Thursday May 23, 2013
PTSD Virtual Reality Therapy:
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I was abjectly stunned and stupefied when I first read of Virtual Reality Therapy for PTSD Veteran victims. What it first suggested to me was that the VA Psychologists (and Social Workers) didn’t have the slightest comprehension of who and what they were presumed to be treating.
In the first place, the terms surrounding the definition of PTSD are ambiguities and arcane with battle fatigue, shellshock, homesickness, “miss their mothers”, war neurosis, psychoneurosis, sexual repression, battle anxiety, eight balls and malingerer terms. There are probably a few other terms but most require explanation.
Battle fatigue is inexact.
By definition, Infantry soldiers are always exhausted. They work our butts off with little sleep to make us TOUGH. "Terror fatigue" or "horror fatigue" is more appropriate. If your buddy at your side is blown apart you may feel horror and terror that the next shot is for you.
"Shellshock" is concussion from mortar or artillery. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is probably the current term. Psychoneurosis was invented in World War Two and is a general inclusive term. Dr. Freud said all neurosis were from sexual repression. (He never was in a barrage).
"Battle anxiety" – hell yes – who wants to get wounded or killed? Eight balls and malingerers? Some people just didn’t want to be in the service, especially most of the Army Infantry – 8 million of us draftees.
The Draft Boards rejected about 15 percent. Basic training rejected about 7 percent. Good, I wouldn’t want those guys near me in battle.
Ok, lets get to PTSD.
These Shrinkologists seem to think this is a specific entity. IT IS NOT. PTSD is on a Bell Curve like IQ’s – Intelligence Quotients – with a standard deviation of about 3. Some guys pee their pants in basic training. These are the most sensitive or grade ONE.
At the far end, TEN, are the “War Lovers”. General George Patton, my boss, was one. He was crazy but presumably a good tactician. We called him “Old Blood & Guts” – our blood – his guts. Most of us hated him. He was definitely a grade TEN.
Most PTSD victims are between grade four and six. Anyone three or less will probably have little need of PTSD Therapy. Those grade four to six might be able to tolerate Virtual Reality bomb bursts and machinegun fire but they probably wouldn’t like it. For grades seven and eight I doubt if many could tolerate it.
When I saw Ken Burns' World War Two, it was all I could do to avoid diving under the furniture. I’ve been there, seen that and done that. For the unfortunate PTSD victims of grades eight, nine or ten, I’ll be astonished if they can tolerate realistic battle sounds at all.
I have written several articles about PTSD Vets and therapy, Salem-News.com. I have had dozens of email responses. Almost all agree with me and their stories are blood curdling. I have not had even one comment which indicates the VA treatment, medical or virtual reality, has helped them.
As far as I am concerned with my 400 or so PTSD Veterans who have rejected VA therapy, whatever the VA Shrinkologists are doing is a gigantic financial windfall for a whole bunch of guys who don’t know what they are doing.
By the way, punch up "PTSD Virtual Reality Therapy" on Google. You will find 43+ pages telling you how wonderful this is (FOR THE PSYCHOLOGISTS).
My own Alma Mater, The Oregon Medical School, has just started a Virtual Reality program. Very few veterans have volunteered.
HOORAH FOR MY COMBAT INFANTRYMEN BUDDIES
Part two in this series is available here: PTSD: Virtual Reality Therapy Part Two: Condemnation
Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
Email him: Newsroom@Salem-News.com
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".
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King and Dr. Phil Leveque.
Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Salem-News.com:
Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES