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The Mental Health Risks Associated with Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations

dimsum

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The Canadian Military Journal published Maj Mark Sandner's paper on the mental health of RPA personnel. 

http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/Vol20/No3/PDF/CMJ203Ep46.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1ZAawpYBGhg1D_XwzL5BnjUfcTnJA5wsfKu8QQv1sLjfX5rAxLu95SRGo
 

brihard

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Thanks, gotta give that a read later

One friend of mine has PTSD and 3Bed from doing the imagery analysis for Heron overseas, building target profiles and helping call PID.

Another individual I know, the first time I (and others) intervened resulted in EMS and police finding them in a parking lot full of pills and overdosing. The second time was a two hour phone conversation that prevented an about-to-initiate Suicide attempt with a well formed plan. Shitty thing about this was having seen a bunch of combat arms toolbars bullying this individual online for having PTSD ‘from playing Xbox’. A usually well regarded online veterans support group almost killed this person because apparently PTSD only counts if you’re in a TIC.

So yeah- seen the damage, and I totally buy it. This new capability will come with new challenges.
 

dimsum

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Brihard said:
Shitty thing about this was having seen a bunch of combat arms toolbars bullying this individual online for having PTSD ‘from playing Xbox’. A usually well regarded online veterans support group almost killed this person because apparently PTSD only counts if you’re in a TIC.

I think that will be the biggest hurdle to face. 

Although, if that was me and they were chucking crap at me for "playing XBox", I'd say my PTSD was due to making sure they didn't get blown up from a missed IED.
 

medicineman

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Dimsum said:
I think that will be the biggest hurdle to face. 

Although, if that was me and they were chucking crap at me for "playing XBox", I'd say my PTSD was due to making sure they didn't get blown up from a missed IED.

Some people are just phuquewits.  Have a friend that's an Int O that is pretty messed up from having to watch videos of baddies executing hostages, blowing up folks, etc from both ISR platforms and from friendly force capture files.  Similar to cops that deal with human trafficking, child porn, etc.

MM
 

Colin Parkinson

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It seems that having to watch horrible things, without remedy is a surefire way to create PTSD in a normal person.
 

Haggis

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I think it was back in 2010-2011 that I attended a VCDS Group CWO`s conference where this was a discussion topic.  The manifestation of PTSD among CFINTCOM personnel who viewed the RPV feeds in real time, including TICs where they would watch the battle unfold but could do nothing to influence the outcome, was completely unforeseen and unexpected.  It was one of those "who knew?" moments.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Haggis said:
I think it was back in 2010-2011 that I attended a VCDS Group CWO`s conference where this was a discussion topic.  The manifestation of PTSD among CFINTCOM personnel who viewed the RPV feeds in real time, including TICs where they would watch the battle unfold but could do nothing to influence the outcome, was completely unforeseen and unexpected.  It was one of those "who knew?" moments.


Perhaps they should have read "A Clockwork Orange",  ... or if too lazy, watch the movie.
 

daftandbarmy

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Haggis said:
I think it was back in 2010-2011 that I attended a VCDS Group CWO`s conference where this was a discussion topic.  The manifestation of PTSD among CFINTCOM personnel who viewed the RPV feeds in real time, including TICs where they would watch the battle unfold but could do nothing to influence the outcome, was completely unforeseen and unexpected.  It was one of those "who knew?" moments.

A similar experience to some of those in Ops Rooms managing contacts on the air. Net discipline only lasts so long....
 

medicineman

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Haggis said:
I think it was back in 2010-2011 that I attended a VCDS Group CWO`s conference where this was a discussion topic.  The manifestation of PTSD among CFINTCOM personnel who viewed the RPV feeds in real time, including TICs where they would watch the battle unfold but could do nothing to influence the outcome, was completely unforeseen and unexpected.  It was one of those "who knew?" moments.

Given that the DSM-V came out 2010/11 and the DSM-IV(TR) was out at that time, this should have been a "DUH" moment, not a "Who'd have thunk it?" one.

