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Dr. Phil Describes Vets with PTSD as “Monsters” and “Damaged Goods”

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”.

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.

Read more of the original article here.

No one should be disregarded and villainized for psychological difficulties outside of their control–and “PTSD” is one of those conditions. PTSD occurs in response to trauma. You can’t plan around trauma, you can’t expect trauma, you can’t always numb yourself through trauma. People that get diagnosed with PTSD are far from “monsters.” In fact, they are so far from “monsters” and care so much about other people, morality, and how the world works that they are deeply hurt by what has happened to them and those around them. If they were indeed the monsters that Dr. Phil says they were, they wouldn’t give a shit less about people dying around them (in the case of vets or others that may witness death). But that is not “PTSD”…that would be, at least in the world of the Psychiatric Industrial Complex, “Antisocial Personality Disorder.” This does not mean that we support diagnostics. We do, however, support knowing what mental health professionals may try to throw at you.

Being traumatized does not ever assume that a person will become violent–when that happens, there is something else going on that needs to be addressed aside from PTSD.

We encourage folks to contact the Dr. Phil Show and it’s sponsors to let them know that this is reprehensible and hurts not only vets but civilians as well.


Dr. Phil Show
5482 Wilshire Boulevard #1902
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Contact CBS:

Stacey Luchs
Senior Vice President, Communication
DR. PHIL/The Doctors

Louis DiCenzo

Contact Dr. Phil’s Sponsors:

Glam Media Corporate

US Headquarters
Glam Media, Inc.
2000 Sierra Point Parkway
Suite 1000,
10th Floor
Brisbane, CA 94005
Phone: (650) 244-4000

Glam Media, Inc. New York
Phone: 646-205-7000
Email: sales@GlamMedia.com

Nike Training Club

American Express
Joanna Lambert
Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications — Corporate and Financial Communications
212.640.9238 (fax)

Sarah Meron
Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications — Corporate and Marketing Communications
212.640.9238 (fax)

Judy Tenzer
Vice President, Department of Corporate Social Responsibility 212.640.0555
212.640.9238 (fax)


Cover Girl (Proctor & Gamble Company)
Christine Wever
Corporate External Relations
Office: 513-983-3273
Alternate (After Hours): 513-288-8905
Email: wever.cm@pg.com

Mary Ralles
Corporate External Relations
Office: 513-945-4015
Alternate (After Hours): 513-780-6431
Email: ralles.ml@pg.com

Jennifer Chelune
Financial Communications Corporate External Relations
Office: 513-983-2570
Alternate (After Hours): 513-629-0173
Email: chelune.jj@pg.com

Jeff LeRoy
Corporate External Relations
Office: 513-983-0466
Alternate (After Hours): 513-331-0627
Email: leroy.jh@pg.com

Paul Fox
Corporate External Relations
Office: 513-983-3465
Alternate (After Hours): 513-884-2592
Email: fox.pd@pg.com

Yoplait (General Mills)
Fax: 1-763-764-8330

General Mills, Inc.
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440
Email: http://generalmills.com/en/ContactUs.aspx

Lancome – Paris
Email: http://www.lancome-usa.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-lancome_us-Site/default/CustomerService-ContactUs

Schick Intuition Naturals
Schick Consumer Affairs
PO Box 537
Neenah, WI 54957
Email: http://www.schick.com/us/contact-us.shtml

Chamberlain Marketing Group
12103 Delta Drive
Taylor, MI 48180
Tel: 866-462-8669



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