I never said that was no stress syndrome, nor did I say everyone escaped it. What I said was it was our way to protect ourselves at that time. We didn't dwell on the negatives and we put in in the back of our minds.
Sure, there were lot's of men on the front line faced with the dead body of their friends and buddies that cracked. Sure looking some guy in the eye and knowing he wants you dead, or knowing that you had killed a human being was traumatic and caused lots of problems, but none of those problems would have been better if they got up on talk shows and advertised their problems. Better left where it was, as something that happened and was over.
Viet Nam and Korea were never declared to be wars. This is a war and we will win it.
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Please Snowbird, there is a big difference between going on Jerry Springer versus seeing a trained therapist or not feeling as if you have to hide the mere fact that you have a problem from your family. No more generalizations indeed!
Interesting point about Vietnam and Korea. While I agree that this is a different kettle of fish, has their been a formal declaration of war?
Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.
Well, I'm a big believer in the "gut-it-out" school, too. And no believer at all in psychotherapy, psychiatric social workers, psychologists or psychiatrists. Seems to me, the emphasis in those fields is on "psycho" and the practioners are the best examples. But that's JMHO.
I also want to express my support of our unique way of waging war against Oslimy Been Lyin' and the Tali-me-banana - going after the terrorists while trying to alleviate the lot of the civilian population. Way to go!
In the 1940's after having been totally involved in a war and at that level of sophistication, I don't think there was such a thing as a counselor, there was your religious advisor, perhaps a psychiatrist and some newly conceived psycho-analyists, mostly based on the Freudian school.
Even if there were such people they certainly were not what was commonly accepted as they are today.
This newly-evolved and tangental topic is soooo unrelated to anything else on this thread but, pt, as the sister of a schizophrenic, it's quaint that you believe that we should tough it out through the hardships in our lives but for many, it's not even a remote possibility.
My father served in the Army Air Corps in WWII which was the Air Force back then. He never spoke much of the details of war. But what he did speak about, often and tirelessly, was the pride in this country that the war left him with. We are so lucky, he would say. He'd seen the lifestyles in remote parts of the world, and he was adament that we should never take this country for granted.
He never flew again after the War. Even though he lived another 55 years, and even if he needed to travel for business, it was always by car or train. Strange for a man who spent several years of his life aboard airplanes.
Clearly the war left him with a fear that he internalized and lived with for the rest of his life. Maybe counseling would have helped him get past his fear, but it was part of his psyche that he had no desire to mess with. And of course, he had no need to travel across the ocean. He was quite happy to stay in the States forever, where anywhere he needed to be could be reached on the ground [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
I so wish he was still with us to see the great burst of patriotism. And I wish I could get his read on the whole situation, as he was such a smart guy and a great teacher.
Sorry for rambling, but this thread has reminded me that his war diaries are still in the house somewhere. I will find them and read them with a new awareness now.
"Always speak your mind, but ride a fast horse" -- Texas Bix Bender
My father was in the thick of things during WWII. He does not talk about it. He received a Purple Heart and either a Bronze or Silver Star. It's been so long since we "didn't" talk about them, I'm not sure which... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
He would make up stories about how he got those awards, rather than talk about what really happened. My favorite was when he caught Eisenhower as he fell from a helicopter. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
It is true that back in those days, "therapy" as we know it today, was not accessible, nor was it acceptable. I wish that it had been, but thinking about how my dad feels about any kind of doctor, I tend to doubt whether he would have sought help in the way of release/whatever anyway.
I don't know how his experience has manifested itself in his life. But, I do know that it must have, and probably still does in some way, shape or fashion.
He and my stepmother had planned on a trip to an island off the coast of France, departing from Kennedy on September 14th. Needless to say, their flight was cancelled. He was furious. He did not want those blanketyblanks to "win".
They did go for their vacation and just got back last week. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
\"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E
I believe that the closest thing to a formal declaration was the President's address to the joint session of Congress, in which he formalized his intention to destroy the capabilities of terror organizations with worldwide reach...
In order to formally declare war, I believe it is necessary to do battle with an actual entitiy, which in the traditional sense would be another nation state--though the Taliban harbors the terrorists, it isn't a government recognized by the US...and the battle against terrorism will not, as I understand it, necessarily be confined to Afghanistan...I don't guess my understanding of the situation is any more clear than the next person's...it has been promised that this will be a war unlike any other, and so far, that has been pretty accurate...
Re: insurance, DMK, I stand in awe! How anyone can make sense of any part of that business is beyond me...I went to the ER twice last winter while we were in Ocala, each time one of the girls had cut a finger (unrelated incidents, I swear I am a fit mother!); the first time we ended up with no stiches, just a band aid, the second no stiches, and a fancier bandage...the first visit ended up being $125 for the ER plus $120 for the doctor, and the second was $220 and $85 for the doctor...so basically, it was $245 for the first bandaid, and $315 for the second. I really think that this was a tad expensive, despite the fact that we do have insurance, I don't think it was too great that the ins company paid these overpriced bills so quickly...
