May 14, 2012
After a 27-year-old Iraq War veteran committed suicide, an autopsy showed that he had suffered from a brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It’s a physical condition that has been observed in boxers, football players and other athletes who are likely to experience repeated concussions.
Since that first case, doctors have found CTE in about a dozen war veterans whose bodies were autopsied – leading experts to suggest that PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which today is treated as a “mental” disease, could instead be a physical ailment caused by permanent brain damage. This might also help explain why there are so many suicides among veterans – 18 every day, now, more than 6500 per year.
The real number of war casualties is far higher than the official figure, because the official figure ignores the thousands of soldiers who kill themselves after the war. Not to mention the thousands and thousands of veterans, who can no longer have full lives because of injuries, whether authorities call them “physical” or “mental.”