Ilona meet Ilana, Ilana meet Ilona – Combat PTSD Research

(2:15 EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

Teen PTSD researcher Ilana Rice

Why do I get the feeling you two are destined to meet? And by all means don’t change your first names!

Many already know Ilona Meagher, many have worked with her, and she posts on many of these boards, when not the busy young lady she’s become with her dedication to her new found much needed cause as she joined many of us who had already been trying to get others to pay attention to. She has done wonders, as have all those who joined her from ePluribus Media, in their research and their PTSD, and other, Timelines which are used by many.

For those who don’t know Ilona, I won’t go into a book writing here, she’s done enough in a short few years that could turn into a personal history book, already, but will say that she hosts her own well visited site PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within and she has written a great referance book Moving A Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America’s Returning Troops

Visit her site to find out more about this remarkable young woman if you hadn’t before.

This post is an introduction, not only to Ilona about Ilana but for all to meet, to what seems to be another remarkable young lady, a very young lady with a growing dedication beyond her years.

Yesterday, 5-24-08, I had NPR on while driving back from getting some work done on my van. Weekend America was on and in the second hour of the show, when I caught “PTSD Research” and I thought “Ilona” as the name given, had the radio down low as my cell had rang. Thought that Ilona was being interviewed and hadn’t told anyone about it, than I heard the voice, it seemed much younger and not how Ilona sounded, as we’ve heard her being interviewed before. Than the name was said again and it was Ilana.

As soon as I got home I brought up the Weekend America site.

This was the title of this short interview and report Teen Researcher Targets PTSD Treatment

A New York researcher hopes that veterans of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan won’t take decades to work through their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) issues. Maybe her youth as something to do with her impatience — Ilana Rice is only 16.

For the past year and a half, she’s been studying how relationships can help heal PTSD. The high school junior hopes her study will help fill in the gaps in the research about the disease.

She became interested in the subject through her mother’s work as a psychologist at a Veteran’s hospital. Weekend America’s Desiree Cooper asked Ilana to describe the focus of her study:

She has a unique approach to her PTSD research and study, through relationships, and a very intelligent approach I might add, she really has paid attention watching and listening to her mother.

Ilana, why are you interested in PTSD?

When I was younger, my mom is actually a VA psychologist. So that’s why I’ve become so passionate about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in combat veterans. I used to send them Veteran Day cards every year, and some of them saw these cards and offered to meet me. And I’ve known some of them for many years and when I got older, someone of them shared their stories with me.

I love it when a youngster says “when I was younger”, but in this case she’s is matured well beyond her young years, with it seems more understanding than the majority of adults who think they are adult.

How hard has it been to find people to fill out the questionnaire?

That has been the single most difficult part of this project. I think it’s… a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am a high school student. My resources are not that extensive. I’m really working with a lot of local organizations when it comes to actually finding people. Originally I was looking only at the most current Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and there are simply not enough of them to fill out a questionnaire so my study would be valid and that my data would be accepted. So I had to expand it to include Vietnam vets, veterans of the Korean War, Desert Storm, as well as the two most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it’s also very difficult to find people who have non-veteran romantic partners who are married to or living with them. Sometimes these partners don’t want to fill out the survey.

These are but a few cuts of a short important interview, there’s abit more at the subject link as well as backtrack links to important PTSD information.

At the bottom, in case some might miss it, you’ll find this:

If you are interested in participating in Ilana Rice’s study, please Click Here to fill out our contact form.

To Listen to the podcast visit the site link

Earlier they had another report on, that is equally important and also on the subject of PTSD, but this one is covering the Combat Vets of the past before Vietnam.

Decades Later, Haunted by PTSD

Leslie Martin, at the head of the table, is director of PTSD Outpatient Services for Los Angeles Veterans Affairs. She runs the support group for older vets with PTSD. Here she is with “her guys,” as she affectionately calls them.

Credit: Krissy Clark

A white cap, gray trousers and a navy-blue jacket, pinned with medals — that’s what Don LaFond will be wearing this weekend when he attends a Memorial Day ceremony in Los Angeles. He goes every year, and he always wears his Purple Heart.

Don earned that medal in World War II in the battle for Saipan. He showed incredible courage — but also fear:

“You never know where the bullets coming from — over here, over here, coming overhead. Like mortar shells, bombs, artillery. You’re frightened. Anybody who says they’re not afraid when they go into combat, they’re a big… they’re a liar, you know.”

Don is 84 years old, and like many veterans of his generation, he has never been too open with his emotions about the war — until recently. Now, he talks about them every Friday, in a support group for older vets. Weekend America’s Krissy Clark dropped in on them:

Every one of these men is in his 70s or 80s. Every one fought in a war that ended more than a half century ago. And every one has been living with strange symptoms since then: constant nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbness. Most of these men had never given the collection of feelings a name. They’ve discovered recently it is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

“I’m 84-years-old now, and all this stuff happened when I was in my early 20s,” LaFond says. “It makes you wonder, gee whiz, if it will ever leave your mind.”

