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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Modern Wars & Warfare > Military Medicine

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Military Medicine Discuss aspects of this specialist field not covered in other forums.

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  #31  
Old 26 Apr 10, 14:26
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Question Your faith in the system is unfounded... According to some veterans...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKZHUKOV View Post

The VA doesn't decide who receives compensation for service connected disabilities.

It is done before a service member leaves the military.As I said previously , there is the MEB Medical evaluation Board which decides if a service member has PTSD.
And yet there are still service person's who are overlooked and those who slide in under the radar.

Having faith in the system doesn't make it work right. Bummer, but true...

But go ahead and believe that nobody gets passed over wrongly and nobody ever cheats and beats the red-tape brigade....
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  #32  
Old 27 Apr 10, 06:00
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About all I know for a fact is that I got VA compensation about 30 years after I left the military for Agent Organce damages.
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  #33  
Old 27 Apr 10, 09:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKZHUKOV View Post
The VA doesn't decide who receives compensation for service connected disabilities.
100% incorrect.

I receive compensation from the VA, not the Department of Defense for my service connected disabilities. I went to the VA Hospital and saw VA doctors who decided on my VA disability rating based on my claim I filed with the VA, with evidence supporting my claim provided by my medical board from the US Army.

If someone does not agree with the findings of the VA Doctors, they appeal the findings with the VA Claims office of their region.

It is possible to have a 0% disability rating from the DOD and a 100% disability rating from the VA.

Oh and by the way PTSD was not part of my medical board, but was on my diagnosis from the VA. I was never diagnosed while in the Army with PTSD, as it really had its onset once I was discharged, It was added to my diagnosis, it didn't matter because I was already at the 100% level, and since I was over 30% I had everything, not just service connected disabilities covered. Oh and it was still considered "Service Connected" in my records as well, despite not being covered in my medical board, or my original VA claim. Thankfully I was able to defeat those demons hopefully for good in about 4 years. Who knows for the future, but so far so good.

You really shouldn't be talking about such things incorrectly. This scuttlebutt is what leads to misconceptions from all parties about such matters.
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  #34  
Old 27 Apr 10, 10:55
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Since we are not really talking about Iraq, I've moved this to the Military Medical section. Some additional eyeballs may provide more insight into the question.
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  #35  
Old 28 Apr 10, 19:09
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In my mind, PTSD is over-diagnosed. The true problem is a lack of mental toughness in the troops. They are supposed to be trained for the brutalities of war, and that includes toughening the mind and the soul.

America long ago became a soft nation, and it reveals itself in the amount of PTSD seen in the troops.

According to the current diagnostic criteria, not a swinging Richard who saw combat during any of our previous wars should have survived with any mental function intact.

What we now consider an unacceptable level of horror was routine during previous wars. If anyone doubts that, they need only look at the duties of naval crewmen and Air Corps ground crewman during WWII, required routinely to remove body parts and blood from damaged aircraft and naval vessels. They were tougher and they adapted to the reality. Today's soldiers are not tough enough to adapt at all - they break down instead, and this is detrimental to both morale and unit function.
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  #36  
Old 28 Apr 10, 22:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
In my mind, PTSD is over-diagnosed. The true problem is a lack of mental toughness in the troops. They are supposed to be trained for the brutalities of war, and that includes toughening the mind and the soul.
You gotta be kinding me???

Are you just trying to make this blog more interesting with your comment? Or simply unaware of the latest findings about PTSD and other mental health issues related to combat and other very high stress life-threatening events?
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  #37  
Old 29 Apr 10, 01:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post

In my mind, PTSD is over-diagnosed. The true problem is a lack of mental toughness in the troops. They are supposed to be trained for the brutalities of war, and that includes toughening the mind and the soul.

America long ago became a soft nation, and it reveals itself in the amount of PTSD seen in the troops.
That actually seems pretty reasonable.

America has been getting softer for decades...
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  #38  
Old 29 Apr 10, 01:24
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[QUOTE=Paul Mann III;1479067]That actually seems pretty reasonable.
QUOTE]

Bullst...And I really hope that the next thing you both will say is not that those with PTSD or other mental issues should "suck it up and carry on!!!"

