We live in a time in which states are sending unprecedented numbers of allied troops to combat zones in the name of terrorism prevention, the total cost of which is staggering and unforeseen. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has hit record numbers and garnered record attention, and it’s also the primary culprit for high suicide, homelessness, divorce and substance abuse in international battle veteran inhabitants.
The here and now
Since 2000, 5 trillion dollars have been surpassed by the cost to allied countries for these military operations, and treating those injured both physically and emotionally continues to hemorrhage billions more. It really is approximated that 30% of combat veterans will return illustrating either full or partial symptom expression of PTSD.
Fight veterans are glorified for having served their nation in combat, focusing attention on this group, especially where the public sees combat veterans homeless and unsupported in the wake of their service. Military trauma is the biggest statistical group for PTSD, as they may be concentrated within organizations like Veterans Administrations (VAs) and therefore easily studied.
There are far greater numbers of sexual trauma than battle injury and PTSD from childhood, yet battle veterans have excessive rates of suicide and homelessness as a result of lack of governmental and societal support systems available to adequately cater the now astronomical inflow of demand.
Think of it like this: civilians with PTSD are naturally disperse amongst states, a country, cities and towns. They often have a construction of relatives and buddies around them. The military operates in large clusters. Their base locations are frequently called by soldiers dwelling. VAs are usually created close to military bases isolating support for combat veterans.
At present there are billions of dollars spent on a ton of studies and plans in an effort to find and solve the PTSD veteran disaster. You might think progress is being made, with all this money spent, yet the results do not represent effort or the price to date. There are programs that work, and there are known variables with high success rates, yet these are often dismissed as a result of backing, time conditions or, worse, as funding keeps going to new trials and plans.
So what are the issues that have to be solved?
Thousands of returning soldiers are enduring sophisticated, therapy immune trauma due to multiple operational tours.
VAs are under-equipped to take care of the PTSD amounts that are returning.
The efficacy of pharmaceuticals is not consistent, causing more problems than they fix for the bulk yet being used as the first line treatment protocol.
There’s a deficit of successful systems to treat self-medication.
There is a deficit of injury therapists to effectively treat the number of those impacted.
Successful therapies require years to be truly successful per individual.
National disability schemes are stretched to capital limits with PTSD sufferers.
Stigmatization strains reintegration within society both socially and for employment.
Collateral damage is done to the veteran’s family.
Difficulties are reasonably easy to identify. The above list is far from exhaustive in presenting problems for combat veterans with PTSD. I’m an Australian battle veteran, and I don’t speak for the entire world’s combat veteran community, whilst the suggestions here are only that. As Australia has quite an extraordinary combat veteran support system and related applications in position I consider myself fortunate. I hope other battle veterans add their own remarks to what they feel could be simple, effective solutions to the current problems.
By no means is the subsequent discussion a complete alternative to the above difficulties, and some of the solutions address and intertwine several of our issue areas that are listed.
Continued tours broaden PTSD intricacy
Like a kid within a hazardous home surroundings, surrounded by maltreatment with nowhere to go, a soldier resides in a similar situation when deployed within a combat zone. For six to twelve months, this is traumatic for many soldiers as an isolated tour, yet when compounded by multiple tours — such as six on, six off, six on, six off — the continued exposure provides little aid towards readjustment or powerful downtime following a fight tour. Most will remain in an activated and ready state, knowing they again, let alone that they’ll most probably begin pre-deployment training within 3 months, further reducing downtime.
The easy alternative to the whole difficulty? Cease sending troops into absurd wars which make little tactical sense. The conflicting, lies and deceit advice from all the recent wars does little towards credibility to support troop deployments. Defend your nation; don’t invade others. A simple solution to the whole issue!
Saying that, politicians and secret bureaus can’t get enough deceit and power, so troop deployments need to be drastically changed to control repeated, extreme exposure to combat. A ratio of 1:3 should be For every month you spend three months residence, reintegrating in social life, training, courses, general duties, family and so forth.
Simply put, most deployments are six month in duration for tactical and economical reasons, making every turning 18 months house. That leaves a minimum of 15 months deal with any emotional dilemmas that present, to decompress, then start pre- deployment.
If militaries need to believe long term, then they have to get onboard such turning intervals. Losing seasoned combat veterans works against every military, so looking after them is in the best interest for all involved.
VAs are under-equipped
VAs are far under-equipped to take care of the present inflow of PTSD combat veterans. Wait times can be many hours for what should be an one-hour appointment. Furthermore, it can take months just to make that appointment.
Group therapy is failing to treat the individual wounding components of each combat veteran. Whilst group therapy has merit, it also has results limitations.
VAs in America are under-funded, using over-worked, drained, frustrated employees. The solution is that capital should be focused on the difficulty, not wasted on diverse alternatives that are experimental. The options are already present — effective therapies that supply 60 to 80% restoration, with more time needed for some.
Cash could prudently be spent letting combat veterans to seek Va-funded treatment through local, private injury therapists who deliver approved injury treatment techniques to treat the trauma. As that’s socialism vs capitalism, that may be hard to hear for some in America. Is every man for themselves really helping the difficulty? No, no it’s not.
In the United Kingdom and Australia, the issue is being helped by it. Battle veterans discounted and aren’t abandoned to be displaced. Instead they have government support in place for disability and treatment backing while seeking treatment. Getting folks healed and back to being productive members of society is in every nation’s greatest long term interest.
Pharmaceuticals aren’t the reply
Psychiatrists are using pharmaceuticals to treat PTSD with little evidence to support the effectiveness of this type of treatment regimen. Pharmaceuticals have an approximate 25% achievement rate, far less than trauma therapies. Sure, they are cheaper than therapy, but they cause much more issues than they mend.