We could have been much more advanced in treating PTSD once it was finally taken for the serious result of War after Vietnam if the Nation had paid much moree attention to those Veterans who took up the cause and Especially the civilians, to few in numbers, who recognized how serious it is and how common to Veterans of all conflicts. The advancements would have been felt worldwide and understood in the civilian population of those who live through traumatic life events and develope their own PTSD, suffering in silence!

The Veteran’s Administration now estimates one in 20 veterans of World War II — the “good” war — probably have symptoms similar to LaFond’s and probably suffer from PTSD. The numbers are vague, because most older vets were never diagnosed.

Sometimes Martin asks herself why now, after all these years? She thinks there are two main triggers. First, retirement: Men who long buried their war traumas under work and responsibilities have more time to dwell on old fears. Second, because we’re at war again now. “It’s everywhere,” Martin says. “There are movies about it, it’s on television.” And it brings things up again for her guys.

“Not too many people know that I come to meetings,” he says. “People think it’s a weakness. I don’t want to be classified as such. Macho thing, I guess.” But Medina says he does have fewer nightmares since he’s come to meetings.

To listen to this podcast visit the site link

There’s abit more at the site visit and read, you won’t be sorry, it isn’t long but it is powerful and informative, especially those who have returned, are still there, or in rotation for another tour In-Country. These two present day conflicts OIF and OEF, and especially with the multiple tours and stop loss, I fear will cause even greater problems for the individuals, their families, their communities as well as the Nation if we all don’t step up and give the care promised, for All related War injuries, physical and mental!

We will have many more stories like this, Iraq put his life on the trigger

But the carousing masked Morris’ troubled state. His PTSD was so severe, his friends said, that he couldn’t sleep. He had terrifying visions of people he had killed in combat.

Morris showed his friends horrific photos from Iraq — “people with their heads blowed off . . . guts ripped out on barbed wire . . . bullet holes in every piece of body,” said a friend, Dustin Newton.

Sometimes, friends said, Morris would show the photos and laugh.

Video Presentations and More

Picking Up the Pieces

With Jane Pauley

Meet the families of wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers’ loved ones are making inspiring and often shocking sacrifices to care for them. Jane Pauley talks to some family members and also interviews ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee, who share their personal story of recovery and healing.

When Wounded Vets Come Home

Hosted by Sheliah Kast

Families of veterans disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan are becoming their primary caregivers, and support from the federal government and the military is, in many cases, woefully inadequate. “Inside E Street” visits families, talks to members of Congress, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Veterans of Foreign Wars about the challenges these servicemen and women and their loved ones face.

Resources for Family Caregivers of Vets

Numerous organizations and agencies provide assistance to Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans and their families.

And Much More

And from NPR Morning Edition:

Army Hospitals Struggle to Stop Drug Overdoses

Eleven medications were found in Nichols’ body, including painkillers to treat his physical wounds from an explosion in Iraq and drugs to ease the nightmares, insomnia and memory loss caused by his post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

You can listen here


  1. JOIN US!

    Over 25 chapters are going to be holding memorials, marching in parades, and participating in a variety of events for the 2008 Memorial Day weekend. Join VFP at a city near you!


    Anyone in or near Statesville North Carolina, we will once again have the

    Arlington South Memorial Prayer and Peace Vigil this Memorial Day?

    In Mac Anderson Park ,

    433 Race Street, Statesville , N.C.

    This memorial is intended to be a place to honor and acknowledge those who have lost their lives.

    They are finishing setting up the well over 3200 crosses, and other religious symbols, this morning. it will be there tomorrow and monday.

  2. Iraqi interpreters at loss for words

    Local-hire Iraqi interpreters maimed during U.S. combat missions can’t fathom why the nation won’t pay for the high-tech prosthetics.

    Yet we have a Standing Mercenary Army and War Profitteers Galore!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I remember reading Ilona over at Daily Kos … she was relentless in her mission of educating folks to the problems of PTSD.

    It is so ironic … I think of all of the advances in our technology due to war, so many things invented during wartime and now used in civilian life, for peaceful purposes.

    And PTSD … if we had put our efforts into healing our vets, using successful methods that have been developed over the years, really invested in that, think of how much civilians could be helped as well.  Our mental health care system in America has always been given the lowest priority.

    All that potential for good, going to waste.  All those men and women who didn’t have to suffer if our society only had the right priorities.  And if we had those right priorities, how much war could we have avoided?

    We can do better than this.

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