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Chronic PTSD in Vietnam Veterans

By April 10, 2008

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The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) was conducted by the U.S. government to better understand the psychological effect of being in the Vietnam War. The findings from this study were alarming. At the time of the study (middle to late 1980s), among Vietnam veterans, approximately 15% of men and 9% of women were found to currently have PTSD. Approximately 30% of men and 27% of women had PTSD at some point in their life following Vietnam.

These findings, obtained approximately a decade after the end of the Vietnam War, found that for many veterans, their PTSD had become a chronic (that is, persistent and long-lasting) condition. In fact, fourteen years after this study, many of these veterans were interviewed again, and it was found that a substantial proportion continued to have PTSD, as well as a number of other difficulties, such as physical health problems, marital problems, and psychological difficulties. Read more about the long-term impact of chronic PTSD among Vietnam veterans here.

Comments
July 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm
(1) Sten Nelson says:

Does it ever get any easier???

February 19, 2010 at 4:27 am
(2) Russell says:

Never knew I had ptsd until now. Ran into another vet and got to talking. Turns out, he and I suffer from virtually the same things. Nightmares and anger
are constantly with me. Just the sound of a engine backfire will put me on the floor. Anger issues with
my wife are growing. Can’t see film clips mof helicoptors in nam without getting sick. Now that I know about this and want help, I understand that new ptsd guidelines are going to cut the compensation. How much more of this war do I have to live with?

March 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm
(3) Lee says:

Vietnam combat veteran here. I’ve tried the VA clinic, and a private psychiatrist. More hurt than help. Anyone got any help? Where?

June 21, 2010 at 11:05 am
(4) Barbara Carter says:

My x husband was in Vietnam in 1965&66, we married in 1967, he has always suffered from PTSS, he drank heavily and became a Herion addict, he spent approx. 35 years an addict. We divorced in 1970, he has had another failed marriage, lived in shelters, and under social services help. He is in bad physical condition suffering from Diabetes, COPD, and mental health. He recently came to Georgia to see his son, first time in 30 years. We have great compassion and want to help him. He gets $265.00 from the VA at this time and Social Security, living in New York, he must be subsidized just to live. He did not have the mind to realize he is entitled to some help from the VA for PTSS from the horrors of Vietman. Help me with how to help him.
Thank you Barbara Carter

July 1, 2010 at 9:17 am
(5) Sam says:

I served in Viet Nam from 12/1967 to 01/1969 with the US Marine Corps. I filed for VA benefits and was put thru all kinds of testing I’ve always been told my conditions were not combat or service related. Yet I know many retired Marines that always ask me why I never filed for benefits they receive for the same conditions. No body ever talked to me about PTSD or Agent Orange. I don’t believe the VA is or ever has been pro-active when it comes to helping Vets. I really believe the whole process is just a big joke to keep Vets in their [lace.

July 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm
(6) Patricia Keefe says:

I am a female Vietnam vet that has suffered from PTSD ever since returning to the world and have applied for compensation from the VA only to be denied several times because I was female and we were not in combat, yeah right, I was there in 1968-1969 and was shot at numerous times. VA won’t help me, so what do I do, just fade away and die?

November 16, 2010 at 9:01 am
(7) Xach says:

i hate this feeling..

November 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm
(8) Mark says:

I have PTSD. I served two tours for a total of 27 months in Iraq. I go to the VA, and also the Vet center. The vet center has counselors and most are vets themselves. I wouls suggest goind back to the VA, getting on zoloft (i’m on it) and talking to a counselor in a local vet center. Shrinks are only good for writing perscriptions, and VA counselors do serve a purpose But the vet center people really understand. PTSD will never go away, but it can become manageable with the right treatment. We should not be ashamed.

November 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm
(9) Randy says:

I was in Viet Nam for 16 1/2 months. I’ve had no luck with the VA or private shrinks over the years. PTSD has cost me dearly including my wife and the rest of my family. Nightmares and anger I don’t see coming are a problem. My only real friend is isolation. The commericals and recruiters never mention PTSD.

