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US Politics & Gov't  (tags: government, military, healthcare, TBI, PTSD, troops, war, suicide, death, (VA) veteran )

- 1969 days ago -
Newspapers across the nation this week reported an alarming fact: Military suicides outnumbered combat-related deaths in 2012. The Associated Press reported that the latest Pentagon numbers indicate a rate of nearly one suicide per day last year with 349

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Dee C (229)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 8:13 am
Newspapers across the nation this week reported an alarming fact: Military suicides outnumbered combat-related deaths in 2012. The Associated Press reported that the latest Pentagon numbers indicate a rate of nearly one suicide per day last year with 349 among active-duty troops while the number of Americans who died in the Afghanistan conflict in 2012 was 295 (15 fatalities also occurred outside Afghanistan). This represents an increase of 16% over 2011, when there were 301 active-duty suicides – and the number has been increasing steadily over recent years.

The following stats from indicate a steady and frightening increase in military suicides over the past five years:

Year Combat deaths Suicides

2008 155 128

2009 317 211

2010 499 268

2011 418 301

2012 310 349

Read more at site..

Victoria P (113)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 8:15 am
So very sad, and preventable. Noted with thanks

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 9:16 am

Indeed, Dee, this is an outrage!

And, I thank you for promoting awareness of it.


Kit B (276)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 9:30 am

It should be seen as a critical mental health problem. Instead it is nearly ignored. We keep sending these same troops back to the deadly front lines and expect them to act with some sort of robotic coolness, to not be mentally affected by this abuse?

Thanks Dee - this is so important.

. (0)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 11:29 am
Yet, this President refuses to acknowledge suicides. Obama will not allow a military funeral for them, nor will he send a letter of condolence. This is a Commander and Chief? This is a man who has never seen battle, has no concept of the horrors these people see, and see again on their second and third term of duty.
Why the Dept. of Defense, Clinton , etc, has not made Obama see reason is beyond me.

Jae A (316)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 11:45 am
No doubt in my mind that the GOP in Congress see these unfortunate deaths as less veterans of war that will be receiving benefits in the future...leaves those dollars for their corporate buds, who are the reason these troops are dying daily and have been since day one of these on going wars for corporate profits.

If going to war in the middle east was so urgent and important to our national security / defence..then why didn't the Republican White House bring back the draft at the time they went to war ? Maybe these wars weren't meant to come to an end anytime soon from day one of each of them ?

Recycling the same troops to the front lines again and again is nothing short of incompetence on behalf of the Pentagon well as inhumane. A total misuse of power within military ranks...and for nothing more than the profits of a few... foreign corporates at that.... like Halliburton. The military brass are causing the deaths of our own over that of the supposed enemy numbers! That's not defence..that's insaniTea ! my opinion.

Patrice M (84)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 2:58 pm
This alone is reason to bring our soldiers home. It is horrible news.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 3:10 pm

You speak righteous truth, Angelica.

THESE are the children that mothers, with hope and love, raised for a better way.

I can find little forgiveness for a government, that uses them and then discards their shattered lives.

They were a part of a means to an end . . . but there was NOTHING dignified about it.

(But they WERE sacrificed children, born of loving -- and hopeful -- parents.)

I do NOT accept this travesty!


penny C (83)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 3:22 pm

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 3:42 pm

Take military recruiters OUT of our children's schools.

Teach your children well. (War does NOT define who is RIGHT . . . Only who is LEFT.)

WHEN will we learn that taking ANY life is unforgivable???


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:03 am
Please sign:
Military Suicide: Fight The War At Home
and consider other petitions at:
The Veterans Site

S S (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:47 am

Michela M (3964)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:04 am

Angelika R (143)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:48 am
Absolutely one of the very sadest chapters in American history! will they wait until suicides outnumber deployments? If THIS doesnt ring a bell that something is awfully wrong in foreign policy what will??
Thx Carole for those petitions, all relevant ones signed!

Angelika R (143)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:49 am
oh, and of course thanks Dee for raising awareness with this sad sad post!

Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:13 am are so wrong on both counts that you stated above..They have always had a full honorable military funeral

As for the condolence letter..I have mentioned this to you before..It was a long standing policy of the White House..not Obama..however it was Obama who has had the will to see that policy finally change..
VCS Advocacy in Action

July 6, 2011 (PBS New Hour) – President Obama will begin sending condolence letters to the families of service members who commit suicide in combat zones, he announced Wednesday.

The decision reverses a longstanding policy that had been implemented based on fears in some military circles that recognizing such deaths would encourage more suicides. The president made the decision “after a difficult and exhaustive review of the former policy, and I did not make it lightly,” he said in a White House press release.

“This issue is emotional, painful, and complicated, but these Americans served our nation bravely,” the president wrote. “They didn’t die because they were weak.”

The condolence letters will be sent to the families of service members who have committed suicide in Iraq, Afghanistan and several other locations that qualify as combat areas. The decision does not affect those who take their own life in non-combat situations or outside of war zones.

The president acknowledged that more needs to be done to support the mental health of military personnel.

“The fact that they didn’t get the help they needed must change,” he said. “Our men and women in uniform have borne the incredible burden of our wars, and we need to do everything in our power to honor their service, and to help them stay strong for themselves, for their families and for our nation.”

Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:14 am
Thank you Carole for the added petitions..

And many thanks to all of you who have noted and shared..and signed these important petitions..

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:16 am

Yes, Angie, this is corporatized/imperialistic America's shame (among other things that concentrate on humanitariansm vs. bottom line).

But it should never be overlooked, simply because it is ignored by most media. It's tragically true; and many families are fractured as a result.

It boggles the mind that the same government that promotes itself as a "world leader" and "defender of democracy," side-steps any issue that may be costly in the rehabilitation of its warriors, who -- in defense of those values -- emerged from the carnage physically and psychologically damaged.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:27 am

Dee, I thank you for having such a good heart (and being my friend).

There is something positive, humbling and reaffirming about meeting others who have a purity of spirit and genuine interest in fairness and humanity.


Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 11:08 am
Aww thank you for those kind words Carole..I fee the same way..and glad we are friends..
You cannot currently send a star to Just because you have done so within the last week.


Ro H (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 11:34 am
Hug a Vet Today

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 12:26 pm
In the words of Rumsfeld to Clarke, to paraphrase it; every one who joins the military is stupid and is nothing more than an expendable asset. It is better that they should die in combat.
Maybe that explains Obama's thinking too since Rumsfeld reorganized the military to run as a corporation including downsizing; underfunding and lack of necessary and proper equipment at times. Ask the Marines what it was like. In other words; do as much as possible with as little expenditure as possible in order to maximize my profit and the profits of the six mega corporations and their subsidiary owners. Rumsfeld and the boys made huge profits from Iraq and Afgaynistan but we are not supposed to know that.
The Clintons certainly never had any love for the military so why should it be any different with King Barry?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 12:30 pm

From my own profile:

Incitement to Disobedience

I wish that I were able to incite
Young men in every land to disobey
For wars will cease when men refuse to fight.

To kill our brothers for a nations right
Is not a method we can use today.
I wish that I were able to incite.

When leaders threaten to resort to might,
I know that idols all have feet of clay.
For wars will cease when men refuse to fight.

The cause of peace is shared by black and white
And freedom fighters show a better way.
I wish that I were able to incite.

Non-violent resistance has no bite
While undecided pacifists delay.
For wars will cease when men refuse to fight.

With power to reinforce in what I write
The things that protest-singers try to say,
I wish that I were able to incite

For wars will cease when men refuse to fight.

~ Tom Earley

Kerstin S (371)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:25 pm
So sad, so sorry

Robyn Vorsa (4)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 2:06 pm
My son in law has just come back from Afghanastan. We are so happy to have
him home safe and sound but I know he will be deployed again.

This is heartbreaking to read and I can only hope that the troops
are withdrawn soon.

