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PTSD

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Krystal80, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Krystal80

    Krystal80 Member

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    A person on another forum is writing a college paper on Post Tramatic Stress Disorder in soldiers and someone else put up a link to this old post WWII video. Really old style of medical treatment. I really feel for the soldiers. I wonder if any of these treatments did any good. I would like to think so.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Might want to put them onto LtCol Dave Grossman..A leader in the field. - Just google him.
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'll move the other since this one has a response.
     
  4. Krystal80

    Krystal80 Member

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    Great, here is the link again Let There Be Light#
    I'll warn you that it is long-about an hour video. Actual footage of the soldiers explaining their problems-some can't walk and others stutter, lots of different issues and all seem to be in their mind. I'm still watching it and it is pretty good.
     
  5. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    We had a discussion last year about this next door at 'The Talk' and it got very lively. There is a great deal of information posted in the thread and exhibited through the ensuing discussion.

    Post Traumatic Stress?? - World War 2 Talk
     
  6. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I suggest finding the works of John W. Appel and Gilbert W. Beebe who did extensive studies on military psychology etc., during the WW 2 and just after period if you want period stuff from WW 2. I used some of their studies in designing wargames as they relate to morale and disintigration of units.
     
  7. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    I believe that if you do a search at ww2f you will also find several discusssions and sets of links on PTSD.

    This link may be of assistance. St. Anne`s Veterans Hospital had a program for PTSD for the Canadian Military in modern times.<

    PTSD Association | PTSD Resources - PTSD Association Canada
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I don't normally recommend any particular television show but in the case of NCIS I do make an exception. Watched part 1 of a 2 part episode tonight which is dealing with PTSD. Granted it is still a 'made for television' serial show but occasionally one of the better ones in my opinion. Part 2 airs next Tuesday and may be interesting to others here. If anyone remembers the episode of the Medal of Honor recipient (with Charles Durning), "Call of Silence", I think this may be in that caliber.
    I expect at the end of the show there will be references for places for today's Veterans.
    If nothing else it might give just a small hint at what can happen to some who have already given so much.
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    You da:bump: king, Biak. :D

    Another good thread bumped to the top.
     
  10. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I suspect most PTSD is created by touch-feely programs that actually encourage soldiers to feel bad about what they'd done.

    WWII soldiers were a tougher breed of men. They grew up in the depression. They were used to hardship and didn't agonize so much with the politically correct feelings they are encouraged to feel today. No doubt, they had those feelings but in that generation they just sucked it up, compartmentalized it and got on with their lives. They didn't have a bunch of socialization training to suggest they were "broken" if they didn't feel guilt about killing people or seeing their comrades killed.

    They did a job, came home, made babies and put it behind them.
     
  12. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    KD, If I'm incorrect I apologise, is your first paragraph relating to today's forces? I'll agree that ww2 soldiers were tougher mentally as a personal view. One I tend to agree with myself..However if you are saying ptsd is a created affliction I suggest you visit our sister site ww2 talk and open their thread on ptsd which many of our own members here and many from America who are members here have contributed. Some who suffer. My own views are on there and I will not repeat them here. I'd suggest our British members tune into tonights Afghan documentary on the Brit infantry's biggest loss there during a platoon attack and what happened to the 2 survivors on return to the UK which had nothing whatsover to do with touchy feely and more with that experience. No help offered to them no policially correct intrusions , just left as KB says to get on with their lives.
     