November 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm
(10) Laura says:

I lost my son to suicide in July. (OIF) I am certain he suffered from PTSD. There is an excellent book written by Charles Hoge. It is written for the warrior. After reading it, I have so much respect for those who PTSD affects. The name of the book is “Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior”. Those of us who have not been in combat can not understand. I’m disgusted at how slow help has been for Veitnam Vets. I don’t know if this book will help anyone here, but it is worth the read. The VA is starting to encourage Vets to come in…great…once they are in, then what? I will advocate for you any way I can. There are people who care about our Vets and current warriors, like Hoge. There are those in the VA trying to help…we need to keep the pressure on them to get moving. Too slow for my son…we buried him the day he had an appointment with the VA.

December 15, 2010 at 10:00 pm
(11) Roger Heathscott says:

PTSD is a very serious disease, I am a Vietnam Veteran with (2) Tours in Vietnam. I Join the Service in December 30 1965 to December 18 1968. I had a Top Secret Clearance, my Duty Station was Bang Pla, Thialand. We travel from Bangkok to our Station. I kept reading names of the Soldiers that was killed in Vietnam, Tet-Offense was going on. Some of our guys was sent to Nam, I wanted to go, to help but was denied. Messages kept coming of the KIA. Body Bags. Finally my duty was over and sent back home. I didn’t know what was going on inside, My Wife and I got a Divorce…I relisted in February 17 1970. I was sent to Vietnam March 2 1970 thru December 3 1970. I came back to State Side, Just could not ajust had so many probelms. Was sent back to Vietnam, at my Request, October 12 1971 to Feburary 20 1972. At this time I broke down and tried to Commit Sucide. Taking a M-16 placing it against my Stomach I shot myself. As you can see I survived. After Healing I thought of Sucide all the time. A cousin, of mind committed Sucide, his Mother always asked me what, why this had happen. Explaining to her, I just didn’t know, why. I am a 100 percent disable Veteran, and very Proud to be one. I still struggle today with my inner thoughts of Vietnam. I remarried and had Two Wonderful Kids but I walked away from them due to my Problem’s, ending in a Divorce. Today I am not Truely Closed to my Kids. I love them but the Daddy and Son and Daughter together is not there as it should be. I blame Vietnam and the Goverment for me not having a life when they were Born. I left them due to my internal Problems. I do get very depress, sucide thoughts, things can not be removed. I have been out of Hospital for Treatment, Doctor’s, but still yet I struggle. Taking a Shower I can fall back to Vietnam so easy. Sometime I just withdraw into my on Body, I seen normal outside, but inside, I have to fight with the Demons..PTSD is no Joke…

February 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm
(12) Michelle says:

Any combat veteran of any war should try their local Vet Center. They are located all over the United States and you go to http://www.va.gov and click on the “locations” tab.

March 15, 2011 at 11:22 am
(13) Jeremy J says:

From one vet to others–Do not just go to a vet center. Find an attorney specializing in VA Disability Benefits. I work for a firm that has an excellent VA practice group. Do not try and go it alone and do not wait!

April 4, 2011 at 11:14 am
(14) Taylor says:

I am doing A project on the Vietnam War. My group is trying to find more on the Gorilla Tactics we are making a plot line then turning it into a video clip. We are trying to tie PTDS into our video. We’re just having trouble making out plot.

May 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm
(15) X SGT JDM says:

Ladies and Gents from any war that has or ever will have PTSD, GET HELP!! Yes, Me 100% It took a long time to get it, but you do get back pay. So do as the woman said, contact usa.gov. They have numbers, urls, etc. Keep on your shrinks ass until you get the meds that help calm you down. Also keep on everyones ass until you get what you deserve. It is hard for me to go outside, I make myself do it, So get off your ass and make yourself apply for your benfits.
There are a heck of a lot more people care about the ones who served, died, and are serving, today than there was back when I got out. If you start to question yourself, remember the VA hosptial is yours, and you can go to anyone of them in any state. You fought for that right, so now fight for your right. WELCOME HOME HERO! Then when you win your fight, help some of the guys from these new wars. God bless all the armed forces. And thank god for the death of Bin L.
From: another old stupid and used up DAV. HAVE A GOOD DAY!

