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Dr Phil should apologize!
Petition Background (Preamble):
Please read the story that was posted in You Served.
We’ve received a lot of response about last week’s show, “Heroes in Pain,” which focused on the epidemic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition that torments so many lives, including soldiers who’ve put their lives on the line serving our country. Some viewers expressed concern, and even disappointment, with the show’s original title, “Heroes to Monsters?” Our intent was to acknowledge the question so often cited in the media, not to make a statement, and to emphasize the severity of the pain and suffering our guests say they experience. In doing so, we unintentionally offended some of our viewers, and have therefore changed the title to more accurately reflect the show’s content.
I’m glad the show stirred so many of you to respond. Our goal is, and always will be, to call attention to the challenges our returning soldiers face, including PTSD. I really wanted you to hear firsthand the effects that PTSD can have on war heroes and their families, and I’m grateful to our guests for being so candid and honest about their experiences. I hope other media outlets will join us in talking openly about these challenges and our need as a society to respond with compassionate action. Two of my three sisters married fighter pilots (Vietnam era), and my nephew flew many missions as a Navy fighter pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan, so the lives of our veterans hits very close to home.
They should have just said, “Hey guys, we’re just going to change the name, so could you kindly back off? Oh and we’re going to leave that damaged goods voice over bit in the preview.”
Did Dr. Phil ever stop to point out that most veterans with PTSD don’t end up setting their wives on fire or stabbing people repeatedly in the face? Of course not. Indeed, recent research has found that the link between PTSD and violent behavior is actually weak.
How many veterans with PTS have never committed an act of violence. How many haven’t committed a crime? I can tell you that the number of veterans that have not outnumbers those that have by far. How many people saw this show and the numerous reports in the media of bad behavior by those with PTS? How many of those now assume everyone with PTS is dangerous? Far more than anyone knows or is willing to admit. The potential number scares me to even think about.
What Dr. Phil should have written, in my opinion, is this. “We are deeply saddened that we handled this topic so poorly. We regret not inviting additional veterans with PTS that have learned to live with their illness as part of our support and treatment plans for Matt and Mark. We are currently planning a follow up show that will feature veterans that defy the myth and stereotype furthered by our show and many in the media. An overwhelming majority of veterans diagnosed with PTS are not violent, monsters, or damaged goods.”
They should have left off the slimely marketing of The PTSD Breakthrough at the end of the “apology” as well. In case you’re unaware, Dr. Frank Lawlis is the author of The PTSD Breakthrough and is also the chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board. By the way, the show is listed with it’s original title on Dr. Phil’s bio page of Dr. Lawli
THIS IS THE COMMENTS THAT DR. PHIL STATED ON HIS SHOW ABOUT OUR VETERANS.
PTSD: civilians just love to paint veterans as riddled with this disease, causing them to become violent, unhinged lunatics who will explode at the slightest provocation.
Look at just about any news story where a violent crime is committed by a veteran, and PTSD is almost immediately floated as the reason. In the media narrative, violence and PTSD go hand-in-hand. At the same time, troops are criticized for not coming forward and admitting they have a problem, and seeking help for it. (Gee, could it possibly be because we paint veterans with PTSD as homicidal lunatics?)
Dr. Phil, arguably one of the most popular talk show hosts on the planet, decided to feature this issue on his show this week. And while he could have taken a reasonable approach, he went straight for the gut instead. Titling the show “From Heroes To Monsters”, he painted a picture of vets with PTSD as ticking time bombs of violence, describing them as damaged goods who “destroy families” and “dismantle marriages”.
Editor note: the video after the jump WILL autoplay.
One of Dr. Phil’s guests, Matt, is a former Marine who struggles with PTSD. He speaks about how, while deployed to Afghanistan, he repeatedly stabbed an enemy combatant in the face, even after he was dead, to get his anger out. He also claims he saw “lots” of innocent people killed, including women and children. (His last name isn’t given, so it’s impossible to verify his claims of killing women and children while deployed to Afghanistan.)
After Matt, Dr. Phil featured Mark and Heather. Mark is another veteran with PTSD who admits he has violent rages, says his life has been destroyed, and is afraid of what he will do to his family. Heather’s husband, Duane, had PTSD. He beat her and set her on fire.
The common thread between all of these stories: violence. Did Dr. Phil ever stop to point out that most veterans with PTSD don’t end up setting their wives on fire or stabbing people repeatedly in the face? Of course not. Indeed, recent research has found that the link between PTSD and violent behavior is actually weak. Another dirty little secret Dr. Phil didn’t feel was necessary to point out: civilians get PTSD, too. In fact, anyone can get it — anyone who has been through a trauma. According to the VA, about 7-8% of the general population will get PTSD at some point in their lives. For veterans, the risk is slightly higher, although not by much at 11-20%. And, believe it or not, the symptoms of PTSD do not include sudden violence such as setting your wife on fire or stabbing people in the face. Common symptoms include reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of it, feeling numb, feeling jittery, suddenly being angry or irritable, having trouble sleeping, etc. Setting your wife on fire? Not so much a normal occurrence. While relationship problems and violence may occur, acting as if it is a foregone conclusion (as Dr. Phil did) and saying that vets with PTSD are “monsters” is ridiculous and offensive.
It has been noted time and again, including here at You Served, that there is a stigma associated with veterans who have PTSD. While things may slowly be getting better, we still have a long way to go. And clearly, that goes for civilians as well. When the leading daytime talk show host runs a show calling veterans with PTSD “monsters” and “damaged goods”, it’s no wonder that there is a stigma attached to PTSD. The media gleefully paints vets who struggle with it as ticking time bombs, as stereotypes of lunatics about to snap at any given moment. The narrative isn’t new… but I don’t ever recall seeing veterans being so blatantly insulted by being called “monsters” and “damaged goods”.
I’m curious if Dr. Phil honestly thinks it’s helpful to paint such a negative, violent picture of veterans struggling with PTSD. I would wager he doesn’t care at all about how this affects our military. Because if he did, this show wouldn’t have existed. What he has done is continue to spread a false and harmful narrative about our troops, which spreads the stigma associated with PTSD even further. And what does that do? It encourages veterans who are struggling with symptoms of PTSD to become even more reluctant to come forward and seek help. Why would they? They’re being told that they’re monsters, damaged goods, violent abusive lunatics. While Dr. Phil is by no means the only perpetrator, this is by far the worst example I have seen in the media.
Having PTSD does not make you “damaged goods”. Does having cancer make someone damaged? What about depression, or bipolar disorder, or any number of other diseases? Telling someone who has PTSD that they are a monster and therefore need to get help makes about as much sense as telling a woman who has breast cancer that she’s damaged goods and therefore needs chemotherapy. It’s not going to encourage anyone to actually seek help. What it will surely do for vets, though, is reinforce the idea that they are somehow broken, that they’ll be judged and punished for having PTSD, and make them think that they are right to not tell anyone and to not get help. None of our troops who are afflicted with PTSD are monsters, they are not damaged, and 99% of them are not violent, homicidal maniacs about to snap at any moment.
The men and women who serve in our Armed Forces give up so much. They sacrifice their time with their families, their bodies, and their lives. For some, they sacrifice their mental health. This does not make them broken, or crazy, or violent, and it especially does not make them monsters. Meanwhile, here is Dr. Phil, taking the sacrifice and exploiting it, calling our troops — who have already given up so much for us — monsters. He should be ashamed of himself.
If he has any honor at all, any gratitude for the service of our veterans, he’ll issue an apology and a retraction. You can contact the Dr. Phil Show at:
Read more at YouServed: http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/blog/2012/04/20/dr-phil-vets-with-ptsd-are-damaged-goods-monsters/#ixzz1sijhpckP
Dr. Phil should never had said the things he has said he does not know what he is talking about. I want everyone to also boycott his show until he makes a formal apology. He should be ashamed of himself.
Perhaps he does not know anyone with PTSD. They are not monsters!
The Dr Phil should apologize! petition to facebook was written by sharon33525 and is in the category Television at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: dr. phil, ptsd, military, monster, damaged goods, veterans, police officer, firefighter