The Mt. Rainier Shooting and PTSD: How the Media Got It Wrong

ballen0351

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Saying he was a peice of crap before the war and that PTSD played no part is a clinical assertion.

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Nope its using common sense. If it smells like a duck looks like a duck and quacks like a duck its a duck. If you were a punk as a teen, a punk in the military , and a punk after getting kicked out well guess what your a punk thats just who he was.
 

Makalakumu

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Thanks for your diagnosis.

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Makalakumu

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As soon as we acknowledge that PTSD might have been a factor, it becomes a political issue.

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ballen0351

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Thanks for your diagnosis.

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No diagnosis you and I know about the same info on this incident as anyone else. Difference is I choose not to make excuses for murder to further my political argumet. I choose to look at the facts in this case and the killers history thru his whole life and not a short few year span when he was in the military. You choose to assume he has some magical mental illness that caused him to kill and it wasn't his fault he couldn't help it. Im waiting for you to blame Bush for his behavior.
 

Makalakumu

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Saying he was just a jerk is a political argument.

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Makalakumu

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Magical mental illness my ***! Now we see how you view PTSD. If someone has symptoms that fall outside of your propaganda matrix, it doesn't exist.

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oftheherd1

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As soon as we acknowledge that PTSD might have been a factor, it becomes a political issue.

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Saying he was just a jerk is a political argument.

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Magical mental illness my ***! Now we see how you view PTSD. If someone has symptoms that fall outside of your propaganda matrix, it doesn't exist.

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Simply amazing sir!
 

ballen0351

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Magical mental illness my ***! Now we see how you view PTSD. If someone has symptoms that fall outside of your propaganda matrix, it doesn't exist.

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Apparently unlike you I've studied PTSD after I was told I have it and you seem to think its some mystical mind controling illness that cause good people to kill small children in the streets. You choose to ignore the real victims in this event and make excuse after excuse for murder. You want to turn a bad person into your antiwar politcal rantings as proof that bush lied and people died or whatever slogan you guys are chanting these days.
 

Tez3

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As soon as we acknowledge that PTSD might have been a factor, it becomes a political issue.

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To be honest a person could have PTSD before they actually joined up, it's not exclusive to service people, it can be caused by any traumatic incident such as watching someone being killed, an accident, violence at home, being the victim of a crime, being raped, or being trapped in an avalanche, earthquake etc etc the list is a long one. PTSD is what it says it is, it doesn't necessarily make it a political issue because someone has it.
We had a military pyschiatric hospital here for a few years, the main problem was that propel with PTSD were more liable to kill themselves, we often had patients leaving to try to do this, this tend to be self destruction, not to be able to cope with life, while some would have rages and destroy furniture etc I cna't remember any that had to be dealt with because actually planned out and cold bloodedly killed anyone. I can see someone killing someone while in a rage or while having flashbacks, there's been reports here of that but not going on crime sprees etc.
 

ballen0351

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If I were to take a guess about what set this guy over the edge it prob had to do with his babys mother leaving him and seeking full custody. That led to drinking and prob. drug use at the party where he shot 4 people. The Ranger was then shot and killed when he thought they were going to arrest him for the prior shootings and he was on the run. Self preservation and fear of jail not PTSD
 

ballen0351

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Now if your looking for a face to put on the forefront of PTSD Marine Sgt Tom Bagosy might fit the bill.

http://www.jdnews.com/articles/hospital-78350-naval-defense.html

In the same week a Marine killed himself after fleeing treatment at a Naval Hospital clinic, a U.S. congressman confirmed Friday that the Defense Department is investigating the hospitals treatment of troops diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
I cannot talk much about the classified investigation, but I have been briefed and I expect significant findings, said Rep. Walter Jones. Jones is a Republican who represents the 3rd U.S. House District, which includes Onslow County and Camp Lejeune.
Jones said he called for the inquiry earlier this year after speaking with a contract doctor supposedly fired for revealing gaps in mental health treatment at the hospital.
Jones said he was deeply troubled when he learned of the death of a Marine being treated at a Naval Hospital mental health clinic Monday.
Marine Sgt. Tom Bagosy, a two-tour combat veteran, fled treatment and shot himself in the middle of McHugh Boulevard while being pursued by provost marshals, authorities and witnesses said.
A total of 52 Marines committed suicide in fiscal year 2009, according to Marine Corps Manpower in Quantico, Va. While officials said many Marine suicides occur overseas, eight Marines killed themselves aboard or near Camp Lejeune in 2009, according to death certificates on file with the Onslow County Register of Deeds.
 

