped off the train. Three so happy days--everybody happy. Then in the middle of the night I heard a noise and got up out of my little bed and walked down the hall to mommy's room. I hear noise and opened the door--my "father" was standing on the bed screaming and waving his sword over his head. Mommy said it was a "bad dream". A week later we went downtown and we were walking on the sidewalk a car's muffler backfired --BOOM--Boom--my father threw himself into the gutter and covered his head with his hands trying to hide from the "big guns". You don't tell us BD when you served and/or in what capacity but I am appalled at your arrogant, egotistical contempt! Shame on you !
Why are you offended? I am saying it may be just a normal reaction to extreme circumstances.
Apple Pie, you need to dial it back a little. I hate to question anyone's experience as no one lives in anyone else's skin, but I would tend to agree with Bird Dog.
First I would question much of what the DSM calls disorders. These days a rebellious child has oppositional-defiant disorder when someone just needs to light him up and beat the rebel out of him. Half of the USA is looking for a diagnosis and a "crazy check".
Here's my experience. 8 months in a line infantry unit in Viet Nam. Not the DMZ, War Zone C northwest of Saigon to Cambodia, I saw some stuff including a guy shot dead 6 inches away from me. I drank and did lots of dope for a decade after, but may well of been going that way already.
Anyway in early 1978, I traded hot lz's , fear, memories of mayhem and poly-drug abuse for a relationship with Christ. Now the war is just something that happened when I was young. I went to Cambodia and Viet Nam
last summer and there aren't any demons in the hedgerows for me. I loved it there. I even went to the Cu Chi battlefield in my old A.O. and other than stupidly trying to squeeze my fat self through the tunnel had a good visit.
I don't deny PTSD, but don't believe it has to last for life. We all go through stuff but there's lots of living on the other side of life.
I agree with Bill - you need to dial it back a little. My story should illustrate that there are two ways this can end - you either allow the experiences and the results of those experiences rule you or you rule them - simple as that.
BD is right - life is challenging. Some handle it better than others, some have support systems and some don't. Some let it rule them, some rule themselves and their behaviors.
Speaking once again only for me, I determined that I was who I was. In fact it became something of a joke with my family - the daughters in particular when they became teen agers used to warn their friends (girls and boys) that Dad was "a little strange". And I loved playing the role of being "a little strange". I believe it helped me cope.
Just in case you get the wrong idea, yes I would do it all over again. The experiences, the adrenalin rush, the funny situations, the sad situations and the down right terrifying events when you don't know if you are doing to live or die - that's living life. And living life after.
To quote Ernest Hemmingway:
"When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you. . . . Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen to you. After being severely wounded two weeks before my nineteenth birthday [b]I had a bad time until I figured out that nothing could happen to me that had not happened to all men before me. Whatever I had to do men had always done. If they had done it then I could do it too and the best thing was not to worry about it."[b] - from Men at War
Tom, keep in mind that EH despite his (for the longest time) enormously successful attempt to write himself into control, in the end he lost it completely. Or gained it completely --either case applies, it seems, in the extremes.
Indeed - he was a complex man. Then again, so are we all.
I recently read Keegan's "The American Civil War". Not the first or only treatment I've read of that endeavor. I've read many another treatment of war, any, many, wars, and the horribleness of same. Plus, I did serve in one, six inches close or less. I'm guessing, Bliss, you haven't.
Have I suffered from PTSD? Perhaps. Have I suffered more from my parents divorce? Perhaps.
My only quibble with your post, Bliss, is your use of "unremarkable". What the hell does it take to engender humanity from your, evidently, sainted existence.
I am not Bliss. I mean by unremarkable that it would seem predictable and natural for many people, not thus not pathological.
Why is this such a sensitive topic?
Its a sensitive topic if its the template through which folks define all of life. That and we've been brainwashed and coddled by the nanny state to believe we should never have a bad day.
Or a difficult and challenging life?
We all have that, each in his own way. In the end, we are defined by our struggles at least as much as by our successes - whatever success is. To me, it is endurance and perseverence with good cheer and kindness.