Most combat veterans will be on several medications. Why? So subsequently psychiatrists are prescribing medications to treat the symptoms that another drug created because other difficulties will be caused by one. Seriously? This is a sign of how awful pharmaceuticals are, in that a pill is being given by the alternative to a difficulty created by a pill. Is this ok? Pharmaceuticals are creating more problems than they solve.
Deficit of powerful pre-treatment programs
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a foundational treatment protocol that has history support effectiveness in treating substance abuse with PTSD and to illustrate. Why are billions being spent on experimental, radical, obscure efforts to find other solutions for treating the veteran catastrophe when the remedies already exist? Put the billions of dollars toward training staff to deliver the techniques to the affected battle veterans. More will get solved in a briefer period than what’s happening now.
Pre-treatment isn’t restricting its use to make therapy overall more efficient although about quitting substance abuse. Hell, the effectiveness of pre-treatment can be used towards having full injury treatment paid for at a doctor local to the combat veteran as a mark.
Shortage of effective therapists
Therapists are not created equal. This focus on hiring therapists and throwing them within a VA is antiquated, to say the least. You restrict a therapist’s possible to learn and treat trauma by exposing them to nothing apart from battle injury. Limits become imposed on techniques and their learning. They become desensitized and become effective at treating their client.
The solution is not to create a therapist that is military but to support therapists in private practice, where they’ve a mix of clients and consequently have a blend of treatments they are using and evaluating for effectiveness. Additionally, they aren’t becoming burnt out on the atrocities of battle trauma and aren’t being screwed into provide their service for next to nothing.
A happy therapist makes a good therapist. Pay them nicely. Treat them well. Ensure they have diversity of clientele, and ensure they have mandatory exposure to techniques and ongoing learning.
Powerful treatments take time
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) took 20 years to grow and evolve into one of the best treatments for trauma. The billions being spent towards programs and idiotic studies by authorities needs to quit, and we must repurpose this cash towards genuine available treatments that work.
I am advocating training more therapists in EMDR, Prolonged Exposure (PE), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT), ACTION, and getting these treatments used as first line treatment for PTSD instead of tossing pharmaceuticals around. Using this cash to fund the longevity treatment durations required to effectively alter 60-80% of returning troops suffering PTSD to civilians that are entirely healed, practical again. This only makes sense.
Yes, this is socialism on the job but let’s be honest, it’s truly needed to treat the veteran disaster happening internationally. The cash is being spent but instead of being squandered, it can be used to actually treat the issue, not simply appear as though something is being done.
Federal disability stretched to the limits
Disability given to combat veterans has climbs to dizzying highs. Throwing cash at veterans is not going to solve their problems nor the complete problem. Handicap schemes will eventually break governments. As we are a global market today, this issue has far reaching economic impact for all states concerned.
Sure, cash needs to be there to support veterans during treatment, but the trouble is that cash isn’t being used towards the impacted and the treatment. To reduce the general event of handicap, governments need to ensure money is being efficiently spent on providing treatment to the affected. It is quite easy really — to get your disability payments you must be attending treatment and truly partaking towards recovery. After deemed recovered by the therapist, help towards re-employment training and then full employment opportunities.
Incapacity is then used efficiently, and those people who are truly resistant after years of therapy then stay on handicap. Keep providing them the support they need, and the longevity weight has decreased by a minimum of 60% yearly backing. Well… unless you keep sending troops into idiotic wars, that is.
Reintegration employment stigmatization
A more pressing issue for veterans, especially those who are prepared to transition to employment once again, employable, have cured and are practical, is that PTSD awareness has now reached employers. These companies are discriminating when learning of military history on cvs and have inaccurate beliefs of PTSD sufferers. Companies are now asking questions which are not permitted to be asked relating to mental health. They’re passing over battle veterans on the premise that PTSD may become an issue about them as a company.
If authorities get their act together and do figure out how to alter the current strategy of treating combat veteran PTSD an awareness media campaign would additionally have to be established — or motivators to hire span, combat veterans — to thwart the erroneous blot connected with PTSD.
Families are collateral damage
Lastly, the forgotten in all of this is the family behind the veteran. They desire access to government-assisted support in relation to combat veterans. Parents, siblings and spouses want help in how to help their battle veteran that is affected. They desire self-care support. They need access to educational tools to help get their battle veteran back on track towards employment and equilibrium, in life.
Family play a bigger part in assisting their loved one back to health than therapists, but they can’t do it alone. For serving employees with an approximate 80% divorce rate, the PTSD divorce rate is much higher. Having battle veterans left their family, or vice versa, is not helping economy, family, community or the veterans with ptsd veteran. A snowball effect happens with far reaching impact.
Whether on-line support structures are in place for schooling, access to free copies of popular PTSD relationship publications, phone counselling support, even video conferencing and on-line support groups, all of these resources assist assistants to band together, help each other, and help themselves towards helping their veteran.
There are some rather large problems that now are only getting worse. Matters have to change as the present approach is a dismal failure. We’ve effective treatments available. They merely need money, time and locality enactment for effectiveness: more official resources freely available online, campaigns targeting the stigma of PTSD and use the truth to blanket the myths that propagate the discrimination and possibly even motivators to apply battle veterans.
Towards solving the veteran disaster that is PTSD what can you add? Do you feel there’s a larger issue at play that we haven’t mentioned? Please discuss your thoughts and perhaps, just perhaps, someone that matters might take initiative and execute the change needed to repair the problem.