Originally Posted by ninja
"The help they need..." which is what? There is no one size fits all. The doctors themselves don't even know what to do imo. There is no cure, no magic pill or medicine. The symptoms may lay dormant for a long time and then all of the sudden come to the surface. Mental illness is a cruel disease; even if you identify it, there isn't a whole lot that can be done in a lot of cases. Some of these soldiers may have had hidden issues even before entering the service.
Yeah, the government has a responsibility to a point. Uncle Sam can throw money at the issue (and he does). But, that doesn't guarantee anything. I don't know the answers. And I don't think the medical field knows a whole lot more. If the patient refuses treatment, there ain't squat you can do. What good is paying a therapist, if the patient doesn't show up?
Sad dilemma. I don't have the answer.
The hard part with PTSD is that it's associated with other psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse. You're basically dealing with a conglomerate of some of the most debilitating individual mental illnesses that are out there.
I think they could do more although I'm not entirely informed on everything that it is they do. As I said above, I know someone who every day has to deal with trying to secure benefits for these guys. I've heard stories about veterans who fought years ago, some as many as decades, who are struggling to receive benefits because their injuries sustained in combat apparently weren't convincing enough.......I guess. IIRC, one guy I was told of still has shrapnel from his time and he's fighting like hell to get his benefits to come through even though he fought a long, long time ago.
To be honest, I think the US has largely ignored many of their vets which is a pretty sad thing to have to say about the country you live in. Not all of course but there are guys out there who are honestly struggling and it just shouldn't be the case.
I think with PTSD they need to have intense follow up periods after service. Mandatory counseling and assessment for all sorts of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Do they have this currently, I honestly don't have an idea. They need to teach these guys how to reintegrate into society and provide them with the support network and access to medical attention that they deserve.
Perhaps they need to transition these guys from combat zones to areas where there isn't fighting going on, possibly in another country, and have them "unwind" and acclimate to life without gunfire before bringing them home. Provide them with the structure and routine that they are used to but in an environment where they aren't constantly under the threat of attack.
They could probably limit the duration of a single stop to a greater extent as well. Rotate them and get them to mentally "come back" a little bit. Again, this is an area that I don't have a lot of knowledge in so maybe these efforts are made. If they are, I'm not sure the type of results they're looking for are being realized so maybe they should step up the attempt a little bit.
Like you, I don't have the answer either. I can only throw out some ideas but I think something absolutely has to be done for these guys. I couldn't imagine being a parent and having to suffer through a deployment only to see my child come back unable to cope, ultimately harming someone else or even themselves. You think you're out of the woods and then the worst possible outcome hits you square in the mouth. It's saddening to think that people have to deal with this.