Dee C (229)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 2:24 pm
Aww glad to hear that Robyn..Hope he is home for a good long while..
And yes..we all hope for this to end soon..It is high time to start taking care of these men and women who have put their lives out there on the lines..

Dianna M (16)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 2:50 pm
John Gregoire--who was it who started both those wars in the first place? I forget . . . oh, yeah, it was THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. And yes, I am yelling. This blaming Obama for Bush's crimes needs to stop.

Even villains should bear only the guilt that belongs to them.--Ellis Peters, 'The Virgin In The Ice'

And may I remind you--under the Bush administration, you weren't even allowed to take pictures of the caskets as they came home. It was the Obama administration that rescinded that order.

And let's also remember there are other victims here--the families of the veterans. They're not exactly on easy street either, trying to deal with their loved ones' emotional problems. Read:

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:01 pm

Thank you, Dianna.


. (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:30 pm
The corporations and military contractors that have benefitted from these two wars should be taking care of the troops when they return. The government doesn't send the troops for the benefit of America, but only to benefit a few special interests.

SCOPO Center (13)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 4:22 pm
This is a very serious issue that can be considered a national security threat. If soldiers start committing suicided, who will defend America when the Iranians, North Koreans or Chinese decide to invade? I will like to know what the US Govt is doing to deal with this growing and irritating trend.

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 5:07 pm
Iranians and North Koreans invade us??? Oh boy. Iranians want to be left alone, but the War Machine has an issue with leaving Countries alone, and the North Korens are still mostly in the dark ages with a starving population. If they could leave to go anywhere for any reason they might not want to go back.

The Chinese have already invaded, can't you see it on everything you pick up? Made in China, I never see anything made in the USA, so the Chinese must of invaded already. Thank the American Corporations and the politicians you voted in for much of that. I'd be of more concern there, selling our jobs to them while stagnating our salaries at the same time subjecting China's workers to the toxins while making the stuff that also pollutes their environments. But that's a whole other story.

And soldiers are not "IF they start committing suicide, they ARE in big numbers. Is that the only concern over their suicides that you fear North Korea and Iran? Not why your fellow Americans are killing themselves?

As always Carole......right on the mark. Signed the petitions. Read Carole's comments.....please.

Thanks Dee for keeping this awareness out there, I hope more will read it.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 5:15 pm
My eyebrows went up that no one contradicted Allan for almost 24 hours, though several intelligent people posted. Am I the only one who reacted to that allegation as obviously false and easily provably false?

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 8:45 pm
What if there was a natural substance that would reduce these military suicides, and was also the best treatment for PTSD? What if it was also illegal under federal law to administer this treatment? Wouldn't that show that our Government really doesn't care about reducing these deaths?

Past Member (0)

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:53 pm
Vets with PTSD and Compassionate Cannabis Laws

PTSD patients have poor responses to psychotherapy and often turn to alcohol and drugs. Many also suffer from chronic pain and addictions to opiate pain medications. However, Vets with access to Cannabis under medical marijuana laws, report cannabis use is a uniquely successful treatment of their symptoms.

The Case for Treating PTSD in Veterans With Medical Marijuana

Colleen L (3)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:04 pm
So sad. I wish they would just bring them home and take care of them. I went to the two links that Just Carole listed and signed them both. My thoughts and prayers are with these soldiers. Thanks Dee

Shawna S (45)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 10:12 pm
Watch a movie titled "Taking Chance" with Kevin Bacon. This movie is the embodiment of the soldier, the family and all impacted by the events of war. "It takes a truly brave person to take a step into the unknown"

Gwen Hillman (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 12:30 am
I am not an American but it makes me very, very sad that these women and men literally lay their lives on the line for the protection of America and its people - and they get so very little help and absolutely no respect when they, in turn, need their country. Breaks my heart !

