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August 22, 2013

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, An Opposing Viewpoint

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter. Medal of Honor. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I do not believe in this Post Traumatic Stress Disorder thing that is tossed about so freely.

It is not a disorder.

Accounts of the battle describe an hours-long nightmare of machine gun and rocket fire, shrapnel ripping through the air, enemies penetrating inner defenses, buildings burning, 1-ton bombs exploding and soldiers bleeding. Another survivor has already received the Medal of Honor. Nine soldiers have received the Silver Star.

Much of Carter’s personal trauma stems from watching helplessly for the better part of an hour as a mortally wounded fellow soldier struggled to crawl away from danger during the furious firefight.

Carter repeatedly volunteered to rescue Spc. Stephan Mace, but his sergeant insisted that he not expose himself to the intense fire. When finally permitted, he carried the dying man to medics at great personal risk – one reason he was recommended for the Medal of Honor.

Carter describes himself as devastated. “I couldn’t hold any emotions in,” he told the Associated Press. “I was a walking zombie.”

He credits a noncommissioned officer with urging him into PTSD treatment, and he’s been in counseling ever since.

I have no medical creds. But it bothers me that this condition which is very real and so many of our young men and women who served are struggling with is called a "disorder". It is *not* a disorder.

If you suffer trauma, you will suffer stress. This isn't a disorder, it's normal. Violence. Rape. Battle. These are traumatic and it's wrong to say the resulting stress is some kind of "disorder". It's not a disorder, it's very normal. It's human. Sad and hard, but not abnormal.

So that's my little nit on PTSD. I just think it should be PTS.

We owe those who have suffered so much to care for them. To help them heal. They gave us all of them. Their paid us with their future lives. I pray we find the way to give them back themselves. For them and for their loved ones. They gave us themselves. They gave that much.

I want us to commit to give them their lives back. Somehow.

We really must do that.

Added [Drew]: Dave was kind enough to offer to let me add something to this important post.

When I read the draft of this my mind immediately went to this BlackFive post on the subject from 2007. If you know someone who is or has served and think they may be having these kinds of perfectly normal reactions to what they've been though, please consider sharing these links.

Added [ace]: Carlin's old "shellshock" observation.

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posted by Dave In Texas at 10:24 AM

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