  13. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    You are way off base on your assumption.
    Here is a link to our sister site where this very subject has been discussed. There is a lot of good information in it. I encourage you to read the entire thread, before expressing your point of view further.
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/veteran-accounts/26066-post-traumatic-stress.html
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    PTSD has been around forever, it just had different names during different eras. You have always had soldiers that had issues dealing with what they experienced. Drinking, a self-administered anesthesia, has always been a popular choice. Back in the 50's and 60's drinking frequently and in large quantities was more accepted. Often WWI veterans were said to be "shell shocked" to describe the psychologial symptoms they manifested when they returned home. I can remember staying with my great grandmother and being warned not to get out of bed at night when uncle Horace was there. "Some bad things happened to him when he fought the Japanese in the Solomons and on Guam. If he sees something moving in the dark he might hurt you without meaning to, honey.", is how my G-grandmother explained it. A classic PTSD symptom. Read Sledge's book, he definately had issues, he never discussed them until he wrote them down in his book. The difference today is we know more about mental health. We know how to give the troops some degree of help. An infantry man on one tour in Vietnam would have more days in combat, with fewer breaks than all but a very few WWII vets that were overseas for years. Add in multiple tours and they're not even close.
    One area where there does appear to be a greater problem today and from Vietnam, than in WWII, and it could be I'm just not aware of it happening with WWII Vets, is posers. People that are claiming combat experience and service, and often accompanied by heart rending stories, and claims of PTSD, when they never served or served in a capacity that did not include exposure to danger. One of the guys that went to Iraq with my older son came back from Iraq, made the front page of several papers with his stories of combat and his problems readjusting. Even managed to fool a psychatrist into discharging him from the Marine Corps with a disability for PTSD. Turns out he was a Fobbit and never left the wire, was never shot at or blown up, never saw dead friends, enemies or civilians. The rest of the Marines in the unit wrote statements, he lost his VA disability rating and was dishonorably discharged. Doesn't matter that every person that read the stories in the newspaper believe what was initially printed. Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor receipient, in his book details his post combat issues. They were not related to all the people he killed, they were related to his inability to save his team. What's sad is that in his mind he failed, I can't ever remember reading of anyone that ever tried harder. He also talks about being sent to group therapy for PTSD with several of Vietnam Vets. He also states he knew they were fakers! Another book I'd recommend is Jerimiah Workman's "Shadow of the Sword", awarded the Navy Cross in Iraq, he returned to the US, was training recruits and melted down mentally on the drill field. The book gives a good look at one Marines mental struggles. My older son thought he did a great job of telling the story of his struggles, and requested that I get his mother to read it so she could understand some of the things he was going through. She refused telling me she didn't really think she could take knowing what had happened to her boys. I think that was a common problem post WWI and WWII, you don't want to talk to anyone about it that can't relate, and most everyone else doesn't want the details because they are too painful. That's also one reason veterans tend to hang out with their veteran friends. There were actually several movies that came out post WWII that did a pretty decent job of showing the effects of what we today call PTSD. For it to be prevelant enough for Hollywood to dramatize it, it wasn't an unknown issue.
    Till the End of Time (1946) with Robert Mitchum and Guy Madison is one of the ones that immediately comes to mind.


    And have you never heard of Ira Hayes? One of the Iwo Jima Flag raisers he couldn't deal with being considered a hero when in his mind all the heroes had died on Iwo Jima. He tried to drink himself numb and ended up dying in a ditch from alcohol poisoning and exposure, laying in his own vomit. PTSD is and has always been a real issue.


    Enough preaching, I'll leave you with this little video made using scenes from the mini-series the Pacific and showing Sledge's problems dealing with what he had experienced.
    The Pacific - Eugene Sledge Tribute- I'm so sorry - YouTube
     
  15. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5 Patron  

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    Saw films of the shell shock victims from the trenches of WWI, taken at Bethesda, for a great WWI documentary I found at Best Buy. Poor chaps were absolutely bonkers living under their beds or worse.

    Then there is the Richard Haro character from Boardwalk Empire, HBO series. A victim of horrible disfigurement and stress syndrome. That guy made me cry a couple times.

    I always imagine my Grandfather's brother, Harper Kline, Rock of the Marne Division, H Company dying in a field hospital in France in early November 1918. I guess he didn't come home so some other guy could. A hallowed history for the men of the Rock Division: Fort Stewart, GA! Rest in Peace, Harper, Nashville, OH..........

    3rd Infantry Division History

    View attachment 18282
    They stood fast and held the line at the Marne when the other Divisions broke ranks. Pershing awarded them high praise for that and they served well with General George S. Patton in WW II.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I know PTSD is a real thing. I just think it's encouraged today with encounter groups and monetary rewards through the VA and the push to "share your feelings" that is so prevalent in modern society. I think most (not all!) people would be better off just putting it behind them rather than picking the scab for years after it's over.

    I'm reminded of a female friend of mine who lost a breast through cancer. The cancer didn't change her, but all the support groups and constant participation in "awareness" activities and so on, turned her from "Joyce" to "Joyce, Breast Cancer Survivor." She became a stranger for several years until she finally realized that she was living a different life. Now she just writes a check every year and has gotten on with her real life.
     
  17. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    It doesn't work that way; PTSD is not something that peopleput behind them". Some people have different coping mechanisms that allow them to assimilate behavior; but, it is never truly put away.

    On a side note, I have been dealing with PTSD for the last 17 years. The last 10 years I have been putting things into perspective and effectively dealing with my stuff. I also have never sought, nor will I seek , compensation. Not everyone is able to realize that something just "ain't right" with them.

    Again, I encourage you to read the thread I linked.
     