When I will find time away from my RL responsibilities I will come back and spend more detailled time on this blog... Not quick visits like now. Not for argument sake, but to help/inform interested readers about PTSD and other stress injuries due to exposure to an extreme event during a war-related incident.

Darn, RL!!
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  #39  
Old 29 Apr 10, 01:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt AFB View Post

Bullst...And I really hope that the next thing you both will say is not that those with PTSD or other mental issues should "suck it up and carry on!!!"
Nah. I'd just say "so long, you're retired" instead of medicating and returning them combat, as described by other members in this thread...

Can you dig it?
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  #40  
Old 29 Apr 10, 01:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt AFB View Post
You gotta be kinding me???

Are you just trying to make this blog more interesting with your comment? Or simply unaware of the latest findings about PTSD and other mental health issues related to combat and other very high stress life-threatening events?
Neither one. I'm a guy with thirty years of practice in military medicine under my belt and a combat tour in Viet Nam. I arrived at my opinion on the matter through personal experience as well as medical observation and practice.

I'm also the son of a survivor of OMAHA Beach who wasn't even supposed to be there, but never heard a word about PTSD, combat fatigue or shell shock for the rest of his very honorable career.

Now let's have your credentials...
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  #41  
Old 29 Apr 10, 08:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Neither one. I'm a guy with thirty years of practice in military medicine under my belt and a combat tour in Viet Nam. I arrived at my opinion on the matter through personal experience as well as medical observation and practice.

I'm also the son of a survivor of OMAHA Beach who wasn't even supposed to be there, but never heard a word about PTSD, combat fatigue or shell shock for the rest of his very honorable career.

Now let's have your credentials...
Well, this is going to be an interesting situation.

I'm no doc, but I deal almost daily with clinical and non-clinical aspects of PTSD and other mental health issues in the Canadian military. There are psychiatrists, general practitioners, mental health nurses, social workers and volunteers dealing with MH cases and issues steps away from my office, who work with patients at the local level on a daily basis, in addition to sharing research and finding with their NATO counterparts every week. All of them them, including myself, are veterans of Canadian missions in ex-Yougoslavia and/or Afghanistan (Technically, I have three tours -one was a very short one! - including one with the NATO multinational hospital at Kandahar Airfield.)

Quote:
In my mind, PTSD is over-diagnosed. The true problem is a lack of mental toughness in the troops. They are supposed to be trained for the brutalities of war, and that includes toughening the mind and the soul.

America long ago became a soft nation, and it reveals itself in the amount of PTSD seen in the troops.
Comments like that concerns me, in a a sense of the"First, do no harm" principle, as I'm sure military personnel suffering PTSD or other MH issues reading this blog seeking info, may interpret it as they personnally have a problem not acceptable in the military, that they should simply suck it up and will not go seek help...Which will make things worst for them.

If someone reads this and thinks he/she has a MH issue, I can only encourage him/her to speak to their GP, a nurse, a padre...If you don't like what you hear, get a second opinion.

RL is calling me back. If you are interested Mtn Man, I can't certainly find the latest medical litterature about PTSD for your references (including American ones.)
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  #42  
Old 29 Apr 10, 23:35
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I think the public, to the extent it thinks about anything involving our military, is aware that there are men and women who come back from deployment with psychological issues. Probably everybody who comes back from a war zone has something going on inside his or her head that isn't easy to deal with. Some of these guys have had 4 or 5 deployments by now, some of them back to back to back. It's got to take a toll on the psyche after awhile.

I think the military is aware of it and there are programs designed to try and help. But it's kind of a catch-22. There's only so much military to go around, and only so much of that military is made up of combat troops. It's why the same guys keep getting sent out. Unless we're willing to commit to fielding a larger combat ready force, which would presumably require growing the military bigger generally since every combat soldier needs x number of soldiers in support roles, we should expect that more of the ones doing the fighting are going to come back with real issues.

