April 19, 2011
DEAR ABBY: Large numbers of veterans are returning home with a wide range of psychological difficulties, many struggling with severe physical injuries or traumatic brain injuries. One in 10 soldiers reports mental health problems, while 30 percent of U.S. troops develop serious mental health problems within three to four months of coming home. Post-traumatic stress is a natural human reaction to horrific experiences. The symptoms of PTSD are greatly reduced if appropriate treatment is provided quickly to those in need.
September 4, 2002 |
LIKE EVERYONE else, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing last Sept. 11. Even as I write these words, waves of nausea and panic fill me. I am scheduled to be in Washington next Wednesday. Recently, I've had nightmares about "something" happening while I'm 300 miles away from my family. In these "sweat dreams," I'm in a war zone, unable to find a car, train or plane to get me home. If I were still a smoker, I would be chain smoking as I write this. If I were still a drinker, I would have a beer beside me. I feel a craving for something sweet or a slice of pizza to numb the anxiety.
October 11, 1988 |
For 21 years, since that hellish October day in Vietnam, Stephen D. Purnell had managed to keep his world together. He had been honorably discharged from the Army, been married and divorced, flew small planes as a hobby and had worked as an optician, mostly in Philadelphia and its suburbs. But two years ago, on a rain-slicked country road in Chester County, things started coming apart again. Purnell lost control of his car, which plunged down a 75-foot embankment and landed on its roof.
November 23, 1987 |
Ted becomes quiet and lowers his head as he sits in the psychiatric hospital conference room. The fingers of his right hand gouge the palm of his left hand, turning the skin a sickly white. He had been talking about the new Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but now he is back in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in 1969, where he is walking point, a 24-year-old alone with his scout dog, Gretel, and his submachine gun. He watches the German shepherd's ears, the cock of her head - she will sense it, smell it, hear it before he does: the sniper, the ambush, the mine, or one of those repulsively simple booby traps made of a hand grenade stuck inside a tin can that will kill you in a flash.
June 2, 1988 |
There are Vietnam wars still being fought - and Vietnam wounds that not only don't heal, but grow worse. An extraordinarily powerful CBS News documentary, "The Wall Within," tells the story of Vietnam veterans who wrestle with demons they cannot drive out. At least, not by themselves. Parts of "The Wall Within" are very tough to take. You share tortured private moments of deep emotional pain. But one shouldn't turn away; it's partly because people turned away that the men have suffered.
November 10, 2006 |
Are soldiers with psychological injuries cowards? Or are their symptoms - uncontrollable shaking, nightmares, emotional outbursts, flashbacks, intense startle reactions - the result of trauma? What kind of support do people who repeatedly witness atrocities and commit violent acts need? These are the questions with which Des Browne, the British defense minister, has been struggling. After years of debate within his government, Browne has recommended that Parliament grant posthumous pardons this fall to the 306 soldiers shot as cowards by military firing squads during World War I. Browne says that executing these men in 1916 and 1917 was "unjust" because they were suffering from shell shock and should have received treatment, not a bullet through the heart.
November 15, 2007 |
Aide off Blackwater probe - his brother's an adviser there WASHINGTON - In a stunning move, the State Department official responsible for ensuring the agency operates ethically recused himself yesterday from investigations related to Blackwater Worldwide after admitting to lawmakers that his brother is a member of the embattled security contractor's advisory board. The revelation by Howard Krongard, the department's inspector general, came as Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were defending him from what they said were politically motivated attacks.
June 16, 2009
I'M A SINGLE mother of five who'd like to thank those who helped capture the Kensington rapist. There's an epidemic out there that I know about from personal experience. My heart goes out to the little girl who was raped. I know how the mother is feeling. I have two daughters, and I suffer from depressive thoughts of my own child being raped by someone she knew at age 9. I myself was a victim of a similar incident when I was just 6. North Philadelphia is full of men preying on young girls.
September 14, 2010
Specter offers bill on stem-cell funds WASHINGTON - Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.) initiated a drive Monday to legalize federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, seeking to supersede conflicting court decisions that he said were slowing critical work to find cures for crippling diseases. Specter, speaking on the Senate floor, said his legislation would codify an executive order issued by President Obama last year advancing stem-cell research. Even a temporary suspension of federal funding while the courts debate funding practices disrupts research projects in such areas as heart disease, sickle-cell anemia, and other maladies, Specter said.
November 16, 1995 |
Imagine being too afraid to open your front door and step outside. You choose, instead, to stay safely inside your own four walls for months, even years. This mental disorder, called agoraphobia, gets a credible portrayal amidst the Hollywood terror and gore of the current No. 3 box office draw, "Copycat. " Actress Sigourney Weaver plays criminal psychologist Helen Hudson, who has been too terrified to leave her apartment after being nearly slashed to death 13 months earlier by a serial killer.