IlonaE--after I read your beautiful post on the other thread, I couldn't believe my eyes reading that you think this thread should be shut down...don't you get it? Our forces are over there fighting so that we CAN engage in free discussions...and I'd be hard pressed to find a freeer one than this (freeer? 3e's in a row?)! I think we are a fine example of freedom, and can be proud of our discussion and the wide range of views expressed here. Not to mention that unless I have overlooked something, this seems to be the COTH BB's all time most popular thread in terms of number of views....
Do you think holding in war stories is a "guy" thing? I ask this because two women whom I worked with back in Virginia that were German, and had survived WW2, come quickly to mind.
One was a young girl whose home was bombed in Colonge. She shared with me how her family survived living in the basement until help could arrive. She also shared how unimportant material things became in her life. Yet she was the first to hug, share a saucy joke and enjoy a good laugh.
Another woman and her family, she a child of 14 at the time, were captured by the SS and sent into a camp. Horrible things happened there to her and her family. She eventually escaped and hid in rural barns and towns on her own. I can't imagine having the wits about me at age 14 to be able to do that!
They were very forthcoming, yet did not complain, about how their lives were altered during the war. In the end, each married an American serviceman and became American citizens.
It was the way that generation saw their role. I was part of that generation and while I never believed there would be a generation gap, I see it today.
I'm not judging which is better or worse, I only wish you all could understand there is more than one point of view. We did have a different view and I guess I'm trying to understand these changes. I think that the BB is sort of my compromise with what I always believed. A little private sharing of opinions.
Well, since you're on the topic of veterans and how they deal with the stress of war I thought I'd include my grandfather's story...unlike the others mentioned he was a veteran of WWI not WWII (he fought for England and became a father late in life.)
When he was still in his teens he was assigned to drive tanks on the front; dangerous because tanks were a target and the enemies would try to explode the whole thing by dropping a grenade through the top. He also was poisoned with mustard gas. (explanation of the effects from a history web site: "The skin of victims of mustard gas blistered, the eyes became very sore and they began to vomit. Mustard gas caused internal and external bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous membrane. This was extremely painful and most soldiers had to be strapped to their beds. It usually took a person four or five weeks to die of mustard gas poisoning.")
He did fulfill his tour of duty and received medals for bravery, but his nerves were shattered. Of course, back then medical assistance available to veterans was strictly for physical and not psychological needs. He did recover in time and went on to live a normal life. I can't imagine going through all he did at such a young age; I'm glad there's a greater awareness today of the need to treat the after-effects of that kind of severe stress.
Probably the reason men don't like to talk about it is because they are afraid of being ridiculed for not being manly enough to overcome their fear...I'm ashamed my father actually did just that when when my grandfather once mentioned having a breakdown as a result of his war experiences.
[This message was edited by Ann on Oct. 09, 2001 at 04:08 AM.]
The mind has an amazing ability to heal itself...it's my feeling that some are more comfortable with the concept of sharing and examination of the process than others; I wonder if any studies have been done on the differences between recovery rates of those who are more open vs those who have allowed unpleasant memories to receed naturally and be replaced by more recent good experiences. Of course this is not to diminish the importance of therapy and medication for those who require such treatments for traumatic stress and other mental disorders (such as ADS and schizophrenia), but it is interesting to note the comments of the many experts consulted by the media on traumatic stress after 9/11; several of these stated that a majority of those affected by TMS would recover naturally in time with no treatment, and that statistically, only a minority (about 10 percent according to more than one report) might find it necessary to seek counseling in order to speed recovery. I do believe that Snowbird is right about this particular issue being viewed differently according to generational differences, is this not, however what is refererred to as a "truism?" I mean, isn't every issue viewed this way?
For those not fortunate (or should I say privileged) enough to be acquainted with a veteran of war who doesn't mind sharing the experieces of participation in such an undertaking, certainly "The Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw is a must-read, and "Saving Private Ryan" is a must-see.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by M. O'Connor:
The mind has an amazing ability to heal itself...it's my feeling that some are more comfortable with the concept of sharing and examination of the process than others; <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Very interesting and much more on track than my "guy verses girl" idea, thanks. I have seen SPR, own the TB book and still gasp when I watch the documentary on "Doolittle's Raiders" and listen to the horrors which men endured after the Japanese caught some of them.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pt:
Well, I'm a big believer in the "gut-it-out" school, too. And no believer at all in psychotherapy, psychiatric social workers, psychologists or psychiatrists. Seems to me, the emphasis in those fields is on "psycho" and the practioners are the best examples. But that's JMHO.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Heidi, I also have a schizophrenic in the family. Ironically, pt, my Uncle Frank would agree with you. He believes that his medications and therapy really interfere with his natural ability to resist the secret radio waves that the Soviets are beaming into his brain. He also thinks that if he was not hospitalized, he could better get even with the parish priest and family dog who conspired to kill his mother. He thinks an aluminum-foil helmet would serve him better than all the psychiatrists.