To those who think PTSD is a fad or that modern soldiers are somehow softer than their predecessors, I would say that we shouldn't ignore the fact that the current ROE are very different than in past wars and that much of the fighting today is designed to minimize civilian casualties and our soldiers are are at far greater risk for court martial and even criminal prosecution in civilian courts for their actions on the battlefield than in any previous war. There's just a whole lot more pressure of a different kind than ever before.

Last edited by Lawler; 30 Apr 10 at 00:03..
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Old 30 Apr 10, 02:06
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I don't believe it's a matter of "mental toughness", even though I do believe some people are more likely than others to be more severely effected by the traumatic, horrific things they've seen in combat. But that, IMO, has always been the case. For instance, in WW2 "combat fatigue" was a major problem for the U.S. Army in France virtually from D-Day until the end of the war, even to the point, when combined with physical casualties, whole battalions and regiments were virtually combat ineffective. It seems to me more with how the person's mind is "wired", than them not being able to "suck it up and drive on". It also varies by what they've seen. There is no one size fits all.

Just MHO
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Old 30 Apr 10, 12:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawler View Post
I think the public, to the extent it thinks about anything involving our military, is aware that there are men and women who come back from deployment with psychological issues. Probably everybody who comes back from a war zone has something going on inside his or her head that isn't easy to deal with. Some of these guys have had 4 or 5 deployments by now, some of them back to back to back. It's got to take a toll on the psyche after awhile.
I can give a perspective from the Canadian military POV, but as our Mental Health (MH) providers exchange relevant MH info with American, Brit, Dutch and Aussie on a very regular basis, findings about PTSD are pretty much the same for all armies.

Canadian Forces (CF) social workers will brief CF troops leaving to and coming back from deployment that their experience will changed them. But, here's the interesting part, not all of it is bad and medical litterature also indicates there are cases of post-traumatic stress enhancement - ie the experience one suffers will make him/her a more altruistic, a better person.

Medical litterature is also indicating that if you haven't been affected by PTSD or major depression during your first three tours, you will unlikely be affected on the following tours. But it does not mean that you may not be affected by other MH issues unrelated to combat activities on your 1st or 3rd or 4th or subsequent tour (For example, one could suffer an anxiety attack on the 4th tour related to things happening with your family back home.)

CF studies indicate that close to 6% of deployed troops will suffer from PTSD and/or major depression on return from mission. 2/3 of them will recover, most with some help from MH careproviders. The last 1/3 will very, very unfortunately have to carry PTSD for a lifetime, but CF MH caregivers will do everything they can to help their patient mitigate the effects of PTSD, with varied success rates. The Cf studies are much in line with medical litterature on PTSD.

Also keep in mind, US Army tours are much longer than CF ones - 12-15 months vs 6-9 months. All three US Top Military Doctors (Army, Navy and Air Force) have indicated that repeated long tours have a negative effect on the MH of the troopers. (A "motherhood" statement, IMO!)

I'm away from my office for a bit, so I'm not near my references library and notes. If anyone needs references for my above comments, please feel free to ask and I will find them for you when I get back.

May I repeat my encouragement from my previous entry that if you feel you may have a MH issue (not only PTSD) please go seek help. And seeking help does not mean you need to go see a MH provider as a first step, seeing your regular doc or a chaplain would be a great first step. This is definitely not a sign of weakness, especially for a well-trained soldier...The longer you wait, the less effective you will be as a soldier (I really don't want to sound preachy, but I also know that that the first step to seek MH help is always the hardest.)
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Old 30 Apr 10, 12:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BazBear View Post
I don't believe it's a matter of "mental toughness", even though I do believe some people are more likely than others to be more severely effected by the traumatic, horrific things they've seen in combat. But that, IMO, has always been the case. For instance, in WW2 "combat fatigue" was a major problem for the U.S. Army in France virtually from D-Day until the end of the war, even to the point, when combined with physical casualties, whole battalions and regiments were virtually combat ineffective. It seems to me more with how the person's mind is "wired", than them not being able to "suck it up and drive on". It also varies by what they've seen. There is no one size fits all.

Just MHO
And IMO, I agree with you.
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