Why is it a sentitive topic? You answered your own question.
However, I do understand that nowadays people want their struggle called a disease...
"Why is this such a sensitive topic?"
"...predictable and natural..."
How in the hell can you say natural? Are you a Spartan?
Though really, there are some few of us who refuse to be defined by the DSM or Bliss? Or receiving a disability/insurance check. I was responsible for my decisions and have no regrets.
I'm reminded of the inscription on my Zippo in those days...
When I die
Bury me upside down
So the World
Can kiss my ass
Though that might be considered pathologial by Bliss.
Xray, Mike 3/9, bro.
Ah hell. Can't just say something simple here, have to follow the spambot rules.
"Reality is for people who can't handle drugs"
The original was "Drugs are for people who can't handle reality", which was meant as an anti-drug slogan, a put down of drug users. This version is a parody, and is, in my opinion, is both funny and accurate. I try to stick to reality, whatever that is, as I'm afraid of using drugs.
Except of course, dark chocolate and red wine. Those are medicinal.
Having your bones snap because of intense trauma is also a natural reaction to an event, but that doesn't mean it's not a disease (or condition) and doesn't need treatment. CS Lewis, BTW, described residual PTSD symptoms of nightmares and hyperarousal on the eve of Britain's entry into WWII, remembering his WWI experiences.
I know people trying to play up their trauma to get special attention, or even monetary benefits. I know many more who deny they have a real problem that needs addressing, who create problems for those around them instead. I think you may be leaning out the side of the boat that's already gunnels under trying to avoid the other side here, BD.
We have a false understanding of history that drives our unwillingness to accept the frequency of PTSD symptoms. We think it didn't happen so much in the old days, because it isn't described in the same categories we use now. Yet think of the 20's in Europe and the huge cultural shifts because of the lost generation. It looks rather like an entire continent reacting to trauma, and it had terrible consequences in the 30's. The older people in Russia and Eastern Europe still have that air of defeat and discouragement about them.
There is not a single treatment for this, as responses vary and people structure their defenses variously. But there are broad areas of similarity in treatment with measurable success rates. Suffering is indeed normal and the lot of mankind. But so are illiteracy, death in childbirth, and revenge. We still try to fix them.
Though bill is wrong in his attitude about ODD, he is correct that PTSD does not have to last for life, and there are things one can do. Christian conversion would be at the top of my list as well.
Why am I wrong in my attitude about ODD or about people who get a check for life because they have a "learning disability"? These things I think are ill defined and cowardly ways of refusing to face and conquer your problems,
Giving someone a check for PTSD is not "trying to fix" the disorder, but labeling someone with a lifetime malady. It may seem callous or easy for me to say but...get over it.
Read Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" I quote:
Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
He survived in part by imagining (while physically being worked to near death, ball and chain, pick and shovel) his beloved wife in new situations, fondly in his mind's eye watching her most minute reactions. He never knew until after release that for most of the time of VF's use of her as a reason to live, she was dead already, murdered in a nearby camp.
In his postwar clinical psychiatry practice, he sort of specialized in suicidal patients. When interviewing a new patient, his first serious question to the patient would be "Why don't you just kill yourself?" And from that question would flow the entire therapy.
A great man, may he RIP now.
A psychiatrist once commented to me, in a discussion about suicidal feelings, "Well, that would certainly eliminate a lot of options." I burst out laughing, which earned me a really startled look. I guess I wasn't as bummed out as we both feared.
...and there are things one can do. Christian conversion would be at the top of my list as well.
No offense, but that is the dumbest thing I've ever read with respect to this subject.
Seriously? What if you are a Christian? You have to double convert? If you are a Jewish Marine like Bruce and assuming you have this problem, you have to convert?
I'm sorry - that is just plain stupid.
I think he meant examining the spiritual aspect of the problem, not becoming a Christian per se. What Christianity did for me (along with all its other benefits, like giving me a wonderful marriage) is it helped me to separate myself from the experience of war. No longer was it the all defining factor for my life. It was only a chapter or a few notes in the symphony.
