Dr Oz: Women Of War: Military Women, PTSD & Military Trauma

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Dr Oz: Women Of War: Military Women, PTSD & Military Trauma

By on April 21, 2011

Dr Oz: Military Women

Dr Oz did a show called Women Of War, because too few of us know about the struggles of Military Women who serve to protect this country.  Women are now serving on the front line during war, but what happens after they come home?  Women Vets often have serious health crises.  Doctor Oz was joined by Colonel Rebecca Porter, Sonja V Batten and Victoria Givens to discuss America’s Women Vets.

Dr Oz: Women Of War

Dr Oz said that women during wartime used to be a backbone for male soldiers, but they mainly worked in the shadows as nurses, cooks and laundresses.  Only recently have women Dr Oz Women Of Warstarted to see battle firsthand on the front lines.  1/4 million women served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 130 lost their lives and thousands more were wounded.  They often return to suffer physical and emotional scars in silence.  Some even say that the biggest battle is when you come home after combat.

Doctor Oz asked Victoria Givens what is the biggest challenge when you are on the front line?  Givens said that when you go out on a convoy, you are often smack in the middle of fighting and anything can happen.  Sonja Batten said that men and women are actually equally resilient in terms of handling these stressful military situations.  One Military Woman said that she served in Desert Storm for 14 years and missed pivotal points in her daughter’s life.  Often these women come back and find it hard to reconnect with their families.  Batten said that you have to take the time to acknowledge losses and the things that you did miss out on, but recognize that it was for a greater purpose.  And most importantly, you must try to connect so that you can focus on the here and now.

Dr Oz: Military Trauma

Dr Oz pointed out that women also return from war to be wives, so he asked Victoria Givens about how this transition was for her.  She said that she had lots of issues when she returned, especially from Military Trauma.  Victoria said that she was a hot mess and literally tore her marriage apart and caused lots of problems with her in-laws.  Her husband gave her an ultimatum that she either had to get help or he would divorce her.  So they went though the VA to get counseling, because she literally brought the war home to her family.

Colonel Rebecca Porter said that there are programs setup for women who come home and struggle with their personal relationships.  For example, there is a program called Strong Bonds which is a chaplains program that sends couples on a marital retreat when they get back from the war.  In the end, it seems that the rates of Post-Traumatic Syndrome is pretty equivalent for both men and women, but women are more likely to have depression whereas men are more likely to have substance abuse problems.

Dr Oz: PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

There are three sets of symptoms that come together to form PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

1.  Re-Experience Symptoms of PTSD

When you have Re-Experience Symptoms, you go through things like nightmares and often have unwanted thoughts or memories.

2.  Avoidance Symptoms of PTSD

Avoidance Symptoms include going out of your way to not be put in contact with things that remind you of events that took place or avoiding conversations because you do not like to talk about the war.

3.  Startle Symptoms of PTSD

This is when you startle easily or are very jumpy.  You often won’t sleep well and will feel on edge.

Dr Oz asked Colonel Porter is we are underestimating PTSD, because the statistics say that 1 in 5 Vets have it.  She said it is quite possible that we are underestimating the number of people who get Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Dr Oz said that two classic signs that a person has PTSD include isolation and depression.

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Comments to Dr Oz: Women Of War: Military Women, PTSD & Military Trauma

  1. This is a topic that is not talked about by the military or anyone for that matter and they keep it hush hush and it keeps women who are raped in the military silent. I was happy to see Dr. Oz covering this very real but silent issue that happens against women by the men they serve with and even by commanding officers. I was disappointed however not surprised by the response from Colonel Porter when Dr. Oz asked her how prevalent is rape in the military and she DID NOT answer it but instead went on to say something else not answering his question. This is a major problem and a code of silence in the military that women who serve in the military are being raped by fellow officers and those who are suppose to have their backs. It is ashame that this serious issue of rape in the military against women who serve this country is completely being ignored as we saw by Colonel Porter when asked this very important and great question by Dr. Oz. Colonel Porter had an opportunity to speak up about this previlent issue and support the women who ARE being raped in the military by the men they serve with and are suppose to have their back! Not only do women in the military have to deal with all the stresses of leaving their husbands, children, parents, siblings behind to go serve this country to deal with bombs going off, losing a limb, possibly being killed now having to add rape by the
    men in the military. This is horrible and it must change! Colonel Porter ignored this opportunity and shame on her!

  2. Muzikgrrl says:

    re: above comment – Col. Porter was likely prepped by military Legal Counsel on what to say if she was asked that question. And she probably understood clearly what the consequences would be if she were to speak up about such a thing…which is a different kind of terrorism. With the U.S at war overseas, the government cannot afford to have a military with a tarnished image. Shame on the officers who commit such crimes against humanity. And shame against senior officers and government officials who turn a blind eye – because this is called ‘consent’.

  3. Yes…you are right and I knew she was more than likely prepared on what to say and not to say! I wonder if whatever she understood her consequences to be would have mattered to her as much if it were her or her daughter or her mother who was raped while serving in the military.

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