Tez3

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Now if your looking for a face to put on the forefront of PTSD Marine Sgt Tom Bagosy might fit the bill.

http://www.jdnews.com/articles/hospital-78350-naval-defense.html

In the same week a Marine killed himself after fleeing treatment at a Naval Hospital clinic, a U.S. congressman confirmed Friday that the Defense Department is investigating the hospital’s treatment of troops diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I cannot talk much about the classified investigation, but I have been briefed and I expect significant findings,” said Rep. Walter Jones. Jones is a Republican who represents the 3rd U.S. House District, which includes Onslow County and Camp Lejeune.
Jones said he called for the inquiry earlier this year after speaking with a contract doctor supposedly fired for revealing gaps in mental health treatment at the hospital.
Jones said he was deeply troubled when he learned of the death of a Marine being treated at a Naval Hospital mental health clinic Monday.
Marine Sgt. Tom Bagosy, a two-tour combat veteran, fled treatment and shot himself in the middle of McHugh Boulevard while being pursued by provost marshals, authorities and witnesses said.
A total of 52 Marines committed suicide in fiscal year 2009, according to Marine Corps Manpower in Quantico, Va. While officials said many Marine suicides occur overseas, eight Marines killed themselves aboard or near Camp Lejeune in 2009, according to death certificates on file with the Onslow County Register of Deeds.

This is what we are finding here, it seems to be far more self destructive than 'criminal rampaging', the experiences that lead to PTSD seem to make living unbearable rather than urging them to go around killing others.

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/pages/what_is_ptsd.html

http://www.combatstress.org.uk/pages/common_symptoms_ptsd.html
 

jks9199

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Also -- the primary source for Barnes having PTSD is his baby's mother's court filings regarding custody. Apparently, a number of his friends have come forward to refute those suggestions/allegations...
 

Makalakumu

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Also -- the primary source for Barnes having PTSD is his baby's mother's court filings regarding custody. Apparently, a number of his friends have come forward to refute those suggestions/allegations...

I still don't think you can discount it. The baby's mother would be a direct position to know considering that PTSD is also directly linked to increases in domestic violence. It's also been a factor in past cases of violence and it wouldn't surprise me if it was a factor here as well. What surprises me is the amount of people who simply will not acknowledge that this might be a problem. Five people died when this guy snapped. That's a steep price to pay for non-existent WMDs.

20% of returning veterans screen positive for PTSD. 19% experienced a TBI from concussive blasts.


More veterans commit suicide than are actually killed in combat.

This is a price of war and incidents like this are also a price. When people say that this incident had nothing to do with PTSD and that he was a bad seed before he served our country, they are making a political statement. They are denying the consequences of war and attempting to shirk responsibility for it. Hopefully, very few veterans ever snap like this and these incidents remain rare. When they do happen, it doesn't help to have people explain it away for political reasons.

PTSD destroyed my uncles life after Vietnam. He struggled with his experiences for 25 years and died in his bathroom from a side effect of the medications he was taking. He was 47. Vietnam was a completely unnecessary war that was based off of lies and has had an untold number of hidden casualties as it's results. People explained away incidents for political reasons back then, too. The end result of that is that history repeated itself.

When do we break the cycle?
 

Makalakumu

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If I were to take a guess about what set this guy over the edge it prob had to do with his babys mother leaving him and seeking full custody. That led to drinking and prob. drug use at the party where he shot 4 people. The Ranger was then shot and killed when he thought they were going to arrest him for the prior shootings and he was on the run. Self preservation and fear of jail not PTSD

Isn't PTSD linked to domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse? Wouldn't this also explain why he was having major issues with both of these? Could PTSD push someone with a checkered past over the edge?
 