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Monday January 28, 2013, 12:52 am
Very sad that young people are send to senseless war spending trillion of dolor while poor people at home suffers and the main culprit of this war BUSH the war criminal go ascot free

Robert O (12)
Monday January 28, 2013, 12:59 am
Thanks Dee.

laura r (6)
Monday January 28, 2013, 2:41 am
nugent the gunner needs to enlist and see how manly he is. Thank you all who struggle with this pain

Kenneth L (314)
Monday January 28, 2013, 7:23 am
"I'm 100% convinced (that the cause of suicides among troops is the direct result of the use of psychiatric drugs). I’ve seen it and talked to hundreds of these guys. These medications really interfere with the brain’s ability to normalize itself and adjust. It’s hard to make a choice on how to recover if your brain isn’t operating the way it should be. It’s kind of like working with someone who is drunk. These medications are a chemical lobotomy.” Dr. Bart Billings, former military Psychologist

"There is overwhelming evidence that the newer antidepressants commonly prescribed in the military can cause or worsen suicidality, aggression, and other dangerous mental states. The documented increase of suicides in the military, as well as any discovered increase in random violence among soldiers, is in part caused or exacerbated by the widespread use of these prescriptions for antidepressants"
" "...I talked to generals and I talked to mental health professionals and they all agreed these warnings (of FDA black box warning labels of SSRI psychiatric drug side-effects) were hardly ever presented to the soldiers (U.S.), and that the Army was in a sense acting as if it was unaware"

Dr. Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist, testifying Veteran Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Feb. 24, 2010

Latonya W (82)
Monday January 28, 2013, 2:33 pm
extremely sad and heartbreaking I wish I could do something smh

Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 3:17 pm
When these veterans die by suicide..we are at a complete loss to understand who they were or why they chose to end their own lives. though we all can certainly imagine what they go through ..we don't know for certain what they go through..
And until we do I don't think we should start blaming it on drug and the side effects....and I certainly don't think marijuana is the cure..

How can one be 100% sure..It may be an opinion..which I do agree about the side effect being more harmful..but there can't be complete assurance that is the cause..This isn't new..this has going on since wars have started..Besides not all who commit suicide in the military are on meds..


Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 3:19 pm
Mounting Tolls of a 10-Year War..It was a great article..from March/2012

"Suicide is undeniably a function of psychiatric illness, with well over 90 percent of those taking their lives suffering from a diagnosable mental illness at the time of death. There is little argument among experts that increasing numbers of military personnel, both those with and without combat exposure, are struggling with psychiatric symptoms. The role of deployment and multiple deployments is a bit more complex, particularly given that a considerable number of those dying by suicide have never been deployed. The numbers vary across service branches, but over the last two years, estimates for the Army hover around 25 percent to 30 percent of those dying by suicide have had no deployment history."

Past Member (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 3:47 pm
Dee C, if cannabis helped these veterans, why would you withhold it from them. If it saved only one life, does your 'reefer madness brainwashing' run so deep that you wouldn't even listen to the ones that it helps?

Dee, why aren't you interested in investigating these drugs that come with these 'Black Box' warnings? I don't see that you care to do anything to solve this problem! Your promotion of Big Pharma shows me that you have no more knowledge of this issue than you do about the health benefits of cannabis.


Past Member (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:05 pm
Psychiatric drugs cause major changes in brain chemistry and in behavior. International drug regulators warn that the drugs we are doling out to kids can cause mania, psychosis, depersonalization, suicidal and even homicidal ideation. If we take a look at the school shooters that were under the influence of these drugs, you have to wonder why there hasn’t been a federal investigation into the correlation between drugs documented to cause violence and suicide and kids taking them who then became violent and suicidal. If even a handful of these school shooters were found to be taking PCP or smoking crack we would have headline news announcing a causal relationship between illicit drug use and acts of violence. But because these kids are taking legal drugs, prescribed by a psychiatrist for an alleged mental disorder, something we use to refer to as “childhood,” the powers that be don’t think it merits an investigation. Well we are all aware of how much Pharma spends on lobbying efforts. Regarding corporate media I would venture a guess that the reason they haven’t taken on the issue is simple: Big Pharma is now one of, if not the largest, advertisers in the United States, with $5 billion a year spent on direct to consumer advertising.

