5th April 2008
100,000 US Soldiers Mentally Ill
Post Trauma with its electric imprints or states of memories is not hard to understand if you have been through life threatening events which have been severe or even sustained over a longer period of time with the general threat of being killed, deeply hurt, or abused.
Although a good many mental health services in the UK misdiagnose or render patient's conditions concealed under others labels which are anti historic and therefore anti-context. We have seen this done too often with PD "Personality Disorder" - BPD Borderline Personality Disorder and other labels like "Psychosis" and even "Schitzophrenia" and the common thread in some of this mis-location of personal history by label is unusual patterns of threat and distress being borne without a voice that is more humanly received.
It causes in anyone a build up of layers of delayed expression . People may wish to forget powerful and threatening feelings but powerful feelings will not forget them because, they ARE us ..
Soldiers are often more clearly and attributably post traumatised and at UserWatch we have actually known some of them like that . One who died without treatment or full emotional human witness still feeling events of the burning tanks and his friends screaming and dying in them in World War 2...
Godbless Ron .
And some more, but we'll keep that to ourselves .
Psychically armoured for war and death this gives way in some soldiers later to reveal just a human being that chose to defensively adapt themselves for patriotism or in the flow of events to a role that can be terrifying .
Nightmares , smells, sounds, and all manner of details can be triggered after war . The faces of those killed, both enemy and friend, can come back as though there is more to say and more to suffer, to some kind of end. Its all a terrible half broken narrative really of overloaded feelings inside a socially made iron containment that screamed at some level to come out, but were held down behind the collective iron job of war...
The Falklands War has seen in the years after its end about 250 suicides amongst the soldiers who went there ....(See Guardian Story )
So its with some anguish that we read in the BBC that 100,000 US personnel in Iraq now are suffering mental illness
We will not get preachy about this....Oh no ... but we will hang our heads with many in pained thought. And we will say because some of us have been there, and are still there in trauma-land, that soldiers are part of us and we are undoubtably a flawed race, but what has to come home with a full story in trauma is the soul that went through it and has survived with scars . ..Listen to it... Do not forget them...
BBC EXTRACT :
"A study by the Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes, a budget expert from Harvard, concludes the cost could be at least $3 trillion.
The figure is so large because, Professor Stiglitz says, it includes costs that official estimates do not, such as the cost of the lifetime medical care for 65,000 injured American personnel.
And he says that 100,000 of the 750,000 combat troops who have been discharged so far have been diagnosed with mental health problems.
On the strength of evidence from previous conflicts, he said, still others will have various health and mental problems in the future.
There will be disability pay and health care costs to the US budget that will continue for several decades.
He estimates these costs could add another $600bn to the price of the war.