Boys dont cry

#1
I am posting this knowing full well I am going to draw "friendly fire." This story left me speechless. I hope the US military will do all it can to correct what is obviously the very serious problem of PTSD.

P.S: Although some might disagree, I find National Public Radio to be one of the more informative and educational media sources around. This is not some American leftwing radio station spouting off rubbish for the sake of ratings.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6576505
 
#4
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) First time I have ever heard of that.

The increase in brain injury cases is largely due to the advanced body armor and helmets now used by US forces. :?
 
#5
TheBigUn said:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) First time I have ever heard of that.

The increase in brain injury cases is largely due to the advanced body armor and helmets now used by US forces. :?
I take that to mean modern body armour results in it being possible to get through events that in the past would have resulted in serious bodily injury.

As the death rate of wounded troops has declined compared to previous conflicts, the rate of TBI has shot up. The nature of the Iraq war has also increased the number of brain injuries. Rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and other explosive devices cause concussive shock blasts damaging to the brain.

In short yer brain can get bounced around inside your skull causing injury much the same as Richard (Hampster) Hammond experienced from his crash in the jet car: scrambled brains.

I had a minor dose of this thanks to collecting one on the bonce. Result was outwardly not much apart from what you might expect to be the immediate effects of collecting a half brick on the side of your helmet but took me quite a while to fully get over it.

Not fun at all.
 
#6
How does this work?

I get seriously confused and can't help of thinking of those godzillions of troops marching off to WWII and ½ a godzillion marching back to bring in to being the squeeky clean 50s. Did our Dads and Grandads all come back mentally disturbed? They must have done. They can't have all topped themselves though 'cos none of us would have been born. Is this a thing like stress, which "didn't" exist 20 years ago... but is now expected of everyone? In the eighties if you had stress you were unemployable... now you can't get promoted unless you say "sh1t I'm stressed."

I'm not suggesting that some people will need help and all people will have been changed by the experience... but is this becoming an epedemic and if so, fuelled by who?
 
#7
BaldricksBullet said:
How does this work?

I get seriously confused and can't help of thinking of those godzillions of troops marching off to WWII and ½ a godzillion marching back to bring in to being the squeeky clean 50s. Did our Dads and Grandads all come back mentally disturbed? They must have done. They can't have all topped themselves though 'cos none of us would have been born. Is this a thing like stress, which "didn't" exist 20 years ago... but is now expected of everyone? In the eighties if you had stress you were unemployable... now you can't get promoted unless you say "sh1t I'm stressed."

I'm not suggesting that some people will need help and all people will have been changed by the experience... but is this becoming an epedemic and if so, fuelled by who?
Time changes...This war is much different than any other war USA and its allies has ever involved in....
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1859664,00.html

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3912/is_200501/ai_n9474065
 
#8
User 'gentlman':

How would you know anything about this subject? Was it on 'My Tube?'
 
#10
TheBigUn said:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) First time I have ever heard of that.

The increase in brain injury cases is largely due to the advanced body armor and helmets now used by US forces. :?
- Because the Body Armor, Helmets do such a good job of protecting against penetrating wounds, more Soldiers survive. However being so close to 155mm, 130mm Blasts can rattle your "yolk" around. I was approx.10M away from a 130mm IED when it went off, and was thrown about 5-7M landing on a curb shoulder/headfirst- there's still things I dont remember about the aftermath of it, and the Ambush which followed. I've no Memory of returning fire, but according to my friends & My Lt. thats just what I did.

The New ACH helmet suspension system is a series of pads which reduce significantly such injuries over the older sweatband system.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/ach.htm
 
#11
BaldricksBullet said,


I get seriously confused and can't help of thinking of those godzillions of troops marching off to WWII and ½ a godzillion marching back to bring in to being the squeeky clean 50s.
A few years ago,a person with Alzeimer's (which is now condidered a pretty serious medical condition) was simply dismissed as being 'senile'. Up until,I believe, the end of Nam, PTSD was refered to as 'shellshock'. So PTSD has always been around and with better understanding it is finally getting the attention it deserves.

I think, one reason WWII did not produce a proportionate number of headcases like Nam and Iraq is because, one was conventional warfare and the other two had a lot of "guerillaness" about them. The whole tingly feeling of knowing you are a sitting duck is enough to drive quite a few people up the wall.

You can not live on adrenaline alone which is what most PTSD sufferers did for a while and now can't adjust in the "post" action period.

Dr DD (Md, Bs, CrP.)
 
#13
BaldricksBullet said:
How does this work?

I get seriously confused and can't help of thinking of those godzillions of troops marching off to WWII and ½ a godzillion marching back to bring in to being the squeeky clean 50s. Did our Dads and Grandads all come back mentally disturbed? They must have done. They can't have all topped themselves though 'cos none of us would have been born. Is this a thing like stress, which "didn't" exist 20 years ago... but is now expected of everyone? In the eighties if you had stress you were unemployable... now you can't get promoted unless you say "sh1t I'm stressed."

