PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

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PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Guest on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 11:29

Anthony Feinstein is a psychiatrist at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, a professor at the University of Toronto and the author of Journalists Under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War.

The high price some soldiers pay after they’ve returned home has made headlines once again: A one in 10 Canadian veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder, The Globe reported on Saturday.

The focus on PTSD as the soldiers’ mental malady is understandable because it is the quintessential trauma disorder. However, PTSD as the “face” of trauma should not obscure the fact that other mental illnesses may also develop in response to exposure to grave danger. Major depression, anxiety disorders, dissociative reactions and substance abuse are not uncommon. And one or more of these conditions may be found together with PTSD, a co-morbidity that adds considerably to the therapeutic challenge. The 10-per-cent figure quoted for PTSD in the Canadian Armed Forces is therefore an underestimate of a broader degree of emotional distress that has arisen as a consequence of war.


Looking beyond psychological trauma, PTSD can leave veterans at increased risk of physical illness, too. Here the data are most robust for coronary artery disease. Even if one takes into account other related factors that may predispose someone to heart disease, such as smoking, being overweight and depression, the association with PTSD remains.

While PTSD can bring down a veteran very hard, the distress experienced is often transmitted to family members as well. Partners and children can struggle to live with a loved one who has returned home angry, irritable, withdrawn and distracted, and who can no longer enjoy and partake in the kinds of activities that gave the family so much pleasure in the past. Emotional trauma can cast a long shadow.

Given that the one in 10 number is likely an underestimate, we need to frame these numbers in a broader context. The Canadian figure falls between the British (4 per cent to 7 per cent) and U.S. (15 per cent) rates for veterans from the same theatre of war.

These differences may be explained by a series of risk factors that differ between the armed forces of the three countries. These include younger age, less education, being a reservist, longer tours of duty, no decompression time before returning home and different patterns of support and treatment provided in the field. Some of these factors are modifiable, suggesting that lessons should be learned by the military before embarking on new combat missions.

Numbers are informative, but they can also be misleading. Prevalence rates will differ considerably according to the period (one-month, one-year, lifetime) measured. This should be borne in mind when comparing the rates of PTSD in veterans with those in the general population.

Furthermore, prevalence rates vary according to gender. Women historically have had significantly higher rates than men, although there is some evidence that within the military these differences are attenuated. But given that the majority of the Canadian military members who have seen combat are overwhelmingly men, the PTSD figure of one in 10 takes on even greater weight.

But there are some optimistic signs amid concerns over high numbers, co-morbid medical and psychiatric disorders and family burdens. According to Gloria Galloway’s article, Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr has his sights firmly set on helping veterans in emotional distress. Concerted efforts are also being made nationally within society at large to lessen the stigma associated with mental illness. Some of these benefits will surely trickle down into the military, in which similar efforts will hopefully gather steam with Mr. Hehr’s assertion that “even one soldier, sailor or aviator suffering from the invisible wounds of a mental-health injury is one too many.”

Veterans with PTSD should know that there are now treatments, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, prolonged exposure therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, that offer the hope of a cure or – at the very least – a reduction in symptoms.

However, treatment will take place only if the veterans step forward and request it. Creating a culture within a military ethos that allows them to do so is an imperative.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/ptsd-in-the-military-a-culture-change-is-needed/article28378034/

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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Riddick on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 12:46

Not just a culture change is needed.....but the government stop jerking around and pull their head out of the sand.....they know it's out there and refuse to acknowledge squat.

What I am eluding to is the toxic effects of Mefloquine. Once you add milk to soup how do you tell what is milk and what is soup?? One becomes part of the other. With Mefloquine toxity the symptoms mimic PTSD. How do you treat the effects of Mefloquine or PTSD???? Then ....like mentioned the many consequential problems associated with or can be associated with PTSD. What are the known problems associated with Mefloquine toxicity????

Yes.......getting a soldier to step forward and say I have__________ or I need help, is a problem in itself. Hell if I let anyone know I am having these symptoms I might get.....released.....then with no paying job how do I afford a quality life for wife and children........wait VAC to the rescue.......here is a lifeline..........hey what's this....throwing me an anvil will only make my situation worse........ya well you are costing us money now soldier......frack off

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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by RobbieRoyal on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 16:48

The problem with these antiquated documents is that there is a huge deficiency in validating surveys and the source from how these performance objectives are initialized. To cut through a long series of crap, most studies are so old that they (guys like Freinstein) develop their own criteria and pass it on as though they created the moon. Riddick nailed it, you pass out a survey, and a soldier will tell you about 1/10th of what you want to hear, period. If you can gain enough common ground from 10% move over Einstein I’m moving in with doc.
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by johnny211 on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 19:24

Riddick and RR - Great comments boys. Riddick you hit it with Getting the guy or gals to step forward and say they have a prob and need help, is hard to do. As I got out in 01, back then it was a career ender. I am not sure about today. But being someone diagnosed 3 yrs ago with this puzzle of a brain called severe and chronic ptsd, I know it was hard to admit it too ones self. But I have become quite open with it these past year or so, and being open I can spot, and have assisted others in getting help.
And my thought on these surveys/CF/DVA stats, is that it will be years down the rd before we see the full force OF #, due to Afgan. I think reading somewhere the average years for a ptsd person to come out is 15 years. Like me most unfortunetly will loose there spouse first, family, have money issues, addiction issues, and this could go on for years, before they in the end will either, pull the pin on life, or come fwd. I know because I have been thru all this. But I feel we have not even scratched the surface of Afgan ptsd Vets yet.
Also other folks who have not been in cmbt, but have seen some shit on UN tours/On ex here/Swiss Air/ etc, will come out years from now. No Vet should feel any different that there ptsd was caused not on a battlefield, but at other incidents. I'm rambling now, but thats my view on it.
I will say also that the OSSIS gp truely saved my life. I urge anyone to come fwd to this gp. VVV...
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Riddick on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 20:17

Yes Robbie.....these surveys after surveys....study after study......we all know it's a game.....stall tactics from the government......when they want to move they can move.....and find all kinds of money.....just like the refugees.

