April 17, 2008

PTSD Rates Part Two

Major Crandall's UH-1D helicopter climbs skywa...Image via Wikipedia
In the Vietnam War (VW) we had a PTSD rate between 15-30%, depending on where you get your information. Lets split the difference, say we have a 22.5% rate of PTSD from the VW. Now, if you factor in the Iraqi vets lower casualty rate due to medical advancements and the higher rates of combat exposure. We will not even consider the fact that Urban Combat and Guerrilla Warfare, the worst kind of military engagement possible. Now in add extreme combat trauma combined with the trauma of living through life threatening wounds.

Where do you think this is going?  Maybe somewhere around double the incident rates of PTSD from the VW? Thats close to 50%, ok, lets say that would be impossible.

Do you really think that we will have the same PTSD rates as the VW? Even with the above factors tabulated in? Probably not. So, does that mean that it will be ok to have a 30-40% PTSD rate for the Iraqi War? I do not think so.

Like I have said before, we will not know until 10-20 years later what the impact will be. It will take years for PTSD to become debilitating.


  1. That has to be the most ignorant, poorly though out, line of reasoning when dealing with PTSD that I have ever heard.

    First off, your information is incorrect, because guess what?

    PTSD was not the recognized term, nor was it around for up to 15 years AFTER the Vietnam War.

    There was a multitude of "Diagnoses" given, all of which squarely fit into the PTSD category, and were IN FACT PTSD, yet not categorized thus. Unless your research included these factors, then it is not truly comprehensive.

    There is an even larger number of veterans, who through a lack of communication, or simply not knowing any better, did not sign up for or receive proper treatment via the VA for their "War Trauma", or other problems most certainly related to, or defining of, the term PTSD.

    Maybe you just worded your article here in a manner in which it is confusing to understand your true direction, because it kind of seems that way.

    However, I will tell you that PTSD is not the kind of thing that goes away. It is not the kind of thing you want to live with either. I find it rather disturbing that people try to blanket summarize the condition, or act like it is no big deal.

    That in and of itself is extremely disturbing.

    PTSD is very real, very unpleasant to live with, and does not just "Go Away".

    The realistic ratings for this disease should be an immediate 70%+, with at a minimum a temporary Individually Unemployable status, if for anything to assess and determine a Veterans mental health post-service.

  2. Dude whoever you are, you are telling me that PTSD is realistic? Who the hell is acting like it is no big deal? You apparently only read this one post. You are telling me that it does not go away? No shit, I live it every single day of my life. This blog is not a theoretical exercised on perspectives that I have only read in a book and have no internal knowledge of the matter.

    I am a Army veteran of the Gulf War, I was a driver of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. My unit fought the Iraqi Republican Guard in three campaigns and my vehicle was point for the brigade. I drove for 172 hours straight, engaged in 100 hours of sustained combat and witnessed literally thousands of enemy combatants die in that short span of time. Since being honorably discharged from the service of my country I have struggled with PTSD, depression, substance use disorder, homelessness, social and health issues. It took me 7 tries and 15 years to go through the VA bureaucracy to get the help that I needed. Nothing has been given to me that I have not fought for with my life, either in the Gulf War or with the VA. I gave freely of my time and service, the same was not done for me.

    I have eight years of journals chronicling my journey through the darkness into the light. I will be accessing them as I go and give synopsis and contrasts to my life as it was and is today. In addition I will be trying to relate to the public how a person navigates life with PTSD and how it interrelates to my everyday existence. It is my hope that by reading my story the general public will begin to understand the situation that our Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans will face in the coming years.

    What in the hell does PTSD not being recognized before 1980 have to do with my tabulations for PTSD rates in this modern day? I based the tabulations of the VW on several articles and statistical analysis.

    Yes, a larger number of veterans have psychological problems that could fit, if the symptoms remain over time that could be diagnosed as PTSD. Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) would fit most of these veterans as they become more adjusted they do not develop full blown PTSD. In this post I was not talking about anything, BUT diagnosed PTSD rates versus projections of PTSD rates for the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, hence the title "PTSD rates."

    Dude, just like you I rendered an opinion. Where the hell is your research to back up your "...ignorant, poorly though out, line of reasoning when dealing with PTSD..."

