Institutionalized Blindness-PTSD

November 14, 2011

If I were to pose one question, to the general population, that I think would get almost a unanimous response, it would be,” What would you do if you came across the coach in the shower sodomizing that 10 year old boy?”  I feel safe saying  that most would say, “I would immediately run in  and stop this  (alleged) pedifile from doing this.   But like everything else would we really?  I mean that it is easy to say we would do this, but when confronted with it, would we?

Statistics seem to say otherwise.  We have all heard the story of the girl in the alley being killed and everyone who heard the screaming for help in the apartments, none acted on her behalf not even calling 911 for assistance.  I think ther were over 23 people who actually heard her pleas.

I’ve heard other stories which seems to prove that we want the other guy to act so that we don’t have to.  An example of this is a psychological study that I saw. In the first part of the demonstration a guy was seated in a room waiting for an interview.  The study called for heavy smoke to be pumped under the door and into the room.  The study suspect immmediately got up and reported the smoke.  Then they put 2 people in the room and repeated the same demonstration by pumping the smoke into the room.  Both subjects looked at the smoke but neither got up to report it.  Both apparently assumed the the other should do the work.

We’ve all seen or heard this something similar occurring.  Dozens killed on a subway train while everyone cowered in their seat allowing the gunman to calmly walk down the aisle killing people.  Doing something rather than sitting back and hoping the next person will do what is right.  Of course there are some exceptions but statistics do seem to support this non-action fact.

How does this apply to PTSD?  Aren’t most of us doing the same thing.  We know that there are PTSD people coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq and we may even see them and remember them differently then when they left home.  Yet we do nothing to find out why and if we can help.  Supporting the troops is easy to do on a Twitter or Facebook post, but it is much harder to reach out to someone with PTSD and assist them in finding help.   Each of us can make a differnce.  Just as I said before this African proverb, “If you think that one person cannot make a difference, try locking yourself in a tent with one mosquito.”