Exhibit 1.3-4DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD
Note: The following criteria apply to adults, adolescents, and children older than 6 years. For children 6 years and younger, see the DSM-5 section titled “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder for Children 6 Years and Younger” (APA, 2013a).

Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:
Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse). Note: Criterion A4 does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related.

Even if it hadn't been published at that point, the DSM-IV (TR) definition is more succinct:

Appendix E: DSM-IV-TR Criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
(1) The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.
(2) The person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.


:2c:

MM
 

mariomike

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medicineman said:
(e.g., first responders collecting human remains;

e.g., Crawling under a subway in the sweltering heat with a flashlight. Not so bad.

Until some joker goes inside the cab and sounds the horn twice ( the GO signal ) for laughs. That's bad!  :)

 

Haggis

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medicineman said:
Given that the DSM-V came out 2010/11 and the DSM-IV(TR) was out at that time, this should have been a "DUH" moment, not a "Who'd have thunk it?" one.

For the medical professionals, I agree.  But for the chain of command (who don't, as a matter of routine, read the DSM) it was a clear cut case of the law of unintended consequences rearing it's head.  RPVs were relatively new in the CAF at that time.  For a generation who grew up on slasher flicks like "Friday the 13th" and "Saw", the reaction of "you got PTSD from watching a firefight on TV?" was likely the norm until the cabbage repair people became involved.
 

medicineman

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Haggis said:
For the medical professionals, I agree.  But for the chain of command (who don't, as a matter of routine, read the DSM) it was a clear cut case of the law of unintended consequences rearing it's head.  RPVs were relatively new in the CAF at that time.  For a generation who grew up on slasher flicks like "Friday the 13th" and "Saw", the reaction of "you got PTSD from watching a firefight on TV?" was likely the norm until the cabbage repair people became involved.

I guess I take issue with the fact that PTSD in and of itself had been an issue for many years prior and therefore the definitions/risk factors should have been well known to folks that allegedly gave a rat's about their troops at that point.  When one considers the number of briefings prior to, during and post deployment we'd give/get, screening forms filled out, etc, since the mid 90's, it's almost like people don't learn from the past or even pay attention to things unless they're actually in their face.  All that stuff was "must attend to check in the box" and to be ignored until convenient for a VAC issue or there's an uptick in self-harm/domestic violence/drug or alcohol related incidents/SI's that need investigation and questions from pay grades over CoC's heads/ATI requests.

This is all opinion incidentally - albeit from a person with issues, helping others dealing with their own, being in CoC of folks with problems, teaching others deploying, etc.  That opinion hasn't changed much since SCONDVA, when something I said during information collection prior to the formal hearings was presented to a bunch of senior officers that largely had never been exposed to much more than UV rays in Cyprus, who were trying to pat the head of the lady presenting her findings, resulting in one snarky Col being left with their jaw agape and a General Officer's staff contacting me directly to discuss these matters further.  Incidentally, that GO wasn't DGHS or Surg Gen...

MM
 

Haggis

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medicineman said:
When one considers the number of briefings prior to, during and post deployment we'd give/get, screening forms filled out, etc, since the mid 90's, it's almost like people don't learn from the past or even pay attention to things unless they're actually in their face.  All that stuff was "must attend to check in the box" and to be ignored until convenient for a VAC issue or there's an uptick in self-harm/domestic violence/drug or alcohol related incidents/SI's that need investigation and questions from pay grades over CoC's heads/ATI requests.

i've gone through the pre-deployment DAG process five or six time in the past fifteen years.  Every time, whether it's been Roto 0 or Roto XX, it's the same.  We're doing Roto 0 over and over again.  Lessons learned are not lessons applied.
 

medicineman

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Haggis said:
i've gone through the pre-deployment DAG process five or six time in the past fifteen years.  Every time, whether it's been Roto 0 or Roto XX, it's the same.  We're doing Roto 0 over and over again.  Lessons learned are not lessons applied.

Yup - going back to the First World War...

MM
 
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