18 April 2008

Iraq News (18 April)

The Good: Sadr City operations are now involving Tanks N' T-Walls (Michael R. Gordon reports). Significant humanitarian assistance is going to be needed from the Iraqi government to coincide with this in order to avoid a "siege" mentality. This will also undercut support from poor Shi'ites for the militias and Iranian-backed goon squads that operate in the area. The Iraqi Accordance Front is talking about returning its ministers to the government after a months-long boycott. This is due to the Sunni bloc being pleased with the Prime Minister for taking on the thugs in the militia that "cleansed" so many Sunnis in 2006 and 2007, apparently.

The Bad: It's looking like the Sadrists will not disband the Mahdi Army on their own. Scores were killed due to a suicide bombing at a funeral for a Sahwa member in Diyala province. This comes at a time when Zawahiri (#2 Al-Qaeda asshat) has called for creating a "fortress of Islam" in Iraq. Ironically, he accuses the US with colluding with Iran, guess he doesn't get much news in the northwestern part of Pakistan or wherever the hell he's holed up. He also called Iraq a "failure and defeat" for the US. Guess he's getting his talking points from Democrat Senators (hi-yo!).

The Ugly: A nasty sandstorm gripped Baghdad yesterday, which shut down the airport, compounded respiratory illnesses, and provided cover for the enemy to conduct more attacks (I blame, you, Ms. Mother Nature). Also, a new RAND study reveals that 1 in 5 vets suffer some level of mental disorder. That makes an estimated 300,000 having psychological issues related to serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's funny (in a sad way) that the media always acts surprised when these studies come out. Of course to vets it is no surprise, and it serves as a stark reminder to the high cost of war. But PTSD does not necessarily imply that 300K vets are running around the woods like Rambo waiting to kill Haji, as it comes in various different forms. You might be surprised at the amount of veteran activists, media personalities, and bloggers that have been diagnosed PTSD or suffer some level of psychological disorder. Very surprised...


Looks like the Gates of Hell

7 comments:

ABWF said...

I think it's important to note that the "mental disorder" category in this study also includes various forms of depression (Major Depression, Dysthymia, etc.) as well as other anxiety disorders in addition to PTSD.

Rambo, and other pop culture depictions of the crazed out psychotic vet with PTSD, have done quite a bit to strew misinformation far and wide. There are some interesting PTSD facts here and some general information about treatments here.

I was going to write more, but this is a comment and not a post on my own blog :)

LT Nixon said...

ABWF,

Thank for the links! There has been a lot of research on PTSD and the DoD is getting more keen to it. However (like most government-provided services), it gets bogged down in bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo preventing some effectiveness.

Feel free to drop me a hat-tip at your blog, seriously, who do I gotta blow around here to get some hat-tips. haha, I kid, I kid

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that it's becoming easier to talk about, too. The more open we can all be, maybe when the soldiers come home they will be more open to seeking help if they feel they need it.

Thank you for the links, abwf. I keep reading and reading about it and am always happy to find other articles.
Kath

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/18/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

Soldier's Dad said...

I wouldn't be surprised if 100% of Vets were diagnosed with "Adjustment Disorder".

From Wiki -

"It should be mentioned that the stressors that cause Adjustment Disorders are not extreme events which are in the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They may be grossly traumatic but may also be apparently minor, like loss of a boyfriend, a poor report card, or moving to a new neighborhood."

ABWF said...

I'll post something over the weekend on this topic with a a hat tip to LT N (you can get up off your knees and stop begging now), including some information you might find worth reading Kath. DOD is putting a LOT of money into PTSD right now.

Soldier's Dad- That Wiki reference is a bit off. Adjustment Disorder can be diagnosed for significant traumatic events (some vets might actually meet the criteria), but you can't have PTSD without the traumatic event either being directly experienced or witnessed by the person.

I just started writing an explanation of Adjustment Disorder vs PTSD that was way too long for a comment (once again). I'm going to give it another try. The take home points are: (1) you can have an Adjustment Disorder following something that another person might consider relatively minor, (2) Adjustment Disorders can also occur and be diagnosed following significant traumatic events. It would be possible for combat veterans who experience psychological problems following a traumatic event to meet criteria for Adjustment Disorder, but not PTSD just as they might meet criteria for PTSD and not Adjustment Disorder. It all depends on the type of problems they are experiencing and how they impact their daily life and functioning. In addition, someone might be diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder if sufficient time hasn't passed since the precipitating event.

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