Well, I took it literally - then again, I have trouble with nuanced statements and contextual concepts - I'm a black and white kind of guy.
I take your point though and in that context, that does make some sense. If you re-purpose something in your life, that can only be a good thing.
Frankly, I was lucky in that my Long Suffering Bride was the one single stable factor that helped me a lot.
I agree with AVI. Injury is a natural and unremarkable reaction to trauma, but that doesn't answer the question of whether the sufferer is likely to recover spontaneously or will instead require intervention. Some things heal on their own with time; others are quite unlikely to.
Now, whether the psychiatric community has useful tools for addressing the injury we call PTSD, I couldn't say, nor could I even hazard a guess how different people may be in their ability to heal the psychic wound relatively quickly and on their own.
I don't want anything from anybody, ever.
So many, good and noble men, did not.
We need to be discerning here. All of the "disorders" that the fem/nazis are trying to put over on the young boys in this country and I agree rather than being some sort of disease they really are just being boys. And, young girls would be better served to be taught how to manage them rather than run and yell abuse of some sort. That is absolutely true. It is also true that war and pow camps and bodily harm/pain do things to the human mind. It is also true that people can and do recover with time and some sense of security/stability. Many of the guys who came home from Nam did not go over there using drugs. They discovered drugs while in country and came home to a destabilized culture of contempt for them and then proceeded to "treat themselves" by using drugs. I would hope that by now we would have therapists who are well educated enough to really help.
I don’t understand—and I think it is a disorder—that some people define their present lives by experiences in their distant past.
An acquaintance served in Viet Nam. Since then, he has led an seemingly full and interesting life. But his basic identity, at least the one he presents, is the kid who was drafted 45 years ago.
I don’t know if he has or had cause for what is now called PTSD. I’m really not that interested in his ancient personal history, not seeking war stories. But within so much of what we talk about—politics, society, cultural trivia, bar chatter—his army experience shapes his perceptions.
Like I said, he has led a seemingly full life, but wouldn’t one want to release the burden of a horrible experience four decades past? It’s almost like he clings to his suffering.
I think the problem with Viet Nam vets is we were not allowed to talk about it in the early 1970's when we needed to. American society just wanted us to go away. The a**holes on the left had the big megaphone and claimed an unwarranted moral superiority. Veterans were left hanging.
I was in a VA psych ward in 1977 and wanted a diagnosis of PTSD. I was jacked up at the time. I was reading Robert Lifton's book "Home From the War" and recognized the shaky ground our nation left us on.
Fortunately at the time , PTSD wasn't grounds really for disability checks. That saved my life and was a factor in my conversion. The check would have kept me in dope until I died a meaningless wasted life. I had a guy, a fellow vet try to encourage me to apply for a PTSD diagnosis 10 years ago. I said "Why, if I was any healthier emotionally and spiritually I don't know what I'd do?"
We talk about the war because it shaped us , but it's old history now.
I don't think it's "holding on to his suffering" as much as he probably hasn't had a chance to talk it out or rationalize his problems or maybe even deal with them.
Frankly, Maggie's is the first place I've ever been this open about my post-Vietnam experiences - I mean EVER. That is because I'm comfortable with the Field Hands, a lot of us, as evidenced by this very thread, are Vietnam Veterans (real ones as you might have determined). There is no judgment here, no moon howlers, no forum Nazi's - just folks who share their lives and experiences, viewpoints and opinions (and recipes) and we all read and learn.
Tom, I got into a pissing contest with some unregenerate war protestors on another site. It turned to real ugly rancor. I will always have a hard time with those jokers.
One January in 1969 , after an action on the Oriental River (the Vam Co Dong), we swept to the river in one of those terror filled days infantrymen experience (weeks of boredom , punctuated by moments of terror). We got to the river and found a freshly used but unoccupied bunker complex. Inside was a box of medical supplies with a label: "To the People's Republic of Viet Nam" from your friends at the University of Pennsylvania"
Having near death experiences is profoundly different than any others.
Front line combat produces what should best be called hyper-memories.
Any stimulus -- like darkened rooms -- can pull the mind right back to the nexus.
The primary reason doctors don't believe in PTSD is that they've never ever experienced it -- and are most unlikely to as a profession.
So they just don't get it.
The original poster, Bird Dog, obviously has never had a near death experience. BTW, we're not talking about a bullet that just missed you. We're talking about INESCAPABLE threats to ones life. Situations where you're forced to just hunker down and stare death in the face.
Enough of that pressure cracks every human mind.
PTSD really became noticed in WWI shelling campaigns. No one could take chronic 16" shelling. You're either dead, maimed or driven nuts.
Events this disturbing are TOTALLY different than other stressors. It's a night and day difference.
With enough stress your eyes develop the "thousand yard stare."
The chronic stress of COIN campaigns among the Neolithic tribes in Afghanistan should produce a bumper crop of PDST sufferers.
Sgt. Bates certainly fits the profile.
BTW, he lost a judgement for $ 1,500,000 in a civil action. Since it was by way of a securities arbitration the evidence must have been brutal.
Having been a registered broker I can assure you that very few arbitrators ever hand out such settlements. Everything is skewed towards the securities firm. In Bate's case it appears that he entered the Army to halt further legal action ( criminal ) against him.
The securities lawsuit has been years in the resolution. It's that old.
One of the sad consequences of this overdiagnosis is the difficulty vets have in getting hired. Once the notion is implanted in the public mind that vets are tinderboxes, who wants to hire them or work around them?
I wonder if this has been thought through. The anti-war types wish to put "war" on trial, and the human effects are part of the strategy. WWI and WWII had many more participants - what was their experience?
Repeatedly dredging up traumatic events may not be the best way to recover from them. I believe studies of concentration camp survivors show that those who repress the memories do better in the long term.
I think what is being missed in all of this is that it is a REAL PHYSICAL problem that can affect someone's life tremendously. I don't think much has been done research-wise or in the medical field to come up with real physical answers, especially given the disruption to many lives that it can cause.
Many just try to cope in various ways. I was already a Christian when I got this so that did not help.
I think that Type A personalities are more prone to this, unless of course in a war zone, when it doesn't matter what type your personality is because of the trauma.
I guess my point is that many would be happy just to get their lives back and not be disabled if the medical establishment would take it seriously instead of dismissing the person. I had provable physical symptoms that I could get no help from my mainstream medical docs. It wasn't until I went outside the mainstream system that I got any help from this and recovered.
Does anyone not now understand why most of us don't talk about these things? (lifer, Vietnam 69-70)
Good point - everybody deals or dealt with it differently. I know Vietnam Vets who didn't have any problems other than some little readjustment issues. My brother is a good example - he was Air Police at Bien Hoa AFB during the late '69/'70 (we were briefly in country at the same time - never met up), never had any issues. Another Vietnam Vet I know was a computer operator in Saigon and was in a bunker when it was hit by a couple of rockets - blood, gore, guts, 19 went in, three came out in one piece. It affects him to this day.
Hey, I'm not a mental health specialist. But I'd say based on my own experiences that there is something to it and as I said previously, you learn to adjust, keep your cool and life goes on. I'm weird, I know I'm weird and, frankly, I revel in being weird.
Weird is good. :>)
I wanted to say, "you have to be kidding me" and leave it at that! But I won't, for the past 40 years I've always thought PTSD was a crock of shit, I kept waiting for it to creap into my life..........and I'm still waiting.....if you need a crutch in life, I'm sure its out there if you look hard enough.
What bothers me is reading where 4 out of 5 people claiming service in RVN are liars. According to the US Census Bureau, of the 2.8 million Vietnam veterans who served in country, there are 1,027,000 alive as of the 2000 census. It is interesting to note that another "15 million" claim to be Vietnam veterans. Imagine that? Now lets talk about PTSD.