    A-58, urqh and rkline56 like this.
  18. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Just thought I'd once again bump this thread since there is interest and add a few thoughts. 'Shell Shock, PTSD, Combat Fatigue, call it what you will, affects every soldier in a myriad of ways. As I wrote in another thread somewhere on here I had a family member, my Great Aunt & Uncle's Son, who returned from WW2 completely changed. A normal intelligent young man when he left for Europe he could barely function upon his return. Irwin was a gentle quiet person who I would try to talk to. He would look at me, sometimes give a small smile but mostly look away. The best I remember he would walk around outside just wandering or feed the chickens. I also remember I was told to not upset him and not go too far from the house. I assume now it was because they were not sure how or if or when he might react. I never saw him violent but looking back believe he must have been at other times. He ate his meals in his room and only once sat at the table with us the many times we visited. No one knows what he saw or endured only that something affected him so much he barely spoke and then only a muffled yes or no.

    This article was just on the DOD site;

    WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2013) --
    "I was driving my Ford station wagon across the Woodrow Wilson (bridge) and was suddenly back in Da Nang."

    George "Noel" Crawford had just experienced "a hell of a flashback" while driving across the Potomac River near Washington, D.C., and he knew something was terribly wrong.

    "I can't deal with this," he said to himself. He immediately drove to nearby Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

    Crawford, an Army captain and pharmacist who served in Vietnam from September 1967 to September 1968, had that flashback in 1988, two decades after the incident.

    "I went into the psychiatry department, and an Air Force lieutenant colonel with flight wings and ribbons going all the way down to his knee says 'how can I help you, colonel?'

    "And I said, 'well, I've lost it. I had a flashback just now going across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and I'm still shaking.'

    "And he says, 'welcome to the club.'

    "And I said, 'what do you mean?'

    "And he says, 'I used to be an F-4 pilot. I was a throttle jockey. I used to drop bombs on villages until I found out what I did one day. I went into a village I had strafed and bombed. I haven't been in a cockpit since then.'

    "So he hospitalized me in what they call the Rapid Treatment Unit. My roommate Gary was a Navy doctor who'd also been in Vietnam. We were both trying to figure out what's wrong with us; it really hadn't come out yet, with PTSD."

    Crawford was referring to the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD, which had at the time just recently been added back into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical/Mental Disorders, known as the DSM. That guide is used by physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists to help with the identification and treatment of medical and mental disorders.

    He explained that although the diagnosis was in the DSM, people weren't yet familiar with treating PTSD patients.

    "So Gary and I grabbed the DSM off the nurse's station and we started thumbing through it and we got ahold of the psychiatrist who was treating us and we pointed to the diagnosis in the book and said to him 'hey, this is Gary and me, right here' and he looked at that diagnosis and says, 'my God, you're right.'

    "So they put us in a different treatment type modality. Anyway, to make a long story short, they retired me from the service with (PTSD). And they retired Gary from the service with it too," he recalled.

    Crawford, who still has Vietnam buddies with PTSD, said 20 years is not unusual for "you to break down for the first time if it is left untreated."

    He likened the force of PTSD to someone trying to balance him or herself on a beach ball in the deep end of a pool "but having it pop up and hit you in the face."

    Crawford said it's hard explaining PTSD to someone who has never experienced it. "You experience an event that is outside the normal realm of human comprehension," he said.

    "I never thought of harming myself, but I've had friends that have," he said, speaking about one of the many possible outcomes of having PTSD.

    "There's a lady in Ohio, Connie, who served with me in Vietnam," he said. She was our ICU nurse in the 2nd Surgical Hospital, a mobile Army surgical hospital based in Chu Lai.

    She worked 12-hour shifts, six or seven days a week, caring for the severely wounded men, "boys really," Crawford said. "She also wrote letters to the families of those who didn't make it, letting them know she was with their sons until the end."

    "It took her 40 years to find out why she could not get a full night sleep, and was having vivid nightmares of Vietnam and other issues," he said.

    Crawford related that he and Connie made contact with one another after 40 years. When he learned of her issues, he insisted that she get herself to the nearest Veterans Administration facility and enroll in a program for PTSD treatment -- which she did.

    "After having gone through PTSD counseling, Connie says she now gets a good night's sleep.

    "There was just no relief in the ICU," he continued. "Three hundred sixty five days a year, 24/7, all they brought you were those with severe trauma, severe head injuries, traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds. We didn't see very many walking patients, like those with the flu, diarrhea or jaundice. It was always somebody coming in with blood flowing through the bottom of the stretcher and you're trying to save their life under the most adverse of conditions."

    Crawford also served as commander of the 563rd Medical Clearing Company, with platoons "spread out from Chu Lai to Quang Tri. I traveled all up and down I Corps."

