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Max Cleland Seeks Treatment For Ptsd



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SEEKS TREATMENT FOR PTSD -- Says he believes the condition -

cases of which are increasing rapidly among Vietnam War veterans -

was in part triggered by the ongoing violence in Iraq.

Former senator, veteran from Georgia treated for trauma disorder


Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, who has battled bouts of depression since losing three limbs in Vietnam, is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cleland, who represented Georgia in the Senate from 1997 to 2003, said he believes the condition - cases of which are increasing rapidly among Vietnam war veterans - was in part triggered by the ongoing violence in Iraq.

"I realize my symptoms are avoidance, not wanting to connect with anything dealing with the (Iraq) war, tremendous sadness over the casualties that are taken, a real identification with that. ... I've tried to disconnect and disassociate from the media. I don't watch it as much. I'm not engrossed in it like I was," Cleland said in an interview with WSB-TV in Atlanta.

He said he feels depressed, has developed a sense of hyper-vigilance about his security and has difficulty sleeping, the television station reported.

An aide to Cleland confirmed the diagnosis in an interview with The Associated Press but said the former lawmaker is feeling better than he has in a long time.

The aide, Michael Duga, declined to say when Cleland's treatments started, although he said the disease is often intertwined with other illnesses such as depression that Cleland has been open about confronting.

"This is not a new thing," Duga said. "He's happy and he's healthy and he's continuing with his counseling."

Cleland is receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, Duga said.

He said Cleland acknowledged his condition to encourage other veterans to seek help if they feel sick.

The Department of Veterans Affairs' inspector general reported last year that the number of post-traumatic stress disorder cases has increased dramatically in recent years, from 120,265 in 1999 to 215,871 in 2004.

A former VA administrator under President Jimmy Carter, Cleland has been highly critical of the Bush Administration's funding for the agency.

The Democrat also is a vocal critic of the Iraq war and is traveling the country to help Democrats campaign for office.

He aggressively campaigned for Democrat Sen. John Kerry, a fellow Vietnam veteran, in the 2004 presidential election.

Cleland lost his Senate seat after one term in 2002 to Republican Saxby Chambliss.

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I believe many in our government who served in Vietnam have PTSD. Cleland is correct- Iraq certainly is triggering a recgnition of it in many vets who never thought they even had PTSD.

I saw this during the Gulf War as well-

Dr. Phil might be more TV celeb than shrink but what he said is true-

'We cannot fix what we dont acknowledge'-

It is very difficult for some vets to acknowledge PTSD and then seek treatment. If they are lawyers or doctors or making lots of money- this does not mean they dont have it.

I thought Cleland had PTSD when he ran the VA.

He is a remarkable man and this is just like him to use his own personal disability to get a message out.

Edited by Berta
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The Gulf War in 1991 triggered a complete and utter collapse in me so I certainly feel that Sen Cleland is correct. Stress is a killer and some of us stress when there is conflict.

I hope that he gets the help he needs.

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Lewis Puller, Chesty's son (USMC), worked as an attorney for VACO for many years.

He was catastrophically disabled like Cleland and he died due to PTSD.

I am so glad he left an autobiography before he killed himself.

PTSD is a killer and I strongly believe that the VA is not close to truly understand what it really does- it can affect the whole person ,not just their mental state.

I think his dad Chesty Puller, the most deorated Marine in history, also had PTSD and that it contributed to his death too-Chesty got a bum deal in my opinion from the gov- and so did Audie Murphy-

Then again our gov would not even recognize PTSD until 1983- but Julius Caesar did and all of the historic commanders in every war did- yet only until 1983 did the US of A realize it's impact on the entire future of a veteran and their family if they have PTSD.

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Blaming the Veteran: The Politics of PTSD


Part I: Stacking the Deck - With trillion dollar estimates for the Iraq war, the Administration looks to cut costs, eyeing treatment for the returning PTSD wounded veterans.

Part II: Ration & Redefine - Redefining PTSD and substance abuse as moral/spiritual failings opens the door to cheaper unregulated, unlicensed faith-based "treatments."

Part III: Malign & Slime - Propaganda is used to stigmatize veterans seeking help, reduce benefits to veterans with PTSD and to blame the soldiers for their own illness.

PTSD Resources | About the Authors

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