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Ptsd May Not Be Real In Veterans! Here We Go Again!

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Bodkin said it's crucial to get the diagnosis right. Though people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress commonly are also treated for depression or anxiety, he said some treatments for post-traumatic stress, such as focusing on "facing" the trauma, could be counterproductive. "It might be worse than a waste of time. Maybe you don't need to work through what is bothering you. Maybe you need to get over what is bothering you," said Bodkin.

But skeptics questioned whether one trauma, even one as horrific as war, could be the root of so much mental illness; more likely, they argued that stress worsens underlying conditions and that, for some, even a minor trauma could act as a trigger.

I just wonder how many of these EXPERTS ever spent 1 minute in a real battle, much less day after day for a year as most in Nam, and a lot of the Marines spend 3 Tours in Iraq. I say they can have their opinion, just don't try to make an opinion official law...you have to walk a day in a man's shoes before you really know." I will agree that the re-living or talking about the events WAS counter-productive for me. JJ

Edited by jessejames (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I would rather spend 5 minutes talking to someone who suffers anxiety than all the Docs and Interns I have dealt with at the VA.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

While all the hubbub about Walter Reed there are plenty of people who would love to redefine PTSD out of existence to save money. Maybe we all just have personality disorders that we were born with so we should just suck it up and move on to an island.

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I think every Veteran on this site should call the hospital this doctor works for and let the administration know how offensive Dr. J Alexander Bodkin's comments were. Here is their info. I called and asked to speak to someone in administration. A nice lady answered and I told her what I was calling about and she thanked me for my service and let me know that her nephew is a Marine on his second tour in Iraq. She transfered me to the appropiate person a Dr. Gail Tsimprea. I left a voicemail. Let's let this doctor know that Veterans are reading her staff member's article and we are not happy about it.



Telephone: (617) 855-2000

(800) 333-0338

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I sent Bodkins this e-mail, don't expect I'll ever hear from it though:


The Article AT THE BOTTOM by an "Expert" who, like the Bush Administration's hired gun (Sally Satel) is just another example of finding ways to deny Disabled Veterans who were wounded mentally by exposure to constant battle. If one of these guys spent one day in Vietnam in heavy battle, they would have had to have a Diaper a day in my opinion. I don't usually let these things upset me so much, but with the way our new Veterans are being treated as lower than dogs makes me extremely angry, and causes my nightmares and nightsweats to occur EVERY night. I try to avoid quack articles, but when our government is trying to find ways to cut the Budget on the backs of veterans, I have to speak up. The advice in the article to "just get over PTSD" is a really great idea, what is the REMEDY...THAT is lacking in the article. If you ever followed a Veteran through the process of getting a Claim approved by the VA for PTSD, I think you would probably have a different perspective...nah, probably not...because PTSD is not really real, is it????? The thing to do and what you seem to say is to just state that all Veterans who present with PTSD symptoms, just have someone write "Personality Disorder" and then the government would be free to not pay any benefits. They did this to a close friend whose records showed that before he entered service, he was normal in school, woked hard helping his parents on the farm, never any problems with any authority, went to church every Sunday. After joing the Army at age 15, he was sent to the Phillipines where he was captured by the Japanese (won a Silver Star for Valor and 2 Purple Hearts during the battle before capture) 10 men out of 120 in his company survived the Bataan Death March, he was then used as a slave for the Japanese Mitibishu Steel Company for 3 1/2 years as a POW, staved, beaten, miserable treated(weighed 80 pounds upon release!) When he was released, the Army let him re-enlist and he stayed another 2 years on stateside duty, and was discharged after he started having what the Doctors said was Neurosis...but to keep from paying any Disabilty pay, his Discharge read "Personality Disorder' which is non-compensable by the VA. You are, I assume, somehow connected with the movement by Republicans to do this exact same thing to Veterans today?? I would like to know, but I know I will NEVER get an answer to this e-mail, Sincerely, .............. P.S. Have you really been in combat before, do you REALLY know what happens to a young mind that's exposed to terrifying life or death situations every day for long periods of time?? What about these research articles: Are these and hundreds more like them all false?????????????

http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1900.htm Pathophysiology: The amygdala is a key brain structure implicated in PTSD. Research has shown that exposure to traumatic stimuli can lead to fear conditioning with resultant activation of the amygdala and associated structures such as the hypothalamus, locus ceruleus, periaqueductal gray, and parabrachial nucleus. This activation and the accompanying autonomic neurotransmitter and endocrine activity produce many of the symptoms of PTSD. The orbitofrontal cortex exerts an inhibiting effect on this activation. The hippocampus also may have a modulating effect on the amygdala. However, in people who develop PTSD, the orbitofrontal cortex appears less capable of inhibiting this activation.

