You all know I am a really huge person about PTSD, and I have two different stories I want to blog about. It is both about professional psychologists downing people with PTSD and another one is about labeling a person with or without PTSD.
So I was reading around on the internet today especially on the VAMortgage Center website blog bout Dr. Phil, now I can’t say officially because I haven’t seen the show, but from what I am reading he is calling veterans with PTSD “monsters” and “damaged goods”. Check out the article that I read HERE about what Dr. Phil is saying. Now I have’t been home during the daytime to actually catch the daytime talk shows, and if it doesn’t break in through “SpongeBob” or “iCarly” I probably won’t see it because I am spending time with my kids watching those shows.
While I can’t officially say that this is true and Dr. Phil is bashing or not bashing the veterans, I really hope not. Now I am a strong advocate of military personnel, their families and PTSD. PTSD already gets a bad name, and Lord knows a solider does a random thing and the next thing you know CNN or FOX is calling it PTSD. This is something serious and I am just getting really fed up with all these psychologists, and psychiatrists commenting on something that they have not personally seen or lived through. Unless you are with that solider or military personnel in the same exact situation, and exact location please don’t be adding your views on it. You get a lot of people confused just because you have a title in front or behind your name and also you are on TV and can influence a good amount of people.
I think labeling our veterans as monsters or damaged goods is a poor judgement and I am shocked at him. I am not sure if the guests he had on his show had violent pasts before (abusers, or violent behaviors, etc). You know please don’t take an issue that already has a stigma attached to it and just make it that much more worse. In a society where we have males who often refuse to seek treatment because it makes them look weak or less of a man, to label them monsters is just terrible and it saddens me to see these professionals going off on a tangent. (I say males b/c I don’t know much about female soliders and PTSD) I am going off experience with my husband.
Just like another organization here in Washington, DC has a founder who also has a PhD sent out an email which asked her for a quote on how she felt about the solider from Ft Lewis who killed the people in Afghanistan. Instead of her saying, “no comment or I don’t know enought about the situation to make an informed statement”. She goes off saying that this solider didn’t have PTSD signs, and this isn’t normal activity of someone with PTSD. When I questioned her as to how she came across this, she dismissed me as being beneath her since she was the expert in PTSD. Again this professional only recently in the last 10 years started dealing with veterans and their issues. She mainly dealt with the diagnosis and treatment of children. While she has sat on many panels, I wonder has she sat in the homes of some of these military veterans and spouses that are dealing with this on a day to day basis. It is very different from a top down perspective, than looking from bottom up. Sitting on panels at the Pentagon, etc doesn’t make you an expert, because there is such a disconnect from the Pentagon to the low levels of the military it is really heart-breaking.
I feel that unless you are a medical practioner dealing directly with this person, you don’t need to be making statements like this isn’t normal. How do you define what’s normal or not. Again unless you were there at that exact time and situation don’t be making assumptions.
I want to hear from the pshychologists who have deployed with line units and have been out on combat missions with the soliders and I want to know what are their thoughts and feelings.