Browsing through my social media sites, I kept coming across a video of Patrick Stewart answering a fan’s question. Captions for the video included, “heart shattering response to fan’s question,” and ” a beautiful answer that will touch your heart,” among others.
I like Patrick Stewart. I enjoyed his roles as Leondegrance in Excalibur, Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Professor Xavier in the X-Men movies (although I didn’t care for the movies themselves), and even the short role he played in the 80’s B-Flick (my favorite genre) Lifeforce.
Normally I don’t bother with these types of stories with the attempts at interest-grabbing headlines. Because of the frequency in which this video showed up everywhere I turned, and given my fondness for Patrick Stewart, I played the video.
(I turned on closed-captioning so I could read what was being said. The volume is pretty low.)
When Stewart spoke of his father’s experience with shell shock, I was instantly reminded of this video:
“There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to it’s absolute peak and maximum. Can’t take anymore input. The nervous system has either (click) snapped or is about to snap.
“In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves.
“That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn’t seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue.
“Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, we’re up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It’s totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car.
“Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it’s no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we’ve added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I’ll bet you if we’d of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I’ll betcha. I’ll betcha.”
– – – – –
I’m afraid I have lost track of what awareness month this is. There are so many these days that I am not exactly sure what I should be aware of. So today I’m recalling my awareness of PTSD.
After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Help is available! (Links provided by U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. If you know of other agencies, please link them in the comment section below.)
Here you’ll find links to the websites of trauma centers and other organizations that deal with trauma, PTSD, and related topics.
- ALFEST: Association of French Language for the Study of the Stress and the Traumatism*
Association of French Language for the Study of the Stress and the Traumatism.
- Australian Center for Posttraumatic Mental Health*
Formerly the National Centre for War-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health is a collaboration between the Department of Veterans Affairs, the University of Melbourne and the Australian Defense Force.
- ASTSS: Australian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies*
ASTSS is an organization providing a forum for extending the understanding of, prevention and treatment of major stress and trauma within the Australasian region.
- Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS)
Within the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences (USUHS), CSTS conducts research, education, consultation, and training on preparing for and responding to the psychological effects and health consequences of traumatic events.
- Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma*
The Dart Center is a global network of news professionals, mental health experts, educators and researchers. The Center provides journalists around the world with the resources necessary to report on trauma, conflict and tragedy.
- Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft fur Psychotraumatologie*
Germany’s Traumatic Stress organization.
- ESTSS: European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies*
The European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, established in 1993, is the European network for professionals in the field of psychotraumatology.
- Gift From Within*
A nonprofit organization dedicated to those who suffer from PTSD, those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals. Includes essays, articles, poetry and art, meditations, QA on PTSD, book reviews, and more.
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)*
The ICRC’s mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and international violence and to provide them with assistance.
- International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)*
The ISTSS is a trauma organization dedicated to trauma treatment, education, research, clinical strategies, public policy concerns and theoretical formulations about trauma in the United States and around the world.
- Japanese Society for Traumatic Stress Studies*
Japan’s Traumatic Stress organization.
- National Center for Victims of Crime*
The mission of the National Center for Victims of Crime is to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. We are dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime.
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)*
The NCTSN was established to improve access to care, treatment, and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events and to encourage and promote collaboration between service providers in the field.
- Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)*
RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, helps victims, and attempts to ensure that rapists are brought to justice. This website contains statistics, counseling resources, prevention tips, and news.
- SAPSI: Sociedad Argentina de Psicotrauma (Argentine Society for Psychotrauma)*
The Argentine Society for Psychotrauma is an affiliated organization of ISTSS and covers a range of scientific areas from innovative treatments to the neurobiology and cognitive disorders of trauma.
- SIDRAN Institute: Traumatic Stress Education and Advocacy*
A nationally-focused nonprofit organization devoted to helping people who have experienced traumatic life events. SIDRAN aims to enhance: the early recognition and treatment of trauma-related stress in children; the understanding of trauma and its effects.
- Traumaweb: Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma*
Traumaweb is the home page of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma. Today the Center is acknowledged as one of the outstanding treatment and training centers in Israel.
- First pharmaceutical treatment for PTSD within reach? (scienceblog.com)
- For PTSD combat vets, ‘fear circuitry’ in the brain never rests (scienceblog.com)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder’s effect on U.S. veterans explored on CBS Radio News (cbsnews.com)
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Tips for Families, Friends and Caregivers (prweb.com)
- What Happened to Shell Shock: A History of PTSD (infotainmentnews.net)
Categories: Veteran's Issues