The rise of drug-induced acts of violence and suicide isn’t limited to our schools. In January 2009 it was reported that more of our military died of suicide than of combat deaths. Why is that? Could it be because our military are getting pumped full of psychiatric drugs? What Time Magazine referred to as “America’s Medicated Army?” Well if we are “medicating” our troops with antidepressants and antipsychotics, drugs documented to cause suicidal reactions, let’s put 2 and 2 together and state the obvious—these drugs are minimally a contributing factor.

Scott haakon (4)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:14 pm
Start with the why. Then go from there. It is the lack of a warrior culture and trying to be the "nice" guys that puts the strain on combat soldiers plus equipment that is not always what is needed. This is why a country does not get into nation building. We sought Bi laden killed him and then that was it. Time to leave. Let the afghans deal with there own problems.

Past Member (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:32 pm
America's Medicated Army

SSRI Stories

America’s Medicated Army:” The Future of our Soldiers and How they Cope with War?


Past Member (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:36 pm
In the last several decades, psychiatry has joined forces with the pharmaceutical industry and the result is the mass drugging of adults and children. With a huge influx of money from the drug companies, psychiatry has enormously increased its influence in the government and society.

Linda P (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:38 pm
This is so heartbreaking and these soldiers see and go through situations we can't even imagine. The Soldiers need to be helped and their families too. We have lost to many from the war. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:49 pm
It really is heartbreaking Linda..

Paul Wellman (1)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:58 pm
This has been an interesting read.
Violence it a disease. War spreads this disease.
Yippee!!!! Now we are going to let women into the game of war up to their eye balls.
I am getting tense.
I am going to smoke a little pot to ease my tension.

Rockney V (3)
Monday January 28, 2013, 5:18 pm
I am a Viet Nam Era Navy Vet - meaning I served durring the "conflict" - yet my entire "tour" was State Side.
My older brother on the other hand served two tours in Viet Nam; has severe PTSS; refuses any suggestion he seek help.
I fear for him and those around him.
He becomes severely angry at seemingly simple things and does so at the drop of a hat.
When he first came home after discharge he semed fine until we had a rather strong Electrical storm with booming thunder - he "dove' from the couch to the floor attempting to get under the coffee table. When he came to his sences he explained he was "going for his fox hole" - I knew then he was suffering with many issues but he would and still will only speak of the "good times with his brothers in arms".
I pray for him and those around him.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Monday January 28, 2013, 5:22 pm
Mental health is still a subject that "dare not speak it's name". We do not address these issues because god forbid someone should think we are crazy or insane. Most mental disorders are an illness just like cancer etc... until we address this very serious disease as REAL and life threatening the suicides will continue. What our young men and women go thru in the military and especially those in combat is more than I want to ever know.
Ronald Reagan has a lot to do with this as he closed down so many mental health institutions. Ironically karma paid Reagan back with Alzheimer's. Do not confuse mental health challenges with sociopaths like evil draft dodging Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of their ilk. Sociopaths have no soul or empathy and are incurable. We as a country must demand mental health support for our troops both while they are serving and especially when they come home. Semper Fi

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday January 28, 2013, 5:34 pm

Thank you for sharing that, Rockney.

My ex-husband saw active duty in Vietnam (1st Air Cavalry). Much like your brother, he functioned well externally, but privately, I saw the psychological damage.

After many discussions with him, I finally convinced him to take advantage of his V.A. benefits. It was an arduous journey, with dozens of questionnaires requesting dates, times, locations and names of commanding officers to verify participation in killing.

But, there are many websites reaching out to other veterans, and we were able to eventually supply the necessary information entitling him to group therapy and medical aid.

It was shocking to me then to discover the lack of information and guidance given to discharged veterans. There is no counselling. These exiting "warriors" are merely discarded once their service is finished; and they are left to their own wits and assistance of loved ones (although already compromised due to their myriad coping problems) to fend for themselves.

(And it still disturbs me.)


