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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
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Monday, July 11, 2011
Is media's over-coverage of PTSD & TBI hurting veterans?
For years we've been praising the media's awakening pertaining to TBIs. Although we often noted its unfortunate genesis in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we never considered this possible ramification of the extensive news coverage TBI has received in the last seven to eight years.
From the North County Times:
The media is double-timing down the wrong road in its pursuit of exposing post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, to the grave detriment of most young men and women leaving the military.
While the intentions are pure ---- to prevent combat veterans from being lost to mental health problems, as too many Vietnam veterans were ---- wrong for the right reasons is still wrong.
Journalism exists, in part, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted. Having missed the PTSD and TBI story 40 years ago, reporters dug in to prevent it from happening again.
And daily they uncover compelling stories. Just flip on the TV or open a paper and see for yourselves.
They are true, but are they the truth?
This publicity in the name of the good and true is a tainting lie and bad for the majority of veterans whom journalists have avowed to champion.
Here's the problem: For the sake of argument, let's say that 25 percent of combat troops suffer PTSD or TBI over the course of their lives. That means that 75 percent do not.
How does this media attention-deficit disorder play out when Sgt. Smith goes looking for a job in the civilian world after faithful service?
Very nearly 50 percent of the companies and corporations, according to a Society of Human Resource Management study, are worried that Sgt. Smith has PTSD or a TBI.
How could they not, after being beat over the head with such stories for a decade?
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