“There’s culture shock, and then there’s the culture shock of moving to a country that started a war in your home.”
"The war has uprooted 4.7 million people from their homes. So where are they?" With the election of Obama and the economic crisis, the topic of Iraq has fallen by the wayside. As hard as things may be right now, Iraqis have been going through far worse for years now. If you're curious about what they have to say, hear them tell it in their own words. Iraqi Refugee Stories. [more inside]
West treats East. "To help traumatized Tibetan monks, doctors in Boston turn to cross-cultural medicine." [Via]
The Economist on Drugs -- Scientists in North America, Europe and Israel are studying the use of MDMA, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and other banned psychoactive substances in treating conditions such as anxiety, cluster headaches, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They are supported by private funds from a handful of organisations: the Beckley Foundation in Britain; the Heffter Research Institute and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in America. [related]
"The plays can reassure a soldier, she says, 'that I am not alone, that I am not going crazy, that I am joined by the ages of warriors and their loved ones who've gone before me, and who have done what most in society have no idea our warriors do.' " The Philoctetes Project. (video available)
Hi there, it’s Gail Westerfield, the writer's super heroine, and I'm feeling groovy thanks to Dr. Michael Mithoefer. Previously.
Battlemind: Armor for Your Mind is a U.S. Army website designed to help, in part, families deal with deployment, including a series of cartoons and videos intended for children whose parents may be sent to or be returning from warzones. Part of the Army's Behavioral Health program, these give intriguing insight into military culture. [more inside]
For the former U.S. marