Claims – comatosefox

This is a Factual Claim, it is true that this is one of the many things that can happen to a person that has or develops PTSD. It’s true there are multiple forms and patterns to PTSD, it is an ever changing disorder that is specific to each individual.

“Granted, diagnosing PTSD is a tricky thing. The result of a malfunctioning nervous system that fails to normalize after trauma and instead perpetrates memories and misfires life-or death stress for no practical reason, it comes in a couple of varieties, various complexities, has causes ranging from one lightning-fast event to drawn-out terrors or patterns of abuse —in soldiers… “

This could be a Causal Claim, it is true that more time in combat or touring could worsen the disorder but it is a case by case disorder. It may not affect everyone the same and more touring may not worsen one soldier’s PTSD.

“… the incidence of PTSD goes up with the number of tours and amount of combat experienced.”

This is an Evaluative claim, it is not fully passed on facts but emotions, it is very common for people that are never told what they have that is ruining their life to feel annoyed or “invalidating.” You are in a constant state of confusion not only because the doctors don’t know what you have , but they may not have an idea of what is even causing it. It is even worse when all tests and scans show nothing is wrong.

“Doctors have to go on hunches and symptomology rather than definitive evidence. And the fact that the science hasn’t fully caught up with the suffering, that Caleb can’t point to something provably, biologically ruining his life, just makes him feel worse. It’s invalidating.”

This is an Analogy Claim, I don’t really wanna explain this one, it explains itself. 

“Caleb knows that a person whose problem is essentially that he can’t adapt to peacetime Alabama sounds, to many, like a pussy.”

This is a Moral Claim, it is a statement by someone based on nothing but their own opinion that could be very controversial. Invalidating someone’s problems because they believe no one that is sent to those areas has a valid reason to come back with problems.

“‘Somebody at the VA told me, ‘Kids in Congo and Uganda don’t have PTSD,’ Caleb tells me angrily one day.”

This is a Factual Claim, it is a description of the cause of Caleb’s TBI, being exposed to explosions just once is enough to really hurt yourself, but Caleb was met with over twenty explosions in only two hours of combate.

“It’s called traumatic brain injury, or TBI, from multiple concussions. In two tours, he was in at least 20 explosions—IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs, RPGs. In one of them, when a mortar or grenade hit just behind him, he was thrown headfirst through a metal gate and into a courtyard.”

This is a Factual Claim, there is evidence in the VA system to support that he has one of the worst scores out of the  fifty thousand veterans that were in the system when Caleb was entered into the system.

“When Caleb was finally screened for the severity of his TBI, Brannan says he got the second-worst score in the whole 18-county Gulf Coast VA system, which serves more than 50,000 veterans.”

This is a Moral and Analogy  Claim, telling someone that their problems are insignificant compared to others is very immoral. Although there is an unwritten tier of injuries and diseases that we as a society created, it should never be said to someone’s face that their problems are as big as others. Number one rule of suicide prevention is invalidating someones problems or comparing them to others.

“‘I guess we’re just used to dealing with people with more severe injuries,’ a VA nurse once told Brannan upon seeing Caleb.”

This could be a Definition and Analogy Claim, it explains that the system can sometimes have a hard time seeing secondary traumatic stress due to the fact that PTSD and secondary traumatic stress are similar.Showing what makes it different from PTSD, it gives an example as to why they are different.

“Unlike PTSD, secondary traumatic stress doesn’t have its own entry in the DSM, though the manual does take note of it, as do many peer-reviewed studies and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Symptoms start at depression and alienation, including the ‘compassion fatigue’ suffered by social workers and trauma counselors. But some spouses and loved ones suffer symptoms that are, as one medical journal puts it, ‘almost identical to PTSD except that indirect exposure to the traumatic event through close contact with the primary victim of trauma’ is the catalyst. ”

About comatosefox

Just a fox in a coma
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3 Responses to Claims – comatosefox

  1. comatosefox says:

    The only feedback I’m really curious about is whether or not what I “claimed” was true about the quotes I pulled from the reading. I sometimes have trouble analyzing things correctly and will label them something they are not. Also I am sorry if I take awhile to respond to feed back, I am very forgetful. I do appreciate feed back I just forget to check.


  2. davidbdale says:

    This is fine work, Fox. Your explanations are as accurate as they need to be (considering how subjective the replies can be). They’re also logical and thoughtful.

    My only observation beyond that would be that they miss the internal claims. For example, you call your first citation a factual claim, which is true overall. But notice all the component claims:


    The word “granted” is an indication that the author understands there will be objections to her claim. In this case, it’s an acknowledgment that any attempt to quantify PTSD diagnoses is subject to broad interpretation (and explains why there are so many different “statistics” of PTSD cases). So it’s a Qualitative Claim, if you like, expressing doubt about the numbers.

    diagnosing PTSD is a tricky thing.

    And here we have the more obviously Factual Claim (that might still be subject to dispute). Some diagnosticians could counter that in fact it’s quite simple to diagnose PTSD if you follow certain specific guidelines. 🙂

    The result of a malfunctioning nervous system

    Any mention of result, or consequence, or cause, or effect, or the simple language, “it follows,” will let you know a Causal Claim is being made. Now let’s see if “a malfunctioning nervous system” is factual.

    that fails to normalize after trauma

    Hmmm. A “malfunctioning nervous system” is one that “fails to normalize after trauma.” Meaning that good nerves settle down after trauma. Following a car crash, that might serve us well. But in a war zone, we might NEED to be a little bit hypervigilant following a bomb blast. So “failing to normalize” to an abnormal situation might be functional, not malfunctional. This claim seems both Causal and Evaluative to me, and probably also Categorical since it defines malfunction by a specific criterion.

    and instead perpetrates memories and misfires life-or death stress for no practical reason

    Both Causal and sooooo Evaluative. Following my earlier comment, the nervous system is perpetrating memories (VERY useful if I’m in a combat zone trying to ascertain imminent threats) and misfiring life-or-death stress (which may very well be warranted) for no practical reason (except to keep me from getting killed by a surprise attack). Now, in Caleb’s situation, he’s back home, not at war, so THAT’s when the PTSD keeps him over-reacting to no purpose. And THAT’S a new definition of PTSD, that it creates a set of symptoms that survive AFTER the threat has passed.

    it comes in a couple of varieties, various complexities,


    has causes ranging from one lightning-fast event to drawn-out terrors or patterns of abuse


    Anyway, that’s how I might have spent a large part of my hour of analyzing claims, Fox. I would have applied the same sort of thoughtful and reasonable analysis you lavished on the overall claim to a more minute scrutiny of the almost countless claims a single paragraph contains.



  3. davidbdale says:

    The next step is yours, and yours to decide, comatosefox. You may revise if you wish. If you do, you may request additional feedback. Or you can let the revision slide and count on your first draft. Either way, I expect you to respond. Thanks!


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