Expressing their concerns were several women veterans who sat on their chairs with determined faces, strong voices, but with tentative dispositions that revealed difficult experiences that they probably have not shared with anyone.
A fact that is often overlooked these days, is that our wars are fought not only with soldiers, but with a great number of civilian workers going out alongside of them.
The rates of suicide, unemployment, and homeless for veterans continue to rise. I believe this has a lot to do with the civilian-military divide, compounded by the media sensationalizing PTSD.
It is extremely challenging to get service members (and others) to get treatment for the symptoms of PTSD with the negative connotations people already heap atop mental illness, let alone with the insinuation that these people are somehow killers in waiting.
The moment we admit we toke up, there are a whole slew of assumptions and images based on stereotypes. If we call ourselves potheads, then the term loses power and legitimacy.
Ivan Lopez's killings at Fort Hood, while on a scale not often matched, are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland, to bases and backyards nationwide.
In the days after the marathon bombing, I witnessed so many Bostonians experiencing a mental state I'd had as my normal baseline for years: intrusive memories, intense shock, fear, anger, sadness.
Recent episodes of random violence at U.S. Army bases, the latest at Fort Hood in Texas, have underscored one of the little-recognized and heartrending consequences of our reliance on a volunteer military to defend our country.
It was my job in the USMC to fight the enemy and in doing so resulted in experiences and memories that I will have until the end of my days. I have tried for too long to make sense of it all and have come to realize at the end of the day war is unjustifiable no matter what side you are on.
I believe, that regardless of diagnosis, all veterans need support in the transition from military life to veteran and civilian life and that this transition is not often an easy one.
Phil was a 40-year-old cop with 18 years on the force. I saw him in psychiatric consultation after an incident one night in Bridgeport. While on p...
Even children who are not directly hit by gun violence suffer the collateral damage of living in an unsafe environment saturated with guns that are routinely used to settle conflicts or to exact retaliation.
These kinds of subtle connections, floated out in headlines, ledes and in repeated questions to experts in endless cable news coverage, result in reinforcement of stigma and a lost opportunity to educate viewers and readers on what mental illness and PTSD really are.
Answers to this puzzle are more known than is generally appreciated. Taking an approach that identifies and addresses risk and protective factors in violence, whether it be directed against the self or others, is one thing we can do right now.
A regular part of the president's political presentations is that we have brought home/are bringing home American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The unspoken point is: Mission Accomplished (as a previous president termed it).
Imagine how Marines all over the country feel as they remember fighting for their lives and how they feel now, or try to imagine what it's like to come home and realize the memory of who you were is better than the reality of who you are.