May 8, 2011 at 1:00 am
(16) bruce kobs says:

God bless you all– for your comments, for your perservance,- keep the faith, Im trying to. Im just starting my journey through the quagmire of the VA obsticale course. Hope it does some good. I feel your pain and frustraction. Im pretty scared right now. Ihope this will get somewhere.. Trust in God, not the US government.

May 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm
(17) guest says:

i feel bad for all of you my uncle was in war and told me how his friends made fun of him by dropping books and watch dive under the table. i could also hear him scream at night yelling names of rinds that died in the war.

June 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm
(18) Rick says:

The VA isn’t interested in helping anybody. When you have Doctors who tell you they can’t justify the cost of test you are basically being told that they are being monitored by the orqinization as to what they are ordering and their personal ratings are at stake.

Go get a copy of your medical file after you have had an appointment. They spend twice as much time filling out the report as they do with you and it is full of stuff they said they told you that never came out of their mouths.

These people are communist parasites; specialist who have told me that diagnosing “that” is “Not” my job.

Half the Doctors there need to have their medical licenses revoked for cause.

July 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm
(19) chill says:

Served USMC in country Vietnam 1968-69; every VA doctor who has exaimed me for disibity and comp reported, have resulted in denial of my claims,,,every outsourced VA exaimer has resulted in all my claims justified..even one doctor examied my legs for neothropy and blood glucose diabeties which I had, and he put me on meds for it..which the VA claimed I didn’t have according to their testing..resulted in paid comp..this shows you the VA doctors all are paid to deny deny deny so the VA can claim they are doing a great job..for a while I thought my name was ‘Denied”..the rating department and the paid under the table doctors at the regional offices are just as bad…if the moneys are not coming out of their own pockets and the money is there,,all our warriors deserve fair and equal treatment for their claims and medical care…I for one have not heard of very many vets get this from the VA…the medical care I can say is good after they ok your claim but it’s a hard battle uphill
to get benefits, and it seems the newer employees are just if not worst (in their claims department)

July 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm
(20) marianne says:

through experience with the VA, trying to get help for my husband, vietnam vet. I finally got in touch with our congressman and emailed him and they came through for us.

October 8, 2011 at 5:06 am
(21) Kenya Owen-Johnson says:

I have a friend who has PTDS and he is very hard to deal with. He isolates himself from the world, always irritated, mad at the world. He goes from 0-10 in a matter of seconds. I love and care for this person a lot, but he’s pushing me away. I’m a strong woman but even the strong breaks afer awhile.

I have been with him to the VA clinics and have seen him go through alot of testing to only be denied for his disablty claims.It seems like he neer gets anywhere. I really feel his pain and sruggles.

My heart is bleeding for the men an women who have to go through this. It’s trully along process. Good luck to all you and don’t stop fghting for what is rightfully due to you.

October 18, 2011 at 10:51 am
(22) carol says:

I was just at a funeral and met an old friend there. We got to talking because I had to drive him home. He was in Vietnam and came home with PTSD. He is divorced with no children. The VA helps him but food stamps just cut him down $20.00 and he now receives $58.00 per month. He needs teeth badly but doesn’t have money to fix them. Where should I go for help to get him a dentist that will not charge him? Vietnam ruined his life. He says that his PTSD is under control, but who knows.

October 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm
(23) David Bernier says:

I served fro 71 to 73 with MACV with most of my time in Cambodia and Laos. I didn’t know I had PTSD until a few years ago even though I would fight at the drop of a hat. All my friends are combat vets and they are all dieing around me.
I had a suicide attempt just 4 weeks ago, but feel good now. I have been to Iraq working for a private group that provided security. After 18 months I came back a wreck.

