Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Very Angry Man

He sat down in the chair next to me, and at the moment I closed the door I could sense a strange feeling in the room. He was looking straight forward into my eyes, and he looked angry, very angry. He started telling me about his back pain, then quickly changed the subject, and went on to talk about his failed marriages and family problems, then how much he hated doctors, in a way he wanted me to feel uncomfortable.

I was asked to see him and evaluate him for his back pain. I spent 50 minutes although all I needed was ten minutes. Most of the time I was trying to calm him down, ask him to repeat what he's saying or elablorate on his medical issue. I did my best to focus on his medical problem but he kept telling me about his crappy social and marital life, and honestly I felt threatened by the way he was talking and the tone of his voice. I was just thinking "what the hell is wrong with this man?"

I checked his chart for some more information....."The patient has a history of illicit drug abuse, Alcohol abuse, previous suicidal attempt, he was a Vietnam veteran and here we go.............. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is relatively common among people who experienced a major psychological traumatic experience, like surviving a natural disaster or a plane crash or a rape event but the biggest example are veterans who participated in Vietnam and the Korean wars. They experience symptoms such as hyper-arousal, sleep problems, being over-alert and sometimes having bouts of anger or irritability for no obvious reason.

Those who participated in the Vietnam war have seen horrible things, they've killed people and they've seen their friends being killed, they've been under serious threats and pressures and very often had dilemma on why are they fighting those people.

Many soldiers survived the war, many without a single physical injury, but an amputated arm or a paralyzed leg are not the only disabilities people suffer from wars. This guy could talk, walk, drive, read and eat but he was unable to live one day now like he lived before the war, which has ended more than 30 years ago. He became with whom any communication is extremely difficult.

With all these wars going on in the world, I wonder how many PTSD victims will we see in the future.

9 comments:

madas said...

Wow Fares... this was a great read... in a way something that i might have written :) se the self confidence!!! the truth is you are right... i wonder a lot about things like that, how many poeple are depressed in the world for reasons such as war and poverty... sometimes life can be too difficult... i wish it was easier...

hareega said...

sometimes those who die in wars are not the most miserable, maybe PTSD is common in our region and we don't know about it.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

you could get that now from just watching the news on TV...

you don't have to be part of the action or close to it.. you dont have to know anyone who was killed, raped or plundered..

all you have to do is listen to the news and see where we and the future generations are heading towards.

great blog.. even for a technologically challenged person like me ;)

Hareega said...

thanx bahraini-girl, i wouldn't call you silly !

I kinda agree that the news says it all, but talking with someone who's been thru such times make you understand the pain they've experienced better.

Anonymous said...

"all you have to do is listen to the news and see where we and the future generations are heading towards."

Who set the course?

I'm guessing you will say either "America" or "Nobody", Bahraini Girl. Am I wrong?

I can read Jordanian blogs right now and see where Jordan is heading. Whose fault will that be? How will that be America's fault? What did America do to Jordan to make all those Jordanian bloggers hate us so much?

Hareega, you moved to the US a year ago? Can I ask why? Wasn't there someplace else you could have gone, where you would have liked it better? I've been through your whole blog and not seen anything but criticism of the US. We don't really need you here, you know? Shouldn't you be in Palestine or Iraq, where they have doctor shortages?

hareega said...

anonymous i just read ur note

all what i can see from what you've said are a few conclusions based on a shitty attitude, I don't know which blog were you searching to accuse me of that.

If an american guy mentioned those stories to you you'd look at them differently and maybe you'd think of them for a while. But if it's a foreigner who is saying them then he should "shut up and return to where he was".

I moved to america because medicine is more advanced here and there's a friendly environement i can work within.
american politics suck big time and if you want to talk about it many american politicans were directly involved in supporting terrorists and dectators in different continents.... Saddam Hussain, Bin Ladin, Pinoche, and the Saudi Royal Family..

Have some facts before accusing people, (and you reLLY NEED ME HERE)

Anonymous said...
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