Do you also believe that cancer patients or pneumonia sufferers should "gut it out" as well, or are you just skeptical that the brain is vulnerable to disease?
The U.N. has had to stop delivering food aid because of the military strikes. So, even though the U.S. is air dropping meals, without the U.N. aid, there's actually less food being delivered to starving people in Afghanistan.
As much as I enjoy reading the varying viewpoints expressed in the this thread, I need a mental health break. Suffice it to say that I'm "calling in sick."
In the not too distant future I'll return to be astounded and perplexed by Snowbird's revisionist history lessons and obsession with the Oral (I mean "Oval") Office, JumpHigh83's flair for punctuating each retort with a personal insult, and IlonaE's unfortunate displays of incivility.
I cannot help but believe that the tone of bitterness and hostility in many of your remarks only succeeds in obscuring your valid contributions to the larger discussion. Why set out to offend those who you would seek to inform and persuade? Wouldn't calm, well-founded, and rational discourse be a more effective vehicle for your opinions? Why aim to wound and disparage when to do so only belittles your own passionately-held beliefs? Those passionate beliefs - borne of life experience and contemplation - are so much more effectively expressed in the absence of ugliness and ire.
Ironically, I think if we were to meet in person I would probably like all of you despite the differing political and societal paths we are compelled to follow. I have no doubt that at heart we are all good, compassionate people who love and want the best for our country. At the moment, however, I am too overwhelmed by the violence that has been forced upon our nation to willingly subject myself to even more hostility and mean-spirited invective on this thread.
I'll see you all when I regain my strength, composure, and faith in the essential goodness of mankind. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
That is not the issue at all, what it was is the "Power of Positive Thinking". If you had that we believed that it would prevent many diseases, since the brain controls so much more of our body mechanics than we understand it could be right.
In any case the idea was not to dwell on what was bad, what was unpleasant and unavoidable. If you worry and worrying can find a solution then to worry is fine, but if you can not have a solution to a problem that way then you ignored it and hopefully it would improve. Remember that old saying your grandmom used to say all the time, "Every dark cloud, has a silver lining". You ride out the bad days hoping you can hold the line, so that when it turns around you will be in a position to move ahead again.
Taken in the context of the time it was and is quite believable. For example under hypnosis you can control the flow of blood from your body and feeling pain. I suspect that in the way of the brain, it produced some anti-stress chemicals that somehow relieved the stress. Please, remember it was a differnt time 50 years ago and we didn't have the same information about medications and diseases, or medical cures that were available.
But, even today what good does it do to dwell on and concentrate on the bad things instead of the better side. For example probably there were some civilians unfortunately in the wrong place. We don't know if that was true, we have the word of the Taliban, and we know they lie.
The United Nations is not able to deliver food because they left Afghanistan, we can either dwell on the problems that creates or we can try to mediate the situation. We are trying to deliver food, isn't that better than doing nothing at all?
Suppose we didn't take any action, would the world be better off? Yes, we've been wrong before but was it a deliberate attempt to ruin the country or did we all hope it would work out better? Should we spend our efforts on what's wrong? or what we that's right?
The anxiety that you have because you can only see the wrongs cause the stress and irritations that break down the body and the mind. I remember the first lecture I had in college about psychotics. And, again before you jump down my throat remember this was a long time ago.
Anyway the concept of the problem was this, if someone imagined he was Napoleon, and he was happy being Napoleon did we have the right to fix it so he had to face the fact that he really was a nobody? Was he better off? Was he happier?
Essentially we all have defense mechanisms and some are more extreme and some are less extreme. In reality there is no such thing as "normal", we all exist somewhere on the probability curve. The schizophrenic living in his world if he is happy with his defenses has every right not to be cured to be like the rest of us who are centrous on the curve. The only reason they are different is because there are more of us than there are of them.
OK! now you can really jump up and down and scream but remember these beliefs in the context of their time. If we find an aboriginal people somewhere that have been isolated from the progress of our time, should we alter them to conform? Should we insist they wear shoes and wear three piece suits?
M. O'Connor, I completely agree with you...people can be amazingly resilient, and the mind does have a way of healing itself in cases of post-traumatic stress syndrome, with or without therapy. I even think in some cases too much self-analysis encourages people to dwell on bad experiences to the point it weakens them and makes it harder for them to get back to the business of living. (note I'm not referring to inherited mental illnesses.)
I'm in awe of people who pull together the resolve to overcome horrific wartime experiences and return to life as normal. It is a remarkable demonstration of the will of the human spirit to survive, and certainly gives some perspective to so many of the things we gripe about in our own lives. I'm glad to see so much support for the military in the current situation with Afghanistan.