That war will never be over for me.

November 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm
(24) Dan says:

Left commet dont see it ..do you pick and Choose?

November 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm
(25) Jesse says:

The VA’s job is to deny you unless you are a lifer and then they give you anything you ask for. I spent 14 months with the Korean 9th Infantry from 1967 to 1969. Two heart attacks attributed to Agent Orange and they give me a 10% disability. They didn’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge my PTSD claim. This may sound cruel, but government workers would never survive in private industry.

January 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(26) Rick says:

Vietnam vet from ’69-’70. After 3 failed marrages. I feel I don”t have it in me to continue this life. On top of that I had prostate surgery and am not able to perform as a husband should in the bedroon.

January 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm
(27) Alondra says:

Sometimes i think very hard if i should go to the military ( is it the right decision?) , besides that i want to thank all the people that served for our country and risk there lives to make our better.

January 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm
(28) Tim says:

Vietnam Vet, ’71-72. Was a Gunner on Convoy runs with MoGas & JP-4. (Jet fuel)…I have just recently applied for PTSD Comp. and honestly, it has been a breeze. Never missed an appt. and was accepted into their PTSD program. Spoke with a C&P Rep. and the process lasted a whole 40 minutes. Waiting now on their decision to rate me or not, but I feel very good about it. Taking the meds. they give me and they have really helped. After forty freakin’ years, I am getting help.
NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER QUIT!
That saved your ass in ‘Nam and it will save your ass in the VA.

January 31, 2012 at 9:10 am
(29) penny says:

cant believe how hard the va makes things for deserving vets and families to go thur process of recieving vets benifits. its insane also how you feel when finished with their crap!i never had ptsd till i dealt with them. my poor vietnam vet i love so much.

February 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(30) Bobby says:

Vietnam vet, 71′-72′ combat engineers – land clearing – road builder, welcome home fellow veterans; I too am suffering from PTSD, recent VA claim after 40 yrs of suffering netted me 10%, second claim for low back 10%… I too finally feel like I have accomplished something major… how about finally getting recognition.

February 12, 2012 at 8:41 am
(31) paul says:

Take the comp–there is no help

March 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm
(32) tommy says:

VA counsiling. Lol. Realy! How many days, years trips to the clinic does it take!!!! .

April 4, 2012 at 9:11 am
(33) Anonymous says:

My father was rated 130% disabled from Vietnam, until he died only a few years later from high blood pressure and a stroke, even though he didn’t smoke and was never overwieght. PTSD from combat is very serious. It can be very extreme. My father should have been 100% PTSD but was only 50%. He wasn’t honest with the VA about how badly he was messed up, I had to force him to get help. Too bad they never contacted his family about his problems. Our family was never compensated for the loss of our father, even though he wasn’t in the army, he was drafted at age 19. This was a sacrifice we didn’t offer, it was taken from us without our conscent. You don’t want to be as ill as my father, trust me. Seek out counceling from a good counceler, one who will try to understand. Stay in counceling for as long as it takes. Don’t wait on the VA. Don’t become ill, it’s really terrible, and not a place you want to be.

May 16, 2012 at 11:08 am
(34) harry says:

Stan asked 3 years ago if it ever gets any easier – well, it don’t. The only thing that helps a little for me is a PTSD group at the VA. There at least you don’t feel out of place and can realize you are not alone in your pain.
Always remember – it dont mean nuthin

May 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm
(35) Eric Hollenbeck says:

Combat raidomen 101′st ’68 69′. I have John Wayned it my whole life, trying to stay ahead of the monsters.I am getting older and slower and just started trying to get help.What I want to say has only been said to me twice in my whole life and both just reasently ” Welcome Home, ! Eric

July 22, 2012 at 4:45 am
(36) White Rabbit says:

Drafted in 66. My tour in Big Red One 68-69 as Infantry Pltn Sgt & Acting Pltn Ldr. Came back to the world with severe PTSD. 100% service-connected. I survived the NVA regulars & the Viet Cong guerrilas, but the despicable VA came closest to greasing me. An unethical, incompetent, malpracticing VA psychologist turned on me like a rabid dog when I was severely depressed & suicidal. That abuse led quickly & directly to a suicide attempt. The unethical veteran abusing frauds in VA have done their utmost to bury me ever since. I haven’t been in one of their monuments to incompetency that they call hospitals in years. I wouldn’t ask those bastards for a band-aid.They are reducing case load by psychologist assisted suicide – a stealth euthanasia program.