Dee C (229)
Monday January 28, 2013, 5:40 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Scott because you have done so within the last week.

Sheryl G (360)
Monday January 28, 2013, 6:09 pm
I have made it a point to post news stories in the past of various places that Veterans can find help. A few of those are hotlinked here. Please share these with anyone you know that needs this help or if you are reading this and are in need yourself.
Homeless Veterans Where to Find Help
Justice For Vets
The Veterans Support
Vets 4 Vets

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Monday January 28, 2013, 6:16 pm

Bless you for that, Sheryl.

There are also individual blogs where you can state your term of service, unit, etc. and other vets will connect you with your "brothers in arms."

And, Dee, I agree. It should not be so hard to get assistance. (For many years, the V.A. patently denied any claims of PTSD.)


Kenneth L (314)
Monday January 28, 2013, 9:13 pm
Dee. let's get one thing straight. Psychiatry is a field. It is one field. There are many, Psychology, Neurology, the social sciences, wholistic, alternative, spiritual, etc. You squash the idea of someone who says 'I'm 100% convinced" as to the cause of suicides in the military (yes, that's his professional opinion) and then you turn around and quote someone else who says 'suicide is undeniably a function of a psychiatric illness'!. Same '100%' opinion except different sides of the coin.
What the field of Psychiatry says a person is suffering from (what they label as one of their 374 psychiatric illnesses), is not necessarily what other fields say a person is suffering from. Do you get the difference? Most people instantly equate the two however. Suicidal? Why, that EQUALS Psychiatry's diagnosis of 'Depression' or 'Bipolar' etc. etc. etc.. Those are Psychiatric terms created by the field of Psychiatry. Not Psychology or Neurology etc.or any other field. People parrot those terms widely however.

Green star to MJM. I've noticed a considerable resistance to blaming psychiatric drugs for causing or exacerbating things like suicidal ideation (thoughts), violence, aggression, psychosis, hallucination, mania, akathisia (the sense that "I've go to do something') etc. that are listed right on the FDA black box warning labels of most of these drugs. (which incidentally the FDA had to be FORCED to put on the packages a few years ago)..
Not that I'm positive in all cases of course but much of that resistance came from people who said they were on psychiatric drugs currently. One psychiatrist even has a term for it---'medication spellbinding'. Because these drugs affect (numb, dull) the higher functions in a person the person does not usually attribute any worsening of condition to the drugs themselves. .

Past Member (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 10:32 pm
America's Medicated Army + New Studies Linking SSRI to Suicide

The Pentagon does not keep statistics about the use of prescribed mind-altering drugs. But it is estimated that 20,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were taking SSRI antidepressants -such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft -and / or sleeping pills such as Ambien.

The latest Army report reveals that in one month, January, 2009, the number of suicides by deployed soldiers was 24-six times as many as killed themselves in January 2008, the year in which the suicide rate surpassed all other years. There were 128 confirmed suicides plus another 15 suspected suicides in 2008.

"This is terrifying," an Army official said. "We do not know what is going on."

Actually, it is becoming ever clearer what is going on:
"Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged the makers of antidepressants to expand a 2004 "black box" warning that the drugs may increase the risk of suicide in children and adolescents. The agency asked for - and got - an expanded warning that included young adults ages 18 to 24, the age group at the heart of the Army. The question now is whether there is a link between the increased use of the drugs in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters and the rising suicide rate in those places."

"Nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took psychotropic drugs - overwhelmingly, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. While the Army cites failed relationships as the primary cause, some outside experts sense a link between suicides and prescription-drug use - though there is also no way of knowing how many suicide attempts the antidepressants may have prevented by improving a soldier's spirits.

"The high percentage of U.S. soldiers attempting suicide after taking SSRIs should raise serious concerns," says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "And there's no question they're using them to prop people up in difficult circumstances."