    No where in the research is anyone postulating 70% rates of PTSD, if you know of any scholarly peer reviewed journal articles that can refute my musing than bring it on(the research is in my postings throughout my blog, look it up).

    This post was about making the reader think about how many soldiers and veterans will struggle with PTSD in the on coming future.

  3. To be direct, I AM a underrated PTSD veteran. Deployed March 20th, 2003 as part of the first wave.

    I hope that clears a lot up.

    Like I said, there may be a miscontrued understanding of your response here, but if you go back and read your statements, they aren't exactly clear as to what your posturing is. It actually comes across as extremely vague.

    HOWEVER, you are correct in that I only read this post, so to that end I apologize.

    The simple fact is, people are underrated for PTSD, and while it slowly (or quickly) ruins their life, the bureaucratic powers that be hem and haw over what somebody should or should not be "Rated At", while having no real world scale with which to gauge, or more importantly, understand, a veterans daily life.

    I have been unable to hold down a job, even after trying my ass off for over 3 years, while telling myself "I will be just fine, because I am not in those situations anymore". Which is a line of total, and complete utter bullshit.

    Now, as I move to the future, I am trying to get the rating, and compenstion I feel I deserve.

    Here is something to think about though:

    When a combat veteran is honorably discharged from duty for a mental condition, at what point does it actually seem appropriate at all to chuck them out on the street and call it day?

    Would it be an exercise of common sense, to ensure that they are restored into their previously mentally healthy state, so that they may function normally amongst the denizens of the regular populace?

    Just a thought as to a flaw in the system.....

    Again, as far as your post goes (This one in particular), your statements seem to come across as rather ambiguous. I will leave it at that.

  4. Let me first say that I apologize to you for being a bit abrupt. Also, I want to say welcome home.

    Yes the system is all f'ed up, for sure. It took me 7 tries and 15 years to get my benefits and then they only rated me at 10% for PTSD, a crock of shit for sure.

    I feel ya brother, I have had at least 30 (not an exaggeration)jobs since coming out of the military. I was not fit for living in the civilian world when I came out of the Army and continued to live a life of insanity. I have in the last four years regained my mental facilities and have been able to function at a high rate.

    Soldiers turning veterans have a rough transition to go through especially combat veterans. The media plays it like veterans have all the help in the world, but the reality is that they do not. The services that are there you have to fight for just to get benefits that we are supposed to receive.

    Keep on going brother, get the help you need. I can give advice on dealing with the VA if you want it. I implore you to keep reaching out, you cannot do this thing alone.

  5. Anonymous, I hope you are still monitoring this post. I wanted you to know that I share the same perspective with you and to show you some posts that ring true to your insights:

    Fully Train our Soldiers for the Rigors of War

    Thoughts Feelings and Behavior"

    Warrior Archetype

    Battling PTSD

    No Offense to out Veterans?

    Mental Health Field Unprepared for Epidemic of PTSD

    Dissociative Spectrum

    Iraqi War Mental Health epidemic

    Forgive Me

    This is just a few of them, I hope that you find your place back in society and most of all the place in yourself that allows you find joy.

  6. 1. My childhood PTSD did not explode till I was 55 years old. These numbers are scary and something needs to be done.
    I have a few suggestions. Screening for factors that would make individuals much more susceptible to being exposed to combat trauma would help tremendously. If you have abuse in childhood or other traumatic incidents then you maybe could be a support person. Removing the soldiers who are prone to getting PTSD would lower the numbers just by screening properly.
    Next teach mindfulness before the war. Just think if you had tools to manage PTSD before you are exposed to traumatic situations. Makes sense to me. Having your soldiers possess a skill that keeps them calm, more peaceful and extremely more focused and clear headed might be a plus. We train them to kill, why not train them to keep their sanity.
    Stop the labeling of trauma wounded soldiers. It has nothing to do with bravery. It is a function of the mind and bravery has nothing to do with it.

    Nice blog Scott

    My blog on PTSD

  7. I just read the other responses and I want to clear up that I am not the annonymous who wrote the other respnses to this post.


Please share your comments, stories and information. Thank you. ~ Scott Lee