July 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm
(37) Bob Earnheart says:

I am going try and ramble though this and hope it helps. USMC 67-71
Vietnam 68-69. I have been married 5 times. 3 of those as a drunk. I have beeb clean and sober now 27 years this thanksgiving. Locked down in 94 for 42 days. Bad, Bad, Bad. About 11 years ago I joined the Vietnam Vet Motorcycle Club ( been riding since I came back) and it has help. It helped because theses Brother understand whats going on inside. If I get out of line they don’t mind dotting my eye in love. My file is about 5in thick. After the Walter Reed problem, I am telling you the VA has changed. In Dec. 2011, I received my rating of 70% PTSD. I now have downloaded my declassified monthly report of my unit which say I was sprayed with defolege. I have grave disease. I have submitted this claim and hope to get 100%. I know that what I am saying will not work for all Vets and I myself, I know am not out of the woods but I keep on fighting. USMC Sgt. Earnheart Vietnam 68-69

July 24, 2012 at 12:15 am
(38) Franco Roblrs says:

I’ve read each and everyone of these comments in this page , my heart goes out to all of you heroes! I’m studying Psychology after the service to help combat veterans with PTSD … Stay strong.

February 26, 2013 at 9:31 am
(39) Jackie says:

I am a widow of a Vietnam Veteran who never got help for PTSD. Living with him for over 30 years has left some residual affects. Is there any help for me?

June 20, 2013 at 5:55 am
(40) jerry says:

I served in nan 1966-1967. I retired in 1979 and continued to work, because I was always told that I could not go to the va for mecical help, I would have to go to a military hospital,which is a 4 hour drive, so I coninunied to work and go to civ drs who tried to send me to the county health dept.. In 2000 a friend helped me get in witht the VA, I have to stop .thiss to is a waste of time. One day God will take all of the pai away.

July 16, 2013 at 2:16 am
(41) chris says:

I have a friend whose brother is a Vietnam vet. My friend told me that on various occasions his brother had said that he felt at times that he was cursed. [A booklet', "America Ambushed", now out of print, by Chuck Dean of Point Man International Ministries' [reads]…

“[PTSD]…[affecting] thousands of Vietnam veterans today is a SPIRITUAL problem, and a bi-product of pagan curses.

In late 1989, Point Man Ministries headquarters received a verbal report that an ex-Buddhist monk had shared with an American pastor regarding demonic curses being cast upon American troops during the Vietnam war.

According to the ex-Buddhist priest, an entire sect of Vietnamese Buddhist monks spent years heaping specific curses upon all Americans that came to fight their country. These specific curses were:

1. That the American soldiers would become wandering men and women for the rest of their lives.
2. That they would never find peace.
3. That they would be angry men and women for the rest of their lives.

The secular way of bringing mental health and healing to the Vietnam veteran has not produced any permanent satisfactory results since the war ended. One veteran described their administrated practices as ‘putting a band-aid on a bullet hole’. The majority of all programs given by the government have only taught the veteran how to ‘cope’ with the problem. They have no permanent solutions simply because they don’t understand, or adhere to the Biblical truths regarding the spiritual makeup of a man, and the spiritual enemies and battles that confront us constantly.

To understand what really happened to our troops in S.E.Asia, and why they are seemingly hopeless cases, with ‘incurable’ stress problems, we must look from the spiritual side of things. We must look at the eternal, not the physical.

Source: http://www.demonbuster.com/war.html

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