Science-uncontaminated by drug industry influence-substantiates the increased risk of suicide for people treated with anti-depression drugs. Three recently published suicide studies-two reviewing health records of veterans treated at Veterans Affairs facilities and one review from a major hospital in Rome-are compelling:

1. A 2007 retrospective analysis of VA datasets by Gibbons and colleagues [1] involved the identification of all veterans who received treatment for "new onset depression" in 2003 or 2004. Using E-codes (numbers) to identify all patients with depressive illness, the research team then divided these patients into two groups: those who received antidepressant drug therapy, and those who did not. Next, they reviewed the same E-code database to identify the depressed subjects who made suicide attempts during the same time interval. Finally, they calculated the rates of suicide attempts for each treatment group.

The significant finding: the use of SSRI antidepressants (e.g., Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil) was associated with a higher rate of suicide attempts, compared to those not exposed to the drugs: The suicide attempt rate per 100,000 in the drug-treated group of veterans was 364 compared with 335 in the drug-free group.

2. A 2009 VA study by researchers from the VA, the University of Michigan, and Columbia University identified the outcomes of more than 880,000 VA patients who received treatment for depression between April 1999 and September 2004. [2] Suicide rates were compared for five different "12-week, post treatment" periods. For each patient, outcomes were compared according to a total observation period of 60 weeks (5 x 12 weeks).

The findings confirm that the highest risk period for suicide among veterans receiving treatment at a VA facility, are the first 12 weeks following the use of antidepressants: Over all time-periods, the suicide rate was 114/100,000 person-years. In the first 12-week periods, suicide rates (per 100,000 p-y) were: 568 following psychiatric hospitalizations; 210 following the start of a new antidepressant (defined as: switch to a new antidepressant; addition of a second antidepressant for combined therapy; or initiation of an antidepressant within 6 months of treatment with a different drug); 193 following other medication starts; and 154 following dose changes.

3. A retrospective, case-control analysis of all adult patients (aged 18 or older) admitted to the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit of a major hospital in Rome, between April 2004 and March 2007. There were 109 admissions following a serious suicide attempt, and 489 non-suicide-attempt admissions.
The researchers summarized their key findings as follows: 70% of the individuals who attempted suicide had received drug therapy in the 3 months prior to the serious event--39% were taking antidepressants and 43% were on a benzodiazepine. Whereas only 16% of non-suicide-attempters were treated with antidepressants, and 23% were on benzodiazepines.

The significant suicide risk these drugs pose is further exacerbated by the absence of any scientific evidence of their effectiveness for-neither for depression nor for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for which they are prescribed for soldiers.

TIME cites two recent reports from Rand and the Institute of Medicine which raise doubts about just how much the new medicines can do to alleviate PTSD. The Rand study, released in April, says the "overall effects for SSRIs, even in the largest clinical trials, are modest." Last October the IOM concluded, "The evidence is inadequate to determine the efficacy of SSRIs in the treatment of PTSD."

"Chris LeJeune could have told them that. When he returned home in May 2004, he remained on clonazepam and other drugs. He became one of 300,000 Americans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffer from PTSD or depression. "But PTSD isn't fixed by taking pills - it's just numbed. And I felt like I was drugged all the time." So a year ago, he simply stopped taking them. "I just started trying to fight my demons myself," he says, with help from VA counseling."

The Army cites failed relationships as the primary cause of suicides. However, the problem-for persons in and out of the military who seek "mental health services"-is that they are victimized by a failed paradigm of care.

Clinical guidelines and practice parameters in psychiatry are formulated on the basis of a corrupted medical literature that has been hijacked by Big Pharma.

Lacking objective diagnostic and therapeutic tools, psychiatry's paradigm of care is governed by a "pharmaceutical imperative"-even after the pharmaceuticals prove lethal. The Department of Defense practice parameters in psychiatry are governed by a longstanding mandate requiring psychiatrists to use psychoactive drugs-even against their best professional judgment. We know of psychiatrists who were severely punished for using non-drug approaches-even when those approaches are more effective and less toxic than drugs.

Carmen S (611)
Saturday February 2, 2013, 6:08 am
Thanks Dee, truly sad after all they have given, they can't get what they need when they need it.
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