Critical Reading–Douglasadams525

  1. Is PTSD a contagious disorder? The title seems to suggest that it is.
  2. Brannan Vines is not among those who have been to war.
  3. Brannan possesses a number of characteristics that are shared with those who have gone to war, including “hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline-sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers,” and being “[s]uper stimuli-sensitive.”
  4. Brannan is married to Caleb Vines, who has been to war and has PTSD.
  5. Since Caleb returned from Iraq in 2006, Brannan has ‘caught’ his symptoms.
  6. Hypervigilance is one of the symptoms of PTSD.
  7. Due to Caleb’s PTSD, it is necessary for the living room of the Vines home to be dark most of the time.
  8. Most people would expect a person with “Disabled Veteran” license plates to be “[an] old ‘Nam guy with a limp, or maybe [a] young legless Iraq survivor.”
  9. An additional symptom of PTSD is sensitivity to light.
  10. It is possible that PTSD can be caused by “[f]amily history, or maybe previous trauma.”
  11. PTSD has been known by many names, and is not uncommon in those who have been to war.
  12. People are unlikely to take PTSD, and those who have it, seriously.
  13. Diagnostically, PTSD is “[t]he result of a malfunctioning nervous system that fails to normalize after trauma and instead perpetrates memories and misfires life-or-death stress for no practical reason.”
  14. Neither doctors nor civilians fully understand the many facets of brain damage.
  15. PTSD is among the disorders and illnesses that have an entry in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Conversely, secondary traumatic stress is not.
  16. Depression and alienation are among the symptoms that are cause by secondary traumatic stress, as is “compassion fatigue.” These symptoms are experienced by those who spend great amounts of time with PTSD, such as social workers and trauma counsellors.
  17. Some spouses develop their own ‘form’ of PTSD, the “T” of which is caused by the behavior of a PTSD-afflicted spouse.
  18. There have been many documented cases in which the spouses of veterans with PTSD develop secondary traumatic stress.
  19. “Trauma is a contagious disease; it affects everyone that has close contact with a traumatized person,” including spouses and children.
  20. It is possible for children to learn the behavior of shouting and yelling—in fact, this has happened to Katie Vines, who is the daughter of Brannan and Caleb Vines.
  21. Many things may indicate that a person has PTSD, including “higher rate of psychiatric treatment,” “more dysfunctional social and emotional behavior,” and “difficulties in establishing and maintaining friendships.”
  22. While there have been studies performed on the effects that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on the families of veterans, none have been as extensive as one that is currently being performed.
  23. Army children in and around bases may need help “to identify and treat coping and behavioral problems.”
  24. There are many ways of working on PTSD in children, the ‘softer’ ones of which include “lots of talks about coping skills, and an art class where she [Katie] can express her feelings.”
  25. Some children of veterans with PTSD “scream and sob and rock back and forth at the sound of a single loud noise, or who try to commit suicide even before they’re out of middle school.” Katie Vines is not among these children.

Following Caleb’s second tour, he “was edgy [and] distant, but he did not forget entire conversations minutes later, [and] did not have to wait for a stable mental-health day and good moment between medication doses to be intimate with his wife.”  This did not happen after his first tour.

  1. Kateri Peterson also suffers from “awful overstimulating hypervigilance,” a symptom of PTSD.
  2. This symptom is also demonstrated by her eight-year-old son, who “now also counts the exits in new spaces he enters, points them out to his loved ones, keeps a mental map of them at the ready, until war or fire fails to break out, and everyone is safely back home.”
  3. PTSD is hard on marriages, as demonstrated by the high numbers of divorces between PSTD-stricken veterans and their spouses that occurred within six months of the veteran’s return home.
  4. Many veterans commit suicide—despite the fact that only 7% of Americans are veterans, 20% of that 7% eventually end their own life.
  5. Every 80 minutes, a veteran commits suicide. Accordingly, the children of a parent who commits suicide become three times more likely to commit suicide themselves.
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2 Responses to Critical Reading–Douglasadams525

  1. douglasadams525 says:

    Feedback if you have time, please.

    Feedback provided.
    —DSH

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  2. davidbdale says:

    1. It suggests that somebody thinks so. “How Contagious is PTSD?” would strongly suggest that the author thinks it is.
    5. Is caught your word or the author’s? Either way, use double quotes, not single . . . ALWAYS . . . except for quotes-in-quotes. Caught is a very loaded word in this context. If it’s the author’s the claim is clearly that the disorder is contagious.
    7. There’s no good reason to use “due to.” Here, to be correct, you’d have to say, “the reason the room is dark is due to Caleb’s PTSD.” I hope you’d never want to say that. “Due to” means “caused by,” not “because of.” Here, you want to substitute “Because of Caleb’s PTSD . . . .”
    10. This is a most peculiar claim, unless we are prepared to completely ignore the acronym P.T.S.D. Clearly, by definition, PTSD is caused by—and occurs after—Traumatic Stress.
    13. Nice definition.
    15. Not surprising.
    17. This is my favorite explanation, which suggests that the disorder is not “secondary” at all. The spouse experiences new original traumatic stress. (The only way it’s secondary is that a sufferer inflicts trauma on a “second” person.)
    19. Would you say this is casual language, used in the same spirit as we might call laughter contagious?
    29. What? 20% of veterans kill themselves? Is that possible?

    You’ve certainly done a good job of identifying claims in an hour, douglasadams. The assignment, though, was to critically analyze claims made in the article, as modeled in our in-class evisceration of the “Let’s Harvest the Organs of Death Row Inmates” argument. I don’t see much of that here.

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