http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/ncdocs/fac...amp;echorr=true In the mid-1990s, there was work at both the basic research level and the clinical level showing that stress and trauma have damaging physical effects on the brain. Clinical studies had demonstrated the reductions in the size of the hippocampus in patients with PTSD or depression. At the same time, basic research on the hippocampus in animals was revealing that stress causes a reduction in the levels of neurotrophic factors, which are chemical substances in the brain that are necessary for the survival and health of cells. Other studies showed that the processes of neurons were reduced by stress. So there was a convergence of basic and clinical research.

http://www.lawandpsychiatry.com/html/hippocampus.htm Studies in animals showing glucocorticoid-mediated hippocampal toxicity and memory dysfunction with stress raised the question: Does early stress, such as childhood abuse, result in similar deficits in human subjects? With this in mind, we used neuropsychological testing to measure declarative memory function in PTSD. We selected measures that were validated in studies of patients with epilepsy to be specific probes of hippocampal function. These neuropsychological measures (including delayed paragraph recall and word list learning) were correlated with a loss of neurons in the hippocampus in patients who underwent surgical resection of the hippocampus for the treatment of epilepsy.20 We initially found verbal declarative memory deficits using similar measures in Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD.21

In the first report to use brain imaging in PTSD, combat veterans were found to have an 8% reduction in right hippocampal volume, measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with no difference in comparison regions including caudate, amygdala and temporal lobe (Figure 1).



Tighter definition of post-traumatic stress disorder needed, study says

Research suggests diagnoses inflated

By Scott Allen, Globe Staff | March 21, 2007

The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are so common that depressed people who have never faced trauma usually qualify for the condition, according to a new study that raises questions about whether thousands of Iraq war veterans as well as civilians are getting the right diagnosis and treatment for their emotional problems.

Military researchers estimate that 12 to 20 percent of Iraq war veterans show signs of post-traumatic stress, such as recurrent nightmares, emotional numbness, and high anxiety, and the disorder accounts for half of all mental health disability claims.

But the new study by McLean Hospital researchers suggests those numbers may be greatly inflated: Researchers found that almost 80 percent of the depressed people they interviewed showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress even if they could not name a single trauma that could have caused them.

"If you can identify a nasty event which occurred before these symptoms emerged, you can call it post-traumatic stress disorder," said Dr. J. Alexander Bodkin , lead author of the study in today's Journal of Anxiety Disorders. "I'm not saying there is no such thing as a mood or anxiety disorder caused by traumatic events, but the symptoms [used to classify the illness] are really grossly inadequate."

Bodkin said it's crucial to get the diagnosis right. Though people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress commonly are also treated for depression or anxiety, he said some treatments for post-traumatic stress, such as focusing on "facing" the trauma, could be counterproductive. "It might be worse than a waste of time. Maybe you don't need to work through what is bothering you. Maybe you need to get over what is bothering you," said Bodkin.

The study joins a growing body of research that questions whether post-traumatic stress disorder is a distinct mental illness, at least as it is currently defined. Unlike other mental illnesses, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder begins not with the patient's symptoms, but with identifying a major trauma such as witnessing a murder or fighting in a war. Critics say that can lead therapists to falsely conclude that the symptoms were caused by the trauma. It could be that the trauma worsened an underlying condition such as depression or anxiety.

Yesterday, psychiatric researchers who wrote the post-traumatic stress disorder definition agreed that the definition needs to be tightened. Psychologist David Barlow of Boston University said the official definition, which he helped develop in 1994, has become outdated as advances in brain science suggest that post-traumatic stress is more closely related to other conditions than researchers recognized at the time.

"We might need to step back a level and begin looking at what these disorders have in common," said Barlow, then cochairman of the committee that wrote the post-traumatic stress disorder section for the psychiatrists' bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. Page 2 of 2 --

However, Dr. Michael First , editor of the DSM, said he believes post-traumatic stress disorder is a separate disorder. "My concern is that it's overused," said First, of Columbia University. "It started out as combat neuroses for very severely traumatized soldiers, but now it's all over the place.

Post-traumatic stress disorder wasn't officially recognized as a mental illness until 1980, as a growing number of Vietnam combat veterans complained of flashbacks, nightmares, and other symptoms that their doctors said were rooted in the horrors that they had witnessed. With the inclusion of post-traumatic stress disorder in the DSM, veterans whose symptoms didn't match any existing disease would become eligible for treatment and, potentially, disability benefits, while civilians would become eligible for private insurance coverage.

Some 5.2 million US adults suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder each year, according to the National Center for PTSD, but the risk is highest among military personnel. Last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs granted 269,399 claims for disability based on post-traumatic stress, accounting for 48.9 percent of all mental health disability claims.


But skeptics questioned whether one trauma, even one as horrific as war, could be the root of so much mental illness; more likely, they argued that stress worsens underlying conditions and that, for some, even a minor trauma could act as a trigger. For instance, one study showed that college students who had suffered only minor traumas, such as getting stuck in an elevator, were more likely to show PTSD symptoms than those who had suffered major loss.


