Any discussions of MAJ Nidal Malik Hasan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are a total crock.
Worse, discussions that he suffered from secondhand-PTSD are pure fantasy, about as plausible as seriously suggesting he was the victim of alien mind control rays.
The Czar will shock and likely anger many readers with this announcement: PTSD is a largely imaginary disorder.
The Czar is quite familiar with what doctors, clinical psychiatrists, corrections officers, intake counselors, police officers, district attorneys, and social workers all whisper to each other: PTSD is largely a myth, like bipolar disease or full-moon-theory. The number of actual sufferers, compared to those who claim to have it, is negligible.
Yes, the Czar is also aware what many military personnel, veterans, public defenders, liberal psychologists, Hollywood film producers, news media folks, insurance scammers and fantasy prone people thinkthat one in three military veterans suffer from blackouts, mood swings, psychotic behavior, and general mayhem depicted in perfect cliché throughout First Blood. And the Czar is aware, as that first group is, that coming out saying so is a blasphemy.
The disorder was first proposed during World War I, and was termed shellshock. The term was applied because it generally occurred only to front-liners who underwent extensive bombardment. Symptoms were hard to pinpoint, but generally the victim had a blank stare, was often unresponsive, and underwent panic attacks when loud noises occurred or even when the victim became aware of his own damaged-ear tinnitus as an incoming bomb whistle.
In World War II, the term was updated to battle fatigue or battle exhaustion. The number of candidate symptoms went us to include depression, anger and rage, or paranoia. By the end of the Vietnam War, the condition included flashbacks, psychosis, suicide, and more, and the phrase was Post-Vietnam Syndrome.
Today, it is PTSD, and thanks to the incredible generosity of the American Psychiatric Association and their bible, the DSM IV, anyone is welcome to get PTSD. You need not be shelled constantly in a Ypres trenchyou can get by even hearing about something scary. Your eyebrows should be raising up in suspicion here.
This is all largely part of the victim culture. You are not responsible for your irresponsible behavior. You are suffering from some disorder, probably because your cat died, or your friends cat died, or your friend heard about a cat who died. You begin to understand why the first groupespecially those who deal with criminalstend to be extremely skeptical of anyone claiming to have PTSD. It tends to be a cop-out to excuse criminal behavior, and a savvy felon can often get a sympathetic psychologist to tell an equally sympathetic judge that society is to blame.
Look, there are two things that must be mentioned. Yes, horrifying experiences can change your ability to function. The Czar does not dismiss a rape victim afraid to leave her apartment as a fraud. But there are neuroscientific explanations for this, often very treatable, due to the amygdala in the brain. And yes, there are definitely servicemen and service women who come home in bad shape. But even untreated, studies show, the brain heals over time. The number of Vietnam veterans claiming to suffer from PTSD declines each year. The Czar suspects that few of them actually had it.
The second thing that must be mentioned relates to percentiles. A large number of people suffer from undocumented mental illnesses. In a large organization like the United States military, the percentiles carry over. Out of 1.5 million American military personnel, statistically thousands will suffer from clinical depression, schizophrenia not previously identified, extreme neuroses, behavioral disorders, and more. In the military, these tend to be swept under the rug as PTSD. Probably only a fraction of PTSD diagnoses are legitimate, and the rest are being poorly served by the VA, psychology, and medicine because their other disorder has been dismissed as something else.
And victims, sometimes, can get compensated for it. But the Czar does not want to open that can of wormsthe numbers of people knowingly, fraudulently claiming to have PTSD is probably low. But the number of people suffering from a treatable disorder being mislabeled as PTSD is shockingly high. Before you write to complain to us that we are way off base with this, read what others have to say about it. You will see a strong conservative versus liberal thread at work, especially where lifelong compensatory payments to victims are concerned.
And so back to MAJ Hasan. He did not serve in a combat position, ever. He was not exposed directly to torture, survive or die situations, or prolonged physical pain. He is not remotely a candidate for PTSD. He certainly did not catch it, flu-like, from the patients he met in on his own psychiatry couch. He did not develop it because he received deployment orders overseas.
The guy is a mass-murderer, possibly even a terrorist. He might very well be a nutjob on top of it. He is not a victim. He is not a tragic victim of the War in Iraq or the War in Afghanistan. He is not symbolic of the trials of the American military professional.
But the Czar fears the media must make you understand that PTSD, and by extension the entire military, is to blame for what he did. Not because he might be a muslim terrorist working with others who are presently being held, but because he is a fallen hero, like John Rambo or Nick Chevotarevich. Because, if he proves to be a terrorist, that would have happened on which Presidents watch?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.