Tez3

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I have to say though that while I'm sure the military mental healthcare people are well trained a good many of them we've found are perhaps less than effective. As I said we had a military psyche hospital here ( it got closed by Blair and patients sent to a private facility owned by a mate of Blair at a cost of millions of pounds). A colleague of mine was called in because a patient, a soldier, had got onto the roof, he arrived and was told nothing could be done immediately because they need to 'conference' and make a plan. After a little while, my colleague ex SBS, though sod this for a game of soldiers and went off, got a ladder and went up it to talk to the lad, after a little while the soldier came down and went off to his room in the ward. My colleague again approached the doctors and nurses ( and a social worker) and was told impatiently to go away until they had put everything in place to coax the soldier down. So he went off a little way then said, 'oh btw he's down and in bed'. Shocked silence followed. We often got calls that they'd 'lost' patients, not a euphemism for dying but that patients had taken themselves off. A lot were suicide risks which involved many man hours searching surrounding countryside.
One thing we found was that if other ranks committed crimes they were locked up, charged etc but often officers if found to be up to something like one I remember who defrauded the mess funds, were put into the hospital as being 'depressed'. We also had young recruits who couldn't hack training saying they were suicidal to get out of the army. The army doesn't take risks because not so long ago we had quite a high rate of recruit suicides, not a pleasant thing to investigate especially as the soldiers go what we call 'green on green' ie protecting the army by saying nothing or knowing nothing.
We have a dog handler who has PTSD, he was in the Pioneer Corps, he fought in the Falklands and also dug the graves there as well as digging up the bodies in the Balkans at the sites of the massacres. He'd served in Northern Ireland and lost a mate when a sniper blew his brains out.
Things are improving, with increased awareness and mentors thoughout the army to watch for sign, the soldiers have a few days in Cyprus to wind down before they come back to the UK after Afghan. They don't go on leave for three weeks after deployment ends so that soldiers and families can adjust within helping distance if needed but the fact remains that many are still suffering in silence and no one knows until it's too late and they've killed themselves, for many that's still the way out of the continous horror.

I think it's so important that we don't 'cheapen' the expeiences and the diagnosis of PTSD of genuine sufferers by slapping that labels on anyone who behaves badly. I understand that defence lawyers who do have a duty of care to their clients, will want to use anything they can to get them off, it's their job after all but it would be easy to use this reason too many times so that genuine PTSD sufferers as dismissed as being either fakes or being over dramatic. I remember not so long ago here that people who said they had ME were scoffed at, it was called 'Yuppie flu' and the sufferers 'drama queens', recently studies have proved that these people who say they are ill, actually are and quite seriously at that. I'd hate to see PTSD being treated the same way.
 

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Makalakumu, we have a lot of vets coming home and they aren't going off and killing other people in a large number of incidents. As has been pointed out both here and in Britain, it seems PTSD affects the individual in a more personal way than going out and harming others. Immediate family members may also suffer, because they live with the individuals, but there haven't been a rash of killings of strangers by returning vets. Let's not try to stigmatize this generation of soldiers the way the vietnam vets were when they came home. If you look at the stats, these men, the vietnam vets, were ahead of their non-vet peers in most ways. They recieved a bad reputation because of the anti-war efforts, and that just wasn't fair. Let's not hurt these vets this time around.

My dad was a combat vet of vietnam and has lived a regular life. Let's not generalize.

Here is an article that addresses the myth of the crazed vietnam vet...

http://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm

Societal Success:

In fact, Vietnam veterans are as successful or more successful than men their own age who did not go to war. Disproportionate numbers of Vietnam veterans serve in Congress, for instance. Vice President Al Gore is a Vietnam veteran, as is enormously popular Colin Powell.
They run Fortune 500 corporations (Frederick Smith of Federal Express), write screenplays (Bill Broyles formerly of Newsweek) and report the evening news (ABC correspondent Jack Smith).
Actor Dennis Franz, who plays a detective on TV's NYPD Blue, is a Vietnam vet, as are large numbers of real law enforcement agents, prosecutors and attorneys. No facet of American life has been untouched by the positive contributions of Vietnam veterans.
While stereotypes may persist in Hollywood and the media, America's finest increasingly run the country.
Vietnam Warriors:

A Statistical Profile In Uniform and In Country Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation.
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era (Aug. 5, 1964-May 7, 1975)
8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug. 5, 1964-March 28, 1973).
3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965- March 28, 1973).
Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969).

