Jul 17 2014

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s PTSD: Fully Recovered from 5 Years of Taliban Captivity, Really?

Private First Class Bowe Robert Bergdahl, Unit... Private First Class Bowe Robert Bergdahl, United States Army. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Fully Recovered from 5 Years of Taliban Captivity, Really? – Vol. 267, July 17, 2014

Men go to fight for their country for many different reasons. Sometimes they go to get away from terrible circumstances at home, others to get a free education and still others because they really believe in the “cause” as delivered by the leaders of their government.

War is never a happy time, and those who come to find out that the objectives of their government are counter to their own values, unconsciously conscious as values are in the mind, may come to a different conclusion why they are in the “fight” to begin with.
Based on the recent reports of Sgt. Bowe Bergdal’s fellow squad member, Cody Full, he made it clear that he was against all the killing of innocent Afghan’s, wanting to know why it was that our government wasn’t involved in more humanitarian aid drops, setting up clinics, and helping out the population instead of hunting down the Taliban.
After spending five years being held by the Taliban, one would hardly believe that he would be recovered from the post traumatic stress disorder he has suffered in the grand total of the six weeks since May 31st when he was released. Add to this, the media circus around his case with the release of the five Taliban figures to Qatar from Guantanomo Bay, Cuba and it becomes even less likely.

The articles that I have read on the subject speak of “gently coaxing” the Sgt. back into “normal life, both physically and psychologically.” However, there is nothing mentioned of what was done to help Sgt. Bergdahl in dealing with the trauma that he had suffered at the Taliban’s hands, or the trauma of being ordered to hunt down the Taliban instead of helping the innocent Afghan’s receive the sort of help they really needed the United States to give them to improve their lives, one of the reasons we were given for having our military serve over there.

Considering the recent reports of the Veteran’s Administration coming under fire for NOT having ANY outcome measures to know if the treatments used for the mere 53% PTSD afflicted veterans able to get services to treat their PTSD are working, according to Sandro Galea at the Mailman School of public Health at Columbia University. One has to wonder how mentally stable Sgt. Bergdahl could be given his situation.  He is returning to full service working in homeland security in San Antonio, Texas at a “desk job” according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Add to this mix that there are many questions regarding his possible desertion of his post when he was caught and imprisoned by the Taliban, which may lead to him being prosecuted by the military in the future. One could only believe that this possibility by itself would create much anxiety by the Sgt.

Sgt. Borgdahl is all of 28 years old, being a mere 23 years old when he was captured. Dealing with young people who suffer with post traumatic stress, I realize how debilitating this illness can be when it is not treated in a manner that helps the patient to truly put it behind him. Our government needs to do better for its veterans especially given the fact that 22 of our veterans are killing themselves every day because of the pain and distress they live with daily no longer wanting to go on. It is a tragedy that need not be!

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