9/12/14: Begin a Psychological Search and Revive Mission

September 12, 2014

Instead of a military search and destroy mission, this psychiatrist proposes a psychological search and revive mission.

PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE NEWS

Like the worst geographical earthquakes, the attacks on the USA on 9/11/01 were followed by many aftershocks--including psychological aftershocks.

As the APA story yesterday reports, "Seeking Help After Years of 9/11: Survivor Guilt", so many people are still coming out - and will come out - for treatment of Posttraumatic Stress and other Disorders. That is what PTSD is--and does. And yet, it is unknown whether Congress will extend funding next fall to help even those who were within 1.5 miles of ground zero, and thereby at higher risk. Likewise, the VA funding for the military fighting in this "War on Terrorism" and their loved ones in other parts of the country has been - and continues to be - woefully late and inadequate, contributing to high rates of suicide, violence, and PTSD.

Recently, there was an apparent lull as troops were withdrawn. Maybe we were foolishly hoping that the military earthquakes over there were over. They're not.

There were 2 beheadings, and now comes our plan to counter-attack ISIS. Whether on-ground troops will ever be deployed, there will be triggers that remind the vulnerable of related trauma.

How can we best honor those who have died - whether by enemy hands or self-inflicted hands - or who been traumatized, besides a day of mourning, as discussed yesterday? Our "wounded warriors" and their loved ones deserve the best resources we have, not less. Let us resolve, among other things, to:

. Look for those with survivor guilt who may be satisfied they're alive and feel that they don't deserve more help.

. Look for former military who may still feel that it is a weakness to get psychological help.

. Look for those who feel dead inside.

. Look for the caregivers who have been secondarily traumatized.

. Look for ways to build resilience

Instead of a military search and destroy mission, this would be a psychological search and revive mission.