Of the 2.8 million that served, approximately 300000 served in combat arms. The myth of perpetually addled Viet Nam vets and the hordes of homeless vets is a lie often told by pseudo-vets. Read "Stolen Valor" by Jug Burkett
My unit- Delta company, 2/14th infantry, 25th Infantry Division
Aug 1968-April 1969, the rest of my tour was spent as a security guard on the bunker line in Long Binh base.
I was an aid worker for 22 years, lived in conflict zones in southern Africa for 9 years, and in central Asia for 3 years. The other 10 years, I shuttled from the US to Bosnia, Sudan, Kosovo, Haiti, Rwanda, Nicaragua, Somalia, and all the other hellholes du jour . For relief from the horrors I witnessed, I pushed myself ever harder. In 2006, I hit a wall I could not push through, and went home.
The horrors followed me and after a few months of struggle, I walked down to a river in my home town, and swallowed a month's prescription of Ambien. When I finally made the decision to do it, I actually felt at peace.
Someone found me and I awoke under suicide watch in a hospital, faced with all the horrors I tried to erase and a host of new ones. Medical bills I couldn't pay. The stigma of a suicide attempt. The pain my loved ones felt. The medical professionals who asked me how I could do such a selfish thing.
Six years later, I often struggle to get through days. I've had a lot of help and I've had to learn to accept it. Unexpectedly, in the past half year, I've started to feel happiness at times, and even joy. Maybe we do get second chances sometimes.
--my 2 centavos worth, with a CV like that, something had to give. You could have just gone numb, and you would have seemed fine, A-OK. But you didn't, and walking down that river in your hometown, Hell emptied, and all the devils came to the river (apologies to the Bard).
Two Ways of Seeing a River, by Mark Twain
"All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river!"
Some have problems, some don't. But I think the PTSD and related TBI and mTBI disorders, or the search for them and their cures, are mainly there to provide jobs to shrinks, psychologists, and supporting technical and administrative personnel. (also see Automated Neuropsychological Assessments Metrics, ANAM.)
It all goes to help prove that more and more Soldiers returning from combat zone assignments are nuts. And so they need more "help." And that help comes from hiring more and more psychiatrists and psychologists. Ahh. Jobs for the soft sciences. The returning Soldier can never and will never be "normal."
Maybe I'm the way I am because I ran full-speed into the edge of a car door when I was around 7 or 8. Maybe I'm the way I am because of the 82mm mortar that went off fifteen feet from my head (I spent two tours in RVN in a desk-job support position, but the mortar found my hut. So much for a "safe" non-combat MOS). Maybe I'm the way I am because I landed on my head when I flipped my motorcycle after coming back (cracked my helmet).
Or maybe I'm the way I am because of untold number of physical, mental, cognitive and whatever things that make me what I am.
Maybe I have a disorder recognized by the DSM, maybe I don't. But the helping professions can make sooooo much money by chasing the causes of my maladies.
Maybe I have dreams about Vietnam because I've kicked off my covers and I'm cold.
I'll second THAT, with feeling. I got called up in '69 --had had two serious knee operations already, and tho i wuz a superman then relative to now, still i flunked the physical --1Y.
Ergo, i shall never even be able to fake, even if i wanted to, any semblance of an opinion on PTSD.
Other than to note that everyone has a different nervous system, no two alike, and that no one who believes he or she has it claims it doesn't exist as a disorder. Meaning, if anything, that the disclaiming is coming 100% from folks who cannot really know, in the end, whether it does or doesn't exist. I say this in hopes it doesn't irritate any of our honored vets on this thread. It was a bad war --nearly sixty thousand kids names --all they have left in this world --on that wall. Those soldiers braved a lot of things that even the Greatest Generation did not have to endure --and they have gotten precious, precious little thanks or even understanding for it in return. My hat's off to you all. For now and for forever.
--backatcha, XRay --even if you're saying that with a grin, trying to show me my habitual soggy rhetoric --