In the Civil War, veterans with psychological combat disorders were diagnosed with
"soldier's heart." In World War I, the term was "shell shock" and in World War II
"combat fatigue." The term "post traumatic stress disorder" was added to official Veterans Affairs' diagnostic codes in the early 1980s.
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overmedicated, forced to talk about their mothers instead of Iraq, and have
to fight for disability pay. Traumatized combat vets say the Army is failing
them, and after a year following more than a dozen soldiers at Walter Reed
Hospital, and reporter Mark Benjamin says he believes the
Iraq Veterans Cope with PTSD by Eric Westervelt All Things
Considered, March 31, 2005 · A new study in the New England Journal of
Medicine shows that one quarter of veterans who fought in Afghanistan and
Iraq and were treated at VA hospitals in the past 16 months were diagnosed
with mental disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the most common
Mental health crisis hits UK troops Iraq
conflict is causing record levels of depression and post-trauma stress.
Thousands of British troops have experienced serious mental health problems
following service in Iraq, according to the most authoritative study ever
undertaken into the psychological impact of war on UK soldiers. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1774461,00.html
Psychological Impact of Killing in Battle Taking a life, even
in the context of war, can have serious psychological repercussions for
soldiers. Reporter Alix Spiegel talked to one expert who has studied the
experience, and two former soldiers who have killed in battle. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1802199
War Comes Home: Rifleman couldn't take any more The young
rifleman's suicide didn't make official military lists of
"non-hostile," "self-inflicted" deaths in Operation
Iraqi Freedom, lists that show 26 overseas Army soldiers and Marines
killed themselves as of July 24 this year. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/186127_warsuicide13.html
U.S. Troops Suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress after Iraq A new study of the mental health of U.S. troops who've been in Iraq
shows a substantial rate of post-traumatic stress disorder and other
psychiatric illnesses. The high rates of mental illness occurred despite
intensive efforts by U.S. officials to prevent them. NPR's
Joseph Shapiro reports. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3057036
If you know someone
returning from Iraq or Afghanistan that may be having trouble, this is a good
site to start: Not All Wounds Are Visible - PTSD Alliance
HOW TO GET HELP
Returning Iraq soldiers can get access to vet-to-vet support groups,
individual mental-health therapy and treatment for nightmares, sleeplessness,
depression and stress disorders through a variety of local providers.
The VA Puget Sound Health Care System branch in Seattle has a special
deployment health clinic to handle mental and physical post-combat evaluation
and treatment. It also offers individual, marital and family counseling, social
services and help with obtaining benefits. Call 206-764-2636.
The Seattle VA also has a separate clinic for female vets. Call 206-768-5314.
The state VA's PTSD program offers counseling throughout the state. Call
800-562-2308. A complete list of providers is at www.dva.wa.gov;
click on "PTSD."
Help is available at Fort Lewis through the Madigan Army Medical Center
behavioral health department: 253-968-2700.
Veterans Outreach Centers are located in Seattle, 206-553-2706; Tacoma,
253-565-7038; and Bellingham, 360-733-9226.
The Army Source One hot line offers soldiers and their families 24-hour
confidential consultation and referral, seven days a week, as well as free,
private, in-person counseling sessions in local communities. 800-464-8107.
Americans need to
tie a “Yellow Ribbon” around their memories, when veterans are eventually
dumped off at V.A. hospitals around the United States. - Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71
[Times photo: Kathleen Flynn ]
Lisset Greene her son Anthony Rivera, 6, and her daughter
19-month-old Laila Greene visit the grave of their husband and father
Curtis Greene who committed suicide in December after returning from
serving in Iraq.
My Dead Body'She has not seen his suicide letter, which she
was told is being held as evidence in an ongoing investigation.