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Wednesday, 08 April 2015

Welcome Home

By Clifford Rothband

PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome) is believed to be caused by the experience of a wide range of traumatic events and in particular. if the trauma is extreme, it can occur in persons with no predisposing conditions.

Persons considered at risk include combat military personnel, victims of natural disasters, concentration camp survivors and victims of violent crime. Individuals frequently experience "survivor's guilt" for remaining alive while others died.

Causes of the symptoms of PTSD are the experiencing or witnessing of a stressor event involving death, serious injury or such threat to the self or others in a situation in which the individual felt intense fear, horror or powerlessness. Persons employed in occupations that expose them to violence (such as soldiers) or disasters (such as emergency service workers) are also at risk.

Children or adults may develop PTSD symptoms by experiencing bullying. It is also believed that it may have a genetic connection or that we my remember past life experiences.Or is it instinctual?

I won't go into my experiences but to put the issue into a nutshell, or keep the explanation simple, our mind acts like a camera or maybe a series of mailboxes. We store images and at stressful times they may re-occur.

For years the Veterans Administration treated us for a short period then sent us home with various medications, not solving anything. I remember when the Vietnam Wall was erected, 58,272 lives lost are listed. I was told at the time, in the late eighties, that at least three times as many have died by suicide, homicide or reckless endangerment.

I seemed to have volunteered. I was told it was a million dollar experience not worth $2.

I would not allow my children into the military service but not everyone has similar or bad experiences. My kids missed something. Still. I taught them enough through example without words.

A lot of people may knock President Barack Obama but he has done more for veterans than any other president. Misled people knock President Jimmy Carter but we don't have a Iran Wall. They knock Jane Fonda but her heart was in the right place.

I am not a hero. In today's world we vets at least get the professional help and a thank you or long delayed "Welcome home."


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Thank you, Clifford for your cogent explanation of PTSD causes and effects.

Your 4th paragraph discusses bullying, which is pertinent to experiences we haven't often thought about.

Your children and family are indeed fortunate!

Thank you Clifford for acknowledging what President Obama has done for vets. And also for pointing out the good things about Jane Fonda and President Carter (always one of my favorites). Excellent essay on PTSD.

Thank you Clifford for your service and your essay.

Welcome home!

Thanks for this, sir.

Thank you for your service to our nation. Too few people said that after Vietnam, but thankfully, that is passing. I experienced something I could not explain once similar to what you explained, only it had to do with an experience with a train. My mind put me back to when I was very young, frightened, and it was like I was right back there. If this is the kind of thing that Vets go through, only magnified, we have so much to learn about the human mind and experiences. God walk with all who have served us so nobly.

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