Thursday, April 03, 2014

PTS and Peter Chiarelli

Erin Wittkop has an important write up at the DoD's website.

Retired General Peter Chiarelli continues to advocate on behalf of veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress.

This site's old enough that we've seen multiple struggles with regards to PTS -- and documented them here.

The US Congress, for example, once had many members who insisted that it was TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTS was just a myth or distraction.  (Those making those claims were pro-Iraq War and it always appeared that the reason they made those ridiculous claims was because they didn't want to take accountability for what the war they brought on resulted in.)

Slowly, PTS was accepted for the condition or response that it is.

We noted early on that it was a reaction.

It's not a disease spread by germs.

A human being is placed in a very difficult and dangerous place where he or she must be hypervigilant at all times.

The mysteries of the human body include how it adapts to events and conditions that might seem unadaptable at first glance.

The hypervigilance is a protective device/mode.

It becomes a problem when it can't be shut off.

Some may easily shut it off the way some may easily move from right brain skills to left brain skills.  But some might need help in finding ways to ease out of the crisis mode.

Anything to encourage those needing some assistance should be encouraged.

But Chiarelli is still attempting to get "disorder" dropped.

We dropped it here.  The first time he made his case, we called it Post-Traumatic Stress and PTS and have ever since -- the only exception is if we're quoting someone and they apply "disorder" at the end.

Today, he's quoted stating, "Nobody who's 22-years-old wants to be told they have a disorder, that's why I don't call it PTSD.  That's why I call it Post-Traumatic Stress."

And he's exactly right and he's having to say this yet again.

Cher Bono legally became Cher in less time than Chiarelli's been attempting to get others to come on board to this needed change.

There should be no struggle with PTS.  Those who need assistance in addressing it, should be able to get assistance and be congratulated for getting assistance.

There should be no struggle.

But labeling it a "disorder" has created a stigma and yet we see the government 'struggle' to do the right thing which is start referring to it exclusively as PTS.

If Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave that order (or President Barack Obama), the Pentagon would immediately begin referring to it as PTS as would the VA.  This would have a ripple effect on the Congress and the press.

And veterans with PTS would be the ones to benefit.  The stigma would be removed.

And it wouldn't cost a thing.

But it would improve the lives of so many.

Peter Chiarelli continues to try to improve the lives of veterans with PTS.  It's a shame that those would could really help in government don't join his efforts.

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