    From about 1955 to 1975, South Vietnam was divided into four military sections or corps. I Corps was the northernmost corps, bordering North Vietnam. At the time, most U.S. forces there were Marines. However, the Army had the 23rd Infantry Division, also known as the Americal Division, at Chu Lai.

    He flew a number of "milk runs" with Maj. Gen. Pat Brady, then a major and commander of the 54th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance). Several of these milk runs, or routine missions, turned into medevac situations, he recalled.

    Brady was awarded the Medal of Honor during that time and later wrote a book, "Dead Men Flying: Victory in Viet Nam, the Legend of Dust Off: America's Battlefield Angels."

    Not all experiences for Crawford in Vietnam were traumatic.

    "I was assisting in triage in the ER when this kid from Alabama came walking in one night, dragging his M-14," Crawford said. "I asked him 'what's with you, Soldier?' And he said 'I don't know but I think it's up here' and he pointed up to his left clavicle and in his right collar there was a bullet hole. I pulled the left part of his shirt back down and there was a butt end of an AK-47 round stuck in his clavicle.

    "So I said, 'you just stand over here son and we'll take care of this right now,' and I went over and got iodine swabs, gauze pads, tape and forceps and said, 'this is gonna be kinda like pulling a tooth, but don't worry too much, it may sting a little,'" Crawford said.

    "And I popped it out and said 'is this what you're looking for?' and his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he passed out, getting a nice lump on his head," he continued. "I didn't expect that. He was otherwise OK. Boy did I catch hell for that one. The surgeon told me 'next time have them lay down.'"

    "So I went down to the dental clinic and drilled a hole through (the bullet) and stuck it on his dog tags and I said 'now you will tell your grandchildren all about this. But don't tell them the stupid medic made you pass out,'" Crawford recalled. "Always the funny things like that that you try to remember, not the other ones."

    "Then there was the time I was triaging and there's this kid that came limping in and I said 'what's wrong with you, Soldier?' And he said 'I got hit in the thigh.' So I cut his fatigues away. [Starting] at the knee and going up to his family jewels was a long gash. At the end of the gash there was a lump, about two-and-a-half, three inches high. And I gently felt it and thought to myself 'holy crap, it's a live M79 round.'

    "I asked him 'what were you doing?'

    "And he said 'I was charging a bunker when this Charlie popped up and fired at me point blank with a grenade launcher.'

    "I said 'go over here and sit down in this corner.'

    "And I went and got the surgeon, and said, I've got this guy with an M79 grenade round in his leg, and he said 'Crawford, you've been in the grain alcohol in the pharmacy again.'

    "And I said 'no, no, no, no.'

    "And I went and got the portable X-ray and had the tech shoot a picture of it and pulled the film out and there it was and went over to surgeon and said 'what does this look like to you?'

    "And he literally crapped his pants.

    "Long story short, we got the kid into a building in back of the hospital on a field surgical table [and] sandbagged him all up. I had seen a bullet-proof windshield from an old French armored car which I retrieved and cleaned up. I placed it over the area we were going to work on.

    "Lt. Col. Nate Natchiff, who was the commander and a surgeon, came in and the nurses had donated a pair of panty hose so we could sandbag his family jewels in case the damn thing went off he wouldn't lose those.

    "And we opened him up and Nate took the round out and passed it off to the explosives ordnance disposal guy from the Americal Div. His name was Bill Puckett and I still remember him stuttering and shaking like a leaf and asking for a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label after all of this was over.

    "And I thought to myself, 'oh are we in trouble.'

    "Bill took that round in a basin of sand and said 'clear the area,' walked down to the beach, heaved it over the cliff, and yelled 'fire in the hole' at the same time. The damned thing detonated when it hit the beach and it shook the whole compound. We just stood there looking at each other and then went and drank some of the Scotch Bill had suggested.

    "Nate got the Silver Star. The rest of us got a thank you.

    "We were the first ones to take a live round out of a patient and were written up in the New York Times. After that, Soldiers with live rounds imbedded in some part of their bodies started to happen more frequently," he said.

    Then, Crawford related the incident in Da Nang that triggered his flashback on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

    "Now most things I can handle. But what slammed me up against the wall was one afternoon I was going out to the airfield, MAG-13 (Marine Air Group-13), with my first sergeant. And a Sea Knight (CH-46 helicopter) came up from behind us at low altitude, banked over to our left, and never pulled out of the bank.

