RANGER AGAINST WAR: Post Traumatic Society Disorder <

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Post Traumatic Society Disorder

--Net Warriors, Deng Coy Miel 

If you're in it for love, 
you ain't gonna get too far 
Watch out boy she'll chew you up
She's a maneater 
--Maneater, Hall and Oates

Temper filled with blindness
Leads this lost and lonely man
Dragged around your whipping tree
A scourge you can`t command 
--Another Bag of Bricks, Flogging Molly

Ranger met a fellow Vietnam Army veteran last week and they discussed Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and related topics. The Marine has stayed away from the diagnosis of PTSD, but it took him over a decade to begin processing his experience of profound anxiety, nightmares and the whole constellation of related symptoms; this got Ranger thinking.

We vets get labelled with the diagnosis of PTSD when in fact we are perfectly adapted to live and survive in an environment which requires hyper-vigilance, violent instantaneous reaction and all the other related behaviors of a predator in a prey environment.  The "problem" arises when we return to the civilian world, and our finely-honed responses are deemed inappropriate.

The situation is, we (I) do not consider PTSD to be our problem, but rather a problem for members of a too-lax society which does not know how to deal with self-contained and self-sustaining individuals like us.  "Okay", you say, "so, WTF?"

Well, aside from the fact that your government is producing more of us daily, we are -- in addition to our predator sensibilities -- resentful that we are held to a standard that our own government clearly does not adhere to.  After over a decade of involvement in a Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©), we as a nation have still not fessed up to the fact that our national reactions are no longer appropriate or applicable to leading functional lives; that in fact, they never were functional. 

The events of 9-11-01 were extremely short-lived: one day of madness.  The recovery should have been implemented immediately thereafter, except a disingenuous government pumped us full of fear and kept us in a heightened state of alert. Contrast this reaction with those of a soldier who must live a tour or more of tension, something that takes more than a moment from which to recover.

We tag our vets with PTSD, yet our National policy is as aberrant or non-adaptive as is the behavior of the most afflicted vets in our midst. We do not call our government "disordered", however.

When our society partakes of maladaptive behavior we call this "an action plan"; when vets do it we call it PTSD. Maybe a new meaning for the acronym could be, "Post-Traumatic Society Disorder."

[NOTE: There will be a follow-on called, "Good Soldiering".]

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