PTSD, Paul Haggis, and truth in military health care

Someone commented on my “Limbic Hijacking…” post the other day. I also had this review on CHUD sitting minimized to be read at a later date and, after reading it, found this blurb to be disturbing and inciteful:

Haggis: …A soldier yesterday was saying, “When I went in for help, my immediate senior, who was on the same career path as me, said, ‘You have two choices: you can get help or have a career.'” So he didn’t seek help, and he ended up going nuts in Iraq. They brought him in, and he finally saw an Army psychiatrist who said, “Yes, you desperately need help, and we’re going to get you help.” What the Army did was throw him in the brig. They put him in solitary confinement for three months with a straitjacket and a helmet. That was their treatment.

Q: You’re kidding me.

Haggis: Now, this is one of their top guys! This isn’t some screw-off. This is a tough son-of-a-bitch who’s there fighting and doing all of this stuff. He was an officer.

It bothers me when people deny the realities of others, yet I tolerate it at times because we’re human and, on a smaller scale, I can reconcile individual incidents with my own personal affect. That we, as Americans anyway, do this institutional denial of reality to people, especially those who’ve been placed in the situations (like Iraq) that force trauma (like PTSD) — this deeply frightens me.

Who the heck are we to impose such brutality on people like this? I suppose it’s the same people who are able to reconcile this war in the first place. After imposing our sense of righteousness upon a whole other country, treating individuals (only 52,000 or 300,000 — depending on which number you choose) like this is just a stone’s throw.

Gross. Just gross.

And, shame on us.

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