Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts

True stories of PTSD, brain-injury victims and those who try to help

"Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts" a new book by Patricia Driscoll and Celia Straus, does not pretend that everybody dealing with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder is living happily ever after.

Twenty-one short chapters tell the story of 21 veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom — with nods to Desert Storm and Vietnam — and offer further proof that not all wounds are only skin deep.

The chapters are contributed by psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors and other health specialists, and all offer insight into what goes on behind closed office doors.

Unfortunately, the veterans’ quotes read as if the interviews were conducted in writing rather than in person. Eventually every service member seems to speak in the same style and structure.

But shop talk — “shrink rap” — from men and women who serve in white uniforms provides welcome transparency.

For example: “TBI has been described as the ‘signature injury’ of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; however, we suspect this perception may change,” write Kelly Petska, a psychologist, and Donald MacLennan, a pathologist. “We believe it is this combination of mild TBI with PTSD that will ultimately come to be seen as the signature injury.” {continued}

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