Study: War Trauma May Raise Heart Risks
By CARLA K. JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer
I have no idea how to make that a link.
This is a really good study and about _______ time.
A few years ago, a famous psychiatrist [George Valliant, MD. I remembered!] whose name escapes me at the moment (Halfheimers, when you don't quite have altzheimers, or is it CRS... can't remember) did a study of all the WWII vets who had gone to Harvard. They had thorough medical histories of them when they got into Harvard, so they looked for PTSD in those who had seen combat. He, of course didn't find much (Ha ha. The old school) but he did find that by age 65 most of the WWII Harvard combat vets were either physically very ill or DEAD, which was incredible!
There have been other studies connecting PTSD with stress related diseases.
One of the earliest descriptions of PTSD, in Civil War veterans, was published in 1876. Dr. Da Costa described a set of heart symptoms and called them Soldier's Heart. My husband had this when he came back from Vietnam, but since it was old medicine, no one had ever heard of it, and they told him he could probably die of it anytime. Wonderful for a person diagnosed with "nervousness" since there was no diagnosis of PTSD at that time.
And when he had his last C&P exam a couple of years ago the young woman doctor didn't KNOW that no one was diagnosed with PTSD in 1968 because the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual II of the American Psychiatric Association had no such diagnosis. As a matter of fact, they had just discarded the "Gross Stress Reaction" of the first edition and decided, on no scientific evidence whatsoever, that if a trauma affected you for more than 6 months, you were screwed up before the trauma...
How could a person like that be doing compensation exams for the VA? Of course she was better than Umesh Mahtre, MD, who asked my husband how he was doing. Bob said "about the same." They talked about flying for a few minutes. We thought he was trying to put Bob at ease, but that was the end of the interview and his report was, "The patient reports no problems." He was famous among the local veterans for never seeing PTSD even when it was in his face.(If this has happened to you, the exam is "inadequate for compensation purposes" and you can immediately in writing ask for another exam on that basis.)
The VA compensation system (which is different from and separate from and, as far as I can see, IGNORES the doctors at the VA Hospitals and other treatment facilities) in many areas of the country does it's best to see that those who need help die before they get it, some of the deaths no doubt brought on by stress related heart attacks.
If you want to help, write your representative and senator and ask for more funding for treatment at the VA, and for forced retirement of any old hack in the VA Compensation system who routinely denies PTSD claims or denies them with insane criteria such as this one, which a friend of mine received: "Since you were an infantryman and seeing the death of a friend in combat is not outside the range of usual human experience for an infantryman, you do not have a traumatic stressor." Totally wrong, but he still may have his job...