2019年5月31日 星期五

At War: An Army veteran comes to terms with not having PTSD

This week we heard from an Army combat veteran and grieving widow who is able to say plainly that while she served in intensive circumstances in Iraq
View in Browser | Add nytdirect@nytimes.com to your address book.
I'm a Veteran Without PTSD. I Used to Think Something Was Wrong With Me.
<nil>
C.J. Chivers

C.J. Chivers

Staff writer
Dear reader,
On Monday, the United States observed Memorial Day, a federal holiday that capped a three-day weekend of events honoring those who died in American military service. Each year, this weekend pushes into public view many rituals of respect, remembrance and grief — occasions when stories and photographs of people who died in uniform gain a brief purchase in the public discourse and when cemeteries where the recent war dead have been laid to rest are crowded with family members, lovers and friends.
Memorial Day is, of course, for the fallen. But it is inevitable that the holiday also brings forth the living and their stories of loss and pain. When veterans honor friends who died in recent wars, implicit in many of their stories and rituals are the tolls exacted upon survivors — the seemingly indelible tales of guilt, regret and sorrow, often freighted with lingering physical or psychic wounds, including moral injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.
And so it felt right that, immediately after many accounts of this sort, this week on At War we heard from former Capt. Melissa Thomas, an Army combat veteran and grieving widow who is able to say plainly that while she served in intensive circumstances in Iraq and suffered profound grief after the death of her husband, she is not burdened with PTSD.
Thomas served two tours in Iraq, and her husband, Chris, who died in an avalanche while mountaineering after leaving war behind, served more. Thomas was in pitched combat, and in a truck that was hit by an improvised explosive device, and offered first aid to grievously wounded trauma victims, who died. She remembers each incident vividly and feels in control when she does. What is it that allowed her to fare better than some of her peers? Thomas herself wondered, especially after her husband died.
I thought my husband's death, that New Year's Eve day, would be the final trigger for post-traumatic stress disorder; it would be what sent me over the edge. The next few months were filled with sleeplessness and drinking, but also exercising and thoughtful introspection as I scoured self-help books and sought therapy. I never had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and I continued to make it to work on time. I was sad yet functional. I wasn't given a diagnosis of clinical depression or PTSD. There must be something wrong with me for not having something wrong, I thought.
Thomas is a medical student now and volunteered to be a control in a study underwritten by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Center for PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
I hope you will read her story of her experience, including of how the study, using an M.R.I., tried to map the neurology of her feelings of sanctuary and vigilance.
A research assistant sat in the other room monitoring visual images of my brain as the testing went on for an hour. As I saw later, the imaging looked like a storm on a weather map as certain regions were activated and lit up with increased blood flow. The test was measuring the reactions of my brain when I felt safe and when I was being threatened.
Thomas's account is a reminder that popular tropes and easy assumptions about how trauma affects people often do not fit, that suffering and grief are individualized and that we all still have much to learn.
-C.J.
C.J. Chivers is a long-form writer and investigative reporter who works for The New York Times Magazine and the Investigations Desk. 
The Latest Stories From At War
Afghan soldiers and supporters carry the coffin of Samiullah Rayhan, a religious scholar, who was killed while he was leading Friday congregation prayers at a Mosque in Kabul on May 24.
Afghan War Casualty Report: May 24-30
By FAHIM ABED

At least 134 pro-government forces and 47 civilians were killed in Afghanistan during the past week.

Advertisment

How are we doing?

We'd love your feedback on this newsletter. Please email thoughts and suggestions to atwar@nytimes.com. Or invite someone to subscribe through this link. Read more from At War here.

Follow At War

Follow us on Twitter for more from At War.

The New York Times is excited to launch "Your Feed," an exclusive space in our iOS app for you to follow the topics and journalists you care about most. To follow the At War channel please download the NYTimes app from the iOS App Store. If you already have it, tap the icon on the top right corner to choose what to follow. Or paste the link below into your mobile browser to get directly to the channel.

nytimes://followChannel/b396fb44-696e-489b-a102-e5b409020e8d

Editor's Picks
Tony Luong for The New York Times
By HELENE COOPER, RALPH BLUMENTHAL AND LESLIE KEAN
No one at the Pentagon is saying that the objects are extraterrestrial, but the Navy has issued new classified guidance for reporting unexplained aerial phenomena.
A wreath-laying ceremony this month at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
Lexey Swall for The New York Times
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Contributions to the memorial have flagged, and federal money has become stretched across an expanding landscape of tributes.
The Camp 5-6 prison complex at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Christian L. Reismeier, a retired judge, was named to oversee the military tribunals there.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
By CAROL ROSENBERG
Progress in trying terrorist suspects has been scant. The last full-time person in the role was dismissed after considering plea deals in the Sept. 11 and the destroyer Cole cases.
Ballistic missile systems were paraded through Red Square in Moscow during a Victory Day celebration this month. Russia may have restarted low-yield nuclear testing.
Mladen Antonov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By JULIAN E. BARNES AND WILLIAM J. BROAD
If true, the finding could eventually prompt the Trump administration to begin its own testing. But some experts said the accusations were nothing new.
Debris inside a firebombed classroom in the village of Naw Deh, in Farah Province, Afghanistan, last month.
Najim Rahim/The New York Times
By THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF
The surge, not seen since 2015, was yet another sign of the deteriorating security situation across Afghanistan.
John R. Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, has forcefully and increasingly pushed for countering Iran's foreign policy since last year.
Tom Brenner for The New York Times
By EDWARD WONG
Wrestling with Iran's diplomacy and military activity could prompt a confrontation between Washington and Tehran well before any showdown over a nuclear program.

NEED HELP?
Review our newsletter help page or contact us for assistance.

FOLLOW NYTimes
Copyright 2019 The New York Times Company
620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018

沒有留言:

張貼留言