After the war ended, reports began to circulate of veterans so depraved from their war experiences that they turned to crime, with estimates of the number of incarcerated Vietnam veterans as high as one-quarter of the prison population. But most of these accounts were based on self-reporting by criminals. In every major study of Vietnam veterans where military records were verified, an insignificant number of prisoners were found to be actual Vietnam veterans
 

Tez3

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There are also a good many civilians suffering from PTSD from events that have happened throughout their lives who also don't go around killing people, not all these events, not all will be violent, some will be from such things as being trapped in buildings after earthquakes, floods etc. It's anything that is traumatic that can give someone PTSD.
PTSD isn't necessarily a lifelong condition, it depends on the person, the event, the treatment and/or the mindset of the person, there's many factors. Some people can go through something we'd consider horrific and come away unscathed mentally, others will crumple at something we consider minor, we can't stigmatise everyone with PTSD as being 'mad' or out of control.
A friend of mine worked on the geriatric ward of our local hospital, a few years back she had a gentleman who had horrific nightmares and flashbacks of his time in the trenches in the First World War, his family said it was a recent thing, he'd never suffered before but as he got old the memories of the past came back more strongly than more recent memories. She said his screams were heart rending as he relived the horror of the war and when he was woken up his eyes were haunted.
 

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I think it's so important that we don't 'cheapen' the expeiences and the diagnosis of PTSD of genuine sufferers by slapping that labels on anyone who behaves badly. I understand that defence lawyers who do have a duty of care to their clients, will want to use anything they can to get them off, it's their job after all but it would be easy to use this reason too many times so that genuine PTSD sufferers as dismissed as being either fakes or being over dramatic. I remember not so long ago here that people who said they had ME were scoffed at, it was called 'Yuppie flu' and the sufferers 'drama queens', recently studies have proved that these people who say they are ill, actually are and quite seriously at that. I'd hate to see PTSD being treated the same way.

Exactly. PTSD is a real disorder, with real impact. We are not handling it well, in the military or law enforcement communities here in the USA. The fire departments are doing much, much better, at least in my experience. We're doing great tactical after-action evaluations, but we're not looking at what's happening to the men and women on the front lines psychologically or spiritual.

I've said that it's a very legitimate discussion. But not when you try to use PTSD to justify, excuse, or even do extensive explanations of why someone did something. Most of the effects of PTSD are turned inward, or to those closest to them. The late 70s/early 80s stereotype of the Vietnam vet going into a flashback, and reliving their wartime experience in some sort of violent psychotic break just doesn't routinely happen. Instead, the victim is so stuck in the traumatic experience that they can't function in the ordinary world. They're obsessed with what happened, hypervigilant, and over-reacting to stimuli.

See the following links:
http://www.army.mil/article/8785/PTSD_healing_process_must_have_balance/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/heart/interviews/grossman.html
http://www.politicalmachine.com/article/404996/The_PTSD_Trap_-_By_Lt_Col_Dave_Grossman
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/
http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/index.asp
http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/understanding_ptsd/booklet.pdf
 

Makalakumu

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PTSD isn't an excuse for bad behavior, its something that can help explain it. If society is creating situations where PTSD rates increase, that's a problem. The violence that results isn't just the fault of the individual, the society that created the situation is also at fault.

People who experience the symptoms of PTSD, depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, etc can act out violently. It doesn't happen all of the time, but it does happen. Denying that denies the reality of the disorder and the reality of war.

Acknowledging this doesn't denigrate veterans. It merely acknowledges the seriousness of the disorder and hopefully causes us to question the politics that caused it.

Blowing off what happened in this situation is not going to help veterans. When someone is on the edge, they need help immediately because violence could very possibly be a result.

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