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Aug-01-2012 23:25printcomments

Military Suicides Continued: Critique of the Time Article: One Suicide a Day

The military wrongly claims that marital relationship issues cause suicides. What causes the issues? PTSD = Marital Discord.

Soldier in war
Over 50% of the soldiers who committed suicide had been seen by a behavioral health specialist.

(PORTLAND, OR) - I wrote my article, Military Suicides: Are they Killing the Best Fighters? about 2 weeks before the TIME issue came out. I have some real issues with TIME. My main observation is that the military itself is the enemy.

They train us that psychological harassment is the best training for the Infantry. It makes us strong and tough!? This is by our own Sergeants and Officers as well as the enemy. They also train us to be alcoholics and nicotine addicts as well as addiction to anything else we can get our hands on. Then they condemn us for “going postal” with PTSD with murder and suicides.

TIMES author, Mark Thompson and Nancy Gibbs got it mostly correct with some serious errors or near errors. I will try to correct the worst. Even letters to editors have criticized the article.

The Military and VA call PTSD depression. It is not. ANGUISH would be a better definition with extreme continuous frustration thrown in. The consequences? This ends up with about 18 active military and veterans killing themselves each day.

Thompson and Gibbs’ article should be enough to cause Congress to do something, but for active military and veterans THEY ARE EXPENDABLE in the worst sense of the word.

As usual, Congress will do nothing. Even a conservative newspaper, Human Events, says the VA quagmire is HOPELESSLY BROKEN and that “reinventing the VA agency is long overdue.”

There is a litany of causes of PTSD and suicides which should be known to most. It is possible that even the medications given to active troops and most Veterans cause or contribute to suicides. The authors state that “nothing works in these cases”. That is fortunately wrong. One hundred thousand Vietnam Veterans brought back cannabis/marijuana as medicine which works for both “combat terrors” and subsequent PTSD. The Israeli Army uses it widely and successfully. In New Mexico, 50% of veteran patients use it for PTSD.

The military falsely claims that bad marital relationship issues cause suicides. PTSD is the cause of the bad relationship issues and NOT the effect. Military stress is the basis of all military PTSD, suicides and sociopathic behavior.

The authors point out the extreme stresses their subjects endured which are all a part of the military squeezing every drop of adrenaline they can out of their underlings. One subject said it was anxiety. This is such a weak word for PTSD. It’s like comparing a wheelbarrow to a truck.

Post-deployment self assessments about killing the enemy and friends being killed are added torture to PTSD troubled minds. Most PTSD vets can’t talk about those experiences EVER. They don’t even want to think about it.

Major General Dana Pittard in Fort Bliss, Texas bitterly complained that he was “personally fed up” with “absolutely selfish troops” who commit suicide and leave others to “clean up their mess”. To me this is a typical egregious attitude for senior officers. The authors reported several typical events.

The authors report on the severe shortage of mental health workers in the military and VA. In fact, in my opinion as a physician taking care of 1000’s PTSD vets, most are grossly untrained for their jobs and the troops and vets are the victims. They state that over 50% of the soldiers who committed suicide had been seen by a behavioral health specialist. I rest my case.



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Elissa August 11, 2012 10:10 am (Pacific time)

I would like to share 3 healing modalities that are most effective with PTSD - Neurofeedback (see EEG research with veterans, Pranic Healing, and Kundalini Yoga.

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