(PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!!
By Steve William Sanson
I had an interview with Darryl Henderson on the 23rd of June. Darryl Henderson is a License Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) for the Veterans Administration.
Henderson is a retired 20 year enlisted Soldier in the United States Army and has served in various units such as the 101st Airborne Division, 82nd Airborne Division, and 18th Airborne Corps.
Henderson returned back to school and received his Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work and is licensed for the state of Nevada.
Henderson explained what happens to the psyche of an individual whom has experienced trauma in war. The impact of trauma can create major symptoms in a person and if these symptoms are severe enough the afflicted is labeled with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Henderson explained that PTSD has several names depending on the war. In the Civil War PTSD was known as Soldiers Heart, W.W.I it was known as Shell Shock, W.W.II it was known as Battle Fatigue, Korean War it was known as War Neuroses and in Vietnam it was named Vietnam Syndrome. Shortly after the Vietnam War it was renamed PTSD which is now a diagnosis listed in the DSM IV.
PTSD was taken seriously after the Vietnam War, because a lot of our servicemen and women had difficulty readjusting to civilian life.
Henderson explained that there is no down time for our combat veterans in a war torn country. Unlike civilian life if you are a Police Officer and you are shot at (but not shot) you receive six -- eight months paid administrated Leave. The military will put you in the rear and or on medication until you can perform again, show no symptoms of PTSD and then you are placed back into the combat zone.
Some symptoms of PTSD are: anger, rage, recurring and intrusive thoughts such as a remembrance of a traumatic event that happened in war (flashbacks, nightmares) and hyper vigilance. PTSD can contribute to marital problems, alcoholism, domestic violence, drug abuse and infidelity which can be the results of the symptoms related to PTSD.
War changes people and they are not the same once they return from war.
Henderson explained that there is no training on how to respond psychologically when you see your fellow serviceman and women get killed.
Henderson believes that our men and women that are being charged with war crimes should be first diagnosed to find out if they are suffering from PTSD, before they are placed on trial.
Henderson stated that there is no known cure for PTSD and explained that PTSD can last a lifetime. When getting treated for PTSD all that can be done is to limit the symptoms. When asked how this is done Henderson explained, with the use of Cognitive behavioral training, talk therapy, and or medication can help with the symptoms of PTSD.
Henderson suggested that a veteran should join a veteran organization such as the American Legion, Veteran of Foreign Wars, and the Marine Corps League to help cope with the stress of war and the return to civilian life. Sharing a likeness, being around people with similar life experience helps a veteran to deal with and understand their situation.
Henderson explains about readjustment of military families, stating that families have to notice the distress responses of their veteran such as hyper vigilance (over sensitivity to noise) sleep disorder, nervous energy, social withdrawal, nightmares, risky behavior: (example road rage, cigarette, drugs, alcohol abuse, and impulsive spending).
Henderson explained that child abuse and neglect is a problem and some veterans do not want to be around children. In Iraq when the children are out on the street playing and it gets quite that means a bomb is about to go off. Veterans need to readjust with their thinking which should take about three to six months to readjust from war to civilian life.
Henderson explained that if they do not adjust within this time frame they need to seek professional help.
Henderson explained that the Vet Center Program helps military servicemen and woman to readjust back into civilian life. The Vet Center serves all members of the service from all wars at no charge on an out patient basis.
The Vet Center Program has been delegated by Congress since 1979 from the department of Veteran affairs as a result of Vietnam Veterans returning from combat to peace time environment.
The Vet Center handles individual counseling, group counseling, alcohol and drug assessment, marriage and family counseling, groups for the spouse and significant others, referrals to the Veteran Administration and community agencies, benefits assistance and referrals, and bereavement counseling absolutely free of charge to all combat veterans and in strict confidence.
The Vet Centers employees are made up of 80% to 90% veterans and 60% that have served in combat.
Henderson stated the veterans have a better time relating to other veterans, therefore it helps that most of the counselors are Veterans.
The Vet Center is located 1990 South Jones (STE: A) in Las Vegas, Nevada between Sahara and Oakey the phone number (702) 251-7873.
Henderson explained that all emergency responders such as fire fighters, police officers, and EMT workers also suffer from PTSD.
In closing Henderson stated "I am very proud of all the men and woman whom served in the military and it is your right to get the help you need to get back on track in life."
Note: You can listen to archived broadcast of Sanson's interview with Darryl Henderson at www.AllTalkRadio.net
. Scroll down to "Face the Tribune" and click onto Full Program look for Show Archives on your right and click onto June 23, 2007.
This article is dedicated in remembrance of all Veterans past and present this Independence Day.
phone 702 283 8088