Posted on May 31, 2017
COL Mikel J. Burroughs
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I found this great MEME about labels & thought it was a great question & discussion piece for those suffering from PTSD and those working to help those suffering from PTSD. Looking for some great feedback to share with the community here on RP about labeling!

There are several great questions on the MEME:

1. Do you let your label define who you are?
2. Do you let your label hold you back from what you can be?
3. Do you accept what someone has labeled you?
4. Do you use that label to motivate you?

What are your thoughts?
Edited >1 y ago
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Responses: 52
SGM Erik Marquez
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Edited >1 y ago
Labels are in the eye (perception) of the receiver and therein lays the problem.
The label of PTSD may be accurately assigned to Vet 1 and Vet 2, neither have issues that are debilitating, prevent normal relationships or work.
Vet 1 Wears a three piece suit to work, no one even thinks about his "PTSD" when he spills his coffee on a report and then has to reprint the 1 page report on the company printer using company paper with only 3 hours remaining before the meeting and mutters FUCK to him self.
Vet 2 wears company uniforms at this mechanic Tech job, has long hair and a 4 day growth of facial hair, when he drops his new Snap on $700 torque wrench on the ground after tripping over an air line some careless person left out surely damaging the tool and causing a loss of needed tool for weeks while out for repair ..and mutters FUCK to him self, folks stare, back away, talk amongst them selfs about Bobs "PTSD", shop manager requires him to leave the property immediately, and not return without a Docs note that says he is not a threat to himself or other employees. Same label, same mental position and condition for the vet different perception of that label and Vet.
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Wanda Afualo-Carey
Wanda Afualo-Carey
>1 y
Sally Webster Thank you for your response Maam. You have enlightened me on the differences between PTSD & combat-PTSD. Although there may be differences in how the PTSD came about, i.e. the event/s that caused it or triggered it... it makes very little difference in the level of psychological trauma the individual suffers, it is just as tortuous & harrowing an experience to go through.

I agree with you & hope that strategic steps are taken to de-program our valiant military members, especially when they return from heavy combat deployments.

I would like to express my gratitude to your son, former Army Sgt Tyler James Webster, for his dedicated service to the country. I'm sorry for the unfortunate events that led up to his incarceration. I will keep you all in my prayers. With much respect.
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SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
>1 y
Sally Webster - Ma'am nothing can be said that will change the past, and I mean no disrespect.
This discussion is about "Labels" not the causation for them.
And I absolutely agree how PTSD manifests itself the triggers that set the symptoms off are vastly different depending on the causation of PTSD.. The fact is there is just one "Label" PTSD..
Both the events I laid out above and the two you just did..... No matter how you look, or react to the stress, the label is "PTSD". And no matter of you react to large black dogs only with nervousnesses and caution or Dont really react at all..If you have been labeled as having PTSD, the reactions of others is the same.
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Sally Webster
Sally Webster
>1 y
Wanda Afualo-Carey - Dear Wanda, ever since my son's shooting incident, not all shootings are murders, my son is no murderer but was lied about in court I have been working on a humanitarian project for veteran's and their immediate family that will provide the three things I think veteran's need most 1) paid jobs, 2) homes, 3) a formalized comprehensive step-down deprogramming from their battle training and 'theatre' deployments which has to do with several stress reduction techniques. Are you willing to BeFriend me here at RP and private message me in order to communicate through my business email address. I could really use your brain wrapped around my 19 page business plan and my 3 page executive summary if you are willing?
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Wanda Afualo-Carey
Wanda Afualo-Carey
>1 y
Sally Webster Good morning Ma'am. Sent you an add me request here. I must warn you however, I don't know that "my brain" would be of much use to you in your venture... however I have a big heart & love what your goals are! Thus would be honored to lend you my support in whatever capacity I can assist you in. Power on Ma'am!
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SGT English/Language Arts Teacher
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I think it is human nature that we label to make quick assessments of others, perhaps those that threaten us or pose some danger. I try to overcome labeling and see each person as an individual. I have never seen a "label" that benefited that person.
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SPC Douglas Bolton
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SSG Eduardo Ybarra  Jr.  MS Psyc
SSG Eduardo Ybarra Jr. MS Psyc
>1 y
Your exactly right a label does not benefit a person, but think for a moment Veterans are not an average person. A Veteran is one to take a challenge others will not. That being said most of us will take that "label" challenge to be that better person. The military has taught us to see through the labels, society......well that's an entirely different group.
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Wanda Afualo-Carey
Wanda Afualo-Carey
>1 y
SGT (Join to see) I concur wholeheartedly - labels are most commonly misappropriated on us all. It requires an entire paradigm shift to think of others outside the boxes we at times like to categorize them into. Which means a lot of brain power & energy expended... which is why so many prefer the easy modus operandi of pigeon holing & labeling.

A lot of times I will receive an admission where the report I'm given from the ER nurse is "Oh trust me Wanda he's a frequent flyer through here... 3 hots & a cot, always back to detox & then he's right back out there drinking his liver away."

When I meet my patient, most times they'll either treat me the way they've been treated - cold & distant or just silent code me. So I understand where they're coming from. (Beat a person down long enough with labels or judgement glances & language - they'll ofttimes succumb to it.)

So, I make it a point to be their nurse smiley! I smile at them like a lunatic... I joke with them, I ask them which branch of the service they served in... I ask them if they've ever had R&R Down Under & how much trouble they got into... or if they ever served alongside or drank with any Aussies... I do whatever it takes to break through that wall of labels!

Ofttimes... I'll get shut down quickly & I get told where I can take my questions etc... so... I then say "Ok, I see nows not a good time to make you my best friend... so instead I'll let you rest. Let me know if you need me to bring you something for your pain or if you're having withdrawals symptoms, I can bring you something to take the edge off..."

By the end of the shift, my Mr Grumpy pants will share a joke with me... & have me smiling with accounts of his experiences. Always make it a point to meet new friends in all that I do! Like to break down & eliminate those negative labels out there as much as I can!
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CPT Aaron Kletzing
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I think it hurts more than helps
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COL Mikel J. Burroughs
COL Mikel J. Burroughs
>1 y
CPT Aaron Kletzing Agreed and those whov'e gotten past the labels now use them as a motivation to improve their day-to-day lives. It's unfortunate that labels exist, but even the military back in the day use to label service members that had "Shell Shock" or "Combat Stress" as "Cowards" (very early in history) and documented it in their personnel files. We still label by denying security clearances, making these warriors non-deployalbes, and even change their duty positions in some cases. I've been out awhile since 2012, so I can speak on how it is handle today. We owe a debt to these individuals that suffer and we owe them our help. Just my opinion! Thanks for contributing to the discussion Aaron! RESPECT!
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CPT Aaron Kletzing
CPT Aaron Kletzing
>1 y
Back at ya Sir
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