And Johnny...yep.....it is hard to come forward........many can't admit to themselves what they are no longer. Women spend more time on their looks (and money...lol)........that is their vanity (Not putting women down)........with men......it's our huge pride.....I can fix this....I can build that....na no bandaid for me....my arm will grow back...my car is faster than yours and I can drink you under the table..... I don't need help.... and I certainly don't need help supporting my family............but we are wrong......we do feel pain....we feel ashamed....guilty.......if only we can lower our pride just a little.....

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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Ex Member on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 08:14

Seen on the news 50% of soldiers suffering ptsd were or seen abuse as kids cannot argue with that as i was a kid when i joined but was not abused as a child. Well at 8yrs old was allowed to take the 22 small game hunting behind the house at 10 the 12ga and trapped for extra money was allowed to take the vw beatle to the store as we were pretty remote mowed lawns shoveled driveways cut firewood anything to make a couple bucks for ammo etc it was nothing to see a log truck or dump truck at high school and if you were going to a buddy's for the weekend to do some hunting and fishing you would take the shot gun on the bus and lock it in your locker at school along with the shells we had manner's new how to be responsible and done as we were told and respected people life was good then at 17 i made the biggest mistake of my life that's when the abuse started for me quess what that was... Put that in your pipe and smoke it survey.

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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 08:45

My father was an ex- Airborne, enough said!
The shit he was put through, i.e. exercises, deployments and just the military's culture could be felt at home growing up.
Guess I am going to use it to my benefit in my fight against VAC.
or will they use it against me?
At this point only time will tell as I am powerless against the powers to be.


Last edited by Dannypaj on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 11:55; edited 1 time in total
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 08:54

Hopes and dreams Shattered! and now as wildthing says tortured mentally.
I should of never asked for help.
It disturbs me to read articles of the ill treatment of soldiers for which took place in the last ten years.
I lived it and let me tell you that until all is said and done ruminating is what I am left doing.
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Teentitan on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 11:00

If anyone can explain to me what this 50% of CF soldiers were sexually abused means please explain it to me?

In my experience in dealing with VAC and the GoC this kind of report is nothing more then a smoke screen to distract people from the real issue. This is a seed that will be slowly watered to put into the public's mind that CF soldiers were broken before they joined. So that the PTSD claims can be questionable on the final adjudication. In about 3-5 years VRAB will use this against a vet.

Pure propoganda BS!!
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 11:59

Teen if you read my decision letters from VRAB, you would definitely hang your self. They put the seed of blame on you right from the get go.
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Ex Member on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 12:17

I think they meant physical (beatings) and mental abuse and sexual. it certanly wasnt sexual unless blue balls was part of the survey. agreed teen they are grasping at straws what will it be tomorrow to much playing grande theft auto. Danny of coarse they did direct it to being a military brat Don't matter it was still military mentality what ever they say turn it right back on them.

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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Teentitan on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 12:42

Danny you don't have to tell me about decision letters. I know how they screw with you. But when you bark back at them at the table during a hearing it certainly catches their attention to stay in their lane and on topic.

That is why BPA needs to be overhauled. The turnover of lawyers is too fast. Just as they are starting to get a grip on what is going on they have done their "time/training" and they move on.

First thing I tell anyone who is about to go into a hearing is "if you don't understand what is going on, or someone says something you don't agree just say STOP explain that last comment to me."

You are in control of any hearing and if the vet says nothing they get the shaft.
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Ex Member on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 13:33

I actually knew and know of several cases of rape occurring against CF members while deployed more than you would think and a lot of ptsd claims are for this. Believe it or not sexual assault cases where the victim develops PTSD are extremely hard to resolve and cure almost impossible. Several involved CF personal, male , that were raped by Muslim men in the gulf. 80 percent of these cases were never reported because of the perceived shame on the male CF member.

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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Teentitan on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 13:39

That's the result of 'being' in the CF. We are talking about the smoke screen report on CF soldiers before they joined the CF. Come on Nav stay on point.
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Re: PTSD in the military: A culture change is needed

Post by Ex Member on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 13:44

I have a claim hearing going on right now for their safety and mine i am better off right here i have already answered any question they could ask and supplyed more than enough evidence to win i also two weeks ago got a new lawyer as the last one was a special kind of idiot i have a women now and she will win for me i don't take no crap no more and won't be bullied. they are getting their money for the appeal that is really what their after im not giving them any chance to judge me. just review the evidence that my new lawyer said should have never been denied by vac back in 2007 which was the final straw on the road to melt down and sent me into hibernation and distress for 8 years. they are playing games with veterans lives all for the almighty dollar.BS

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