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PTSD=Depression: A Mis-Diagnosis?
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Army Patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan by Tim King
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - PTSD has been kicked around since about 1970 for what previously had been called SHELL SHOCK which it isn’t, and BATTLE FATIGUE which it also isn’t. As a former WWII Combat Infantryman, Scout, Pointman and Forward Observer I would like to present my opinion based on been there, done that, seen that and now taking care of PTSD Veteran Victims.
When the Dogface soldier or grunt Marine is first committed to battle, apprehension is paramount concurrent with blood freezing fear and anxiety. Any Combat Veteran who does not have these feeling has probably not really been there.
Impending battle or attack is usually preceded by airplane bombing and strafing artillery or mortar barrages and a hell of a lot of noise, earth shaking and general chaos. How anybody’s mind can function in a positive manner in this is doubtful.
At the same time Sergeants and/or 90-day-wonder Lieutenants are/were urging Privates on to do their patriotic duty for flag and country. The Private knows damn well if he sticks his head up he is likely to get a bullet or shell fragment stuck in him or through him.
If we Privates had to do this only once or a few times we MIGHT get over it. However, the existence of a Combat Infantryman is doing this day after day after day with little respite.
Unless the Doggie caught close by in a bomb or artillery blast he won’t have SHELL SHOCK which they now call Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which is more precise. BATTLE FATIGUE is such a misnomer it’s pathetic. Infantrymen are always tired near to exhaustion yet our officers demand we keep on going.
My observation was that the more men an officer loses in a battle the more likely HE would get medals.
ANGUISH and/or ANXIETY is built into the training of a Combat Infantryman. The threat from disobeying a direct order is the yoke around every Privates neck and officers use this as their primary but most effective weapon.
The Army has a saying, “The Army can’t make you do something but they can make you wish you did”. In this manner the Army for a Private is much like the worst form of slavery.
If a Private doesn’t soon learn to hate his Sergeant and officers which sometime counters fear and anxiety he may be doomed already. Being in the Army or Marines is no place for sissies or wimps.
PTSD IS NOT DEPRESSION IT IS ANGUISH, ANGUISH, ANGUISH.
THIS PRODUCES PTSD.
IF ANYBODY DISAGREES WITH ME, PULL YOUR SWORD. I AM LISTENING!
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More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
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