REPLY:

"Millions" is the key word here - war service was part of a collective mass experience; unlike more recent conflicts, and, therefore, returning military personnel did not experience the sense of individual isolation that is so common today.

Of course many experienced what today would be recognised as PTSD, but generally always knew others at work, in their street/ community etc who had been through similar things to themselves, and I think that probably made a HUGE difference to their ability to cope, readjust to normal life.

Finally, to the overwhelming majority of people back in the 1940s/ 50s, they had fought a "good war", and no-one in the civilian world was ever going to question the validity/ rightness of what they'd done. In short, the war veterans' experiences of returning to the "real world" were fundamentally different from those of today.
 
#14
Wessex Man said,

Finally, to the overwhelming majority of people back in the 1940s/ 50s, they had fought a "good war",
Excuse moi, Wessex_Dude,

Are you saying that going to war on shaky premises, changing the mission statement a gazillion times, sidestepping international law, being deaf to the advice of your generals, fighting the war with slogans, declaring victory too soon, keeping the same feckups in command well into the third year of conflict even when the light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train heading your way, waiting for some commission to tell you the way forward because you are at a loss- are you saying that somehow this is a "bad war?"
 
#15
Devil_Dog said:
BaldricksBullet said,


I get seriously confused and can't help of thinking of those godzillions of troops marching off to WWII and ½ a godzillion marching back to bring in to being the squeeky clean 50s.
A few years ago,a person with Alzeimer's (which is now condidered a pretty serious medical condition) was simply dismissed as being 'senile'. Up until,I believe, the end of Nam, PTSD was refered to as 'shellshock'. So PTSD has always been around and with better understanding it is finally getting the attention it deserves.

I think, one reason WWII did not produce a proportionate number of headcases like Nam and Iraq is because, one was conventional warfare and the other two had a lot of "guerillaness" about them. The whole tingly feeling of knowing you are a sitting duck is enough to drive quite a few people up the wall
-See if you can find the reports from the Pacific, there were several studies done among frontline G.I.'s during the Island Hopping Campaign that would amaze you. the number of cases were Enormous. Battle Fatigue, Combat Fatigue were the terms used in the USA until Vietnam era
 
#16
Linedoggie, I could not find the numbers from the Pacific Campaign. Yet.

With the little bit of math that I still remember,

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/06/22/MNGJ7DCKR71.DTL&type=health

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder estimates that one of every 20 World War II veterans suffered symptoms such as bad dreams, irritability and flashbacks
Shrunk down to the 150,000 US GI's fighting " Over there", it means that 5% of returning vets will experience PTSD. That's an uncomfortable 7500 people.

Considering that more than a million Americans have served in this particular war, 5% would make it at the very least 50,000 vets running around with "headaches" they can't explain. Hardly something to ignore.
 
#17
WWII was a collective experince and getting home took a lot longer .So adjustment to normal life was gradual.Not like today 1 day fighting next day
back home .Also more help is available so those who have problems seek
help and dont quietly fade away.
 
#18
Just a quick question.

All this good war, sudden changes, society understanding etc etc is the reason for the differences between now and then, how does all this account for the lack of millions of Germans with mental problems post WW2?

Or did they have problems but no one gave a shite and just left them to suffer?

I reckon it is more the case that there is more information available so it just seems as if there are more cases. In the 50s having a mad dad was not something to parade before the press but something that would have been kept in the family.
 
#19
In the case of the Germans there were a lot who had problems. Ended up in many broken families where the dad just couldn't cope with normal life (and I've heard that this was also the case over here). It was further complicated by the fact that they had lost the war, which on its own might cause mental health problems. Main thing is, PTSD was not recognized as such back then, either over there or here so mostly it wouldn't have been reported.

[Add]

This is what I heard from when I studied German a few years ago, my German teacher was born in the late '40s in some village near Hamburg.
 
B

Brandt

Guest
#20
If you speak to anyone who had a father/ grandfather in WW1/WW2, I would be surprised if they didn't have a story or two of them acting weirdly after their return. Both of my grandfathers fought in WW1. One was formally diagnosed with shell shock, the other returned WIA twice and decorated. It was the latter who my father can remember waking him up one night as granddad 'hoiked out' the Germans from under his bed with an imaginary rifle & bayonet. Most of these men also 'refused to talk about it'.
I am not a psychiatrist, but it seems that many men returned from the World Wars with mental problems that they coped with alone, sometimes until they died. Today we have a much better understanding of these problems, so they get identified and treated earlier.

Going back to the original article, I can only hope that the facts have been exaggerated to sell a newspaper (not unknown). Of course some soldiers will be let down by bad commanders or medical staff, but hopefully the numbers are reducing as everyone understands the importance of treating psychological injuries. From my experience in the British Army, I feel this is improving although the psych medical staff are undoubtedly stretched and appointments not as easy to get as we would all like..
 

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