When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter.
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
Auden, Epitaph on a tyrant
In 1983 Congress passed an act declaring April National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each April Fools day the President of the United States issues the proclamation, releases statistics on abuse and neglect and calls for greater awareness and intervention.
No one pays any attention, nor should they, considering the source. Of course back-patting child welfare agencies launch the empty gesture blue ribbon campaigns, elicit donations to pay for the prevent child abuse refrigerator magnets, issue self-congratulatory press releases &etc., none of it worth noting really, but for a little twist to underscore the Orwellian times in which we live. Bush’s spokesman for mental health opposes everything the child abuse prevention campaign stands for. In case there was any doubt the powers that be could give a shit.
Sooner or later every oppositional mental health blog proves its radical bona-fides by posting a Sally Satel smackdown, and here’s mine, concerning just one of the endless opportunities she offers for a teeth-baring, open-mouthed full-throated snore.
Sally Satel is the Bush administration’s tiresome but powerful spokesman for all things mental health; renowned bully, fascist, victim-bashing menace and wingnut welfare queen, the Ann Coulter of psychiatry blames the diagnosis of PTSD for creating “the myth of the fragile child” and a “culture of trauma” spawned by radical feminists, social reformers, malingering soldiers and disgruntled mental health consumers.
takes on the public health establishment, the mental health consumer movement, the nursing profession, feminist health advocates, civil libertarian defenders of the rights of drug addicts, social and health scientists who are concerned about racial disparities in health care delivery, and persons who promote treatment for psychological trauma.
So, on the one hand, we have the annual presidential proclamation lamenting the trauma of child abuse, while the white house psychiatrist builds her reputation on the denial that PTSD exists. This is her shtick. You may wonder why she does it. She’s a stone cold bitch, but her political motivation in denying PTSD is to thwart compensation-seeking by the survivors, whose numbers skyrocket during times of war. If PTSD doesn’t exist, the government doesn’t have to fund its treatment.
How strange that we are put in this position of building a case for the right to bleed. Anyone who denies people suffer at the hands of others is asking for a license to hurt. Revoked, motherfucker, the disorder is real.
For a long time I’ve been looking for an intelligent, plain-speaking article to post that describes what PTSD is all about; including its aetiology, trajectory, and how to live with it, in a way that I know to be true to my experience. I found something good today by an organization that helps prostitutes, I aim to get it up here before the weekend’s over.