    "They went in upside down just off to our left and crashed. The damn thing blew up and burned. The loading ramp in the rear was up, making escape impossible. Onboard were 12 Marines who never got out. We could hear their screams. We tried to rescue them. One of the Seabees unwound his winch, drove his truck as close as he could and threw the hook into the wreckage and tried to pull it apart, and we could not get those kids.

    "I can still see that incident unrolling before my eyes. Those are the things you experience in combat.

    "Now see, I went and talked about it.

    "I was in a counseling group at the VA, and after many months we got down to the incidents that did this to us. And I told them mine.

    "We had a helicopter pilot in counseling, Ron, who had flown UH1 (Huey) helicopter gunships. I said 'I don't know what happened or why,'" referring to the Sea Knight incident.

    "Then Ron tried to reassure me, saying 'it happens all the time. He lost his hydraulics on the bank in his turn. And he lost total control. And there was only one thing that was going to happen. He was going to crash.'"

    Crawford said that explanation gave him some consolation after having relived it over and over again, "but you never forget. You never really get over it."

    The helicopter pilot's explanation of what happened may not seem like much, Crawford said, "but it was a big deal and sometimes those little things can really mean a lot."

    He gave an example of a buddy who was in counseling for PTSD with him who got a certain amount of closure for something that might also have seemed almost trivial:

    "He was a tank commander and was sitting on top of the turret. His ammo guy was loading ammo inside the tank. And he watched this RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) come toward his tank and he said 'it was like slow motion.' And it hit the hull and drove through and exploded.

    "And it blew him off the turret, but they never found the guy inside loading the ammo. They said they found a part of a rib cage.

    "But this guy's problem was he could not remember this kid's name. He was striving to remember the ammo loader's name.

    "And I said 'all you found was bones?'

    "And he looked at me and said 'oh my God that's it. The kid's name was Bonesteel.'

    "When I'd said bones,' it triggered a memory and he remembered, and he could finally get through the process.

    "Group therapy really works," said Crawford, relating his own experience in VA counseling.

    "Tom was the facilitator. He was never in combat but he was one of us. He was really one of us," said Crawford, explaining that the group accepted Tom because "he had such empathy and such insight to our needs that we felt like he was a member of the team.

    "Some nights we didn't feel like talking and he'd go down and get a video and we'd watch 'Young Frankenstein.' We didn't want to talk. We just clammed up. On other nights we did talk through our experiences or whatever else was on our minds.

    "He was our best buddy and we would have done anything for Tom because he just worked us through the situation and he didn't put up with none of this bureaucratic bullshit. The VA would tell him 'you can't do that,' and he'd say 'go to hell, I'm doing it' and we'd do it."

    Crawford said he's glad researchers are exploring many different ways to treat PTSD and he encourages veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to seek help. But he cautioned that there's no magic pill that will completely remove the pain.

    "While I was in group therapy we started up group therapy for World War II and Korean War veterans. Talk about a time delayed fuse. These folks had never talked or found relief until Vietnam vets started the process.

    "You go through therapy, you feel better, you do work, you function, but it's always there; it's just over your shoulder."

    Postscript: Crawford said he agreed to be interviewed for this article in the hope "it might encourage veterans, police, firefighters, emergency room personnel or anyone else who has experienced a traumatic event outside the realm of normal human comprehension" to seek treatment for PTSD.

    Crawford served 18 years as a Soldier in the Army Medical Service Corps. In 1983, he transferred to the Indian U.S. Public Health Service and retired in 1988 with the rank of commander. He asked readers to "please excuse my coarse language, but that is the way it is when you talk about your experiences."

    Soldier relives traumatic experience, implores others to seek help | Article | The United States Army

    another thread:

    http://www.ww2f.com/military-history/57711-helping-shell-shock-victims.html
     
  19. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    It doesn't work that way; PTSD is not something that peopleput behind them". Some people have different coping mechanisms that allow them to assimilate behavior; but, it is never truly put away.

    On a side note, I have been dealing with PTSD for the last 17 years. The last 10 years I have been putting things into perspective and effectively dealing with my stuff. I also have never sought, nor will I seek , compensation. Not everyone is able to realize that something just "ain't right" with them.

    Again, I encourage you to read the thread I linked.


    This post above is formerjughead's post earlier, and my response was to be as a reinforcement to his. I posted my response below as Biak posted above. Hope it makes sense now. Urqh figured it out!


    Read all of it too please. You don't want to come off looking like one certain member of the "talk" that seems to frequently belittle those who suffered from PTSD because he didn't.
     
  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Since Roger was kind enough to give the PTSD thread a bump (with a post that is well worth reading, I might add), perhaps the general conversation about PTSD should continue there. :)
     

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