The researchers at McLean Hospital interviewed 103 depression patients using the same survey that a counselor would to diagnose post-traumatic stress. If patients hadn't suffered a serious loss, they were urged to discuss even a minor trauma that caused them recurrent distress. Researchers found that 79 percent had PTSD symptoms, including 28 patients who could not come up with one traumatic memory.

Bodkin said the results show that the definition of post-traumatic stress disorder is unreliable. "People have just been averting their eyes since 1980 from some pretty glaring scientific problems," he said.


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In my humble opinion,

PTSD is clearly defined as having hypervigilance at it's core.

That hyperv can be translated into I'm lost, abandoned, forgotten, left out in the cold, every-man-for-himself, that coulda been me and 'Why can't we shoot back".

After you come back from the service somewhat uninjured, but somehow sick, the VA will officially tell you that "Our veterans get the best care" while the VA will actually do as much as possible to discourage going to the VA for anything.

The government's official 'unwritten policy' is find, feed, fight and forget.

Congress and the VA do more to make the PTSD problem worse than any enemy ever could.

PTSD is an ACQUIRED anxiety disorder.

Why are counselors being made available to cops, firefighters, traumatized victims etc.?

Because WE made them look into a syndrome that has plagued fighting men for thousands of years.

PTSD is finally being recognized for what it is, what it does to you, how you acquire it and steps that can help to prevent it.

The percentage of warriors that are seceptable to acquiring PTSD has not changed in thousands of years.

What's changed are the numbers that have it, don't want it and can't get rid of it.

The VA can't make it go away by calling it something else, they will only make it worse.


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Sledge - VA can make anything go away with a nod, wink and hand shake with the administration they are supporting at the time. How else do you think they can buy million dollar homes, three hundred thousand dollar homes, barbie doll collections worth thousands etc.... oops I forgot that was fraud committed by management which funded these activities. Guess there was just too much money laying around the VARO's and they felt they could use it. I read somewhere that one ole gal who was popped for fraud after buying three vintage autos screamed PTSD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so I guess it really does exist.

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I was told by my primary care doc that I had to see a shrink to get thyroid medication.

So, I made an appointment with the shrink.

She asked me why was I there, what did I expect from seeing her.

I told her that I was not being provided the best care that congress says we are getting. Was I imagining this?

Number 1, Why do I need to see a shrink to get thyroid pills?

1a, Why do I need to spend 2 weeks in the mental health lock-down ward for detox when I'm not taking anything that's not prescribed or drinking anything.

2, Why did the doctor's order for my knee x-ray get tossed into the trash while I waited In the appropriate area at the correct time, In front of me?

3, Why were the records of my 1984 spinal exam tossed out?

4, Why did the Head-Dude-in-Charge of the whole VA facility refuse to treat my well documented and properly diagnosed severe spinal stenosis?

5, Why was I given an appointment for a diagnostic clinic that did not exist?

6, Why do they claim that I was a no-show for the clinic that does not exist?

7, Why was I treated like some kind of malingering fraud when I showed up for the clinic appointment, for the clinic that did not exist?

8, Why does the Regional Office say that I have a pre-existing personality disorder when there are absolutely no records to back up the diagnosis that was made by the Regional Office.

9, Why did the Medical Facility Administrator claim that I was planning to bomb the hospital when there was never any threat made by me or anyone else?

10, I have pinched nerves in my ankle. Why can't I be seen by a specialist, since my primary doc won't touch it?

11, Why are all of my medications non-formulary?

12, Why don't you want to hear about all of that stuff, you asked?

13, You don't want to make me another appointment?

Being treated badly pisses me off.

VA shrinks that don't want to hear about what's bothering me really piss me off.

They have asked me to show up for lab work and another finger wave next week.

I'll be pissed off when I check out cause nobody will do anything else for me.


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Hey Sledge:

You wouldn't happen to go to the same VA I go to, would you???? I also get way pissed when I get treated like bovine excretment. Makes me act like I have a personality disorder :angry: Come to think of it, my personality or lack there of was never really an issue until I started trying to deal with VA. Tne Navy had 20 very long years to make it an issue but they didn't. Instead they gave me a security clearance & several hefty re-up bonuses over they years. Now according to VA I am no good low down dirty pond scum.


Edited by goofycow (see edit history)
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This is just sickening!!

I would love to hear this Mr. Bodkin say to my daughter "Maybe you don't need to work through what is bothering you. Maybe you need to get over what is bothering you,"

She has post traumatic stress from 5 years of sexual abuse..

I would also love to be a fly on the wall with any PTSD Vet when he says that to them, I sure wouldn't be stopping any one from getting "angry"..

Maybe then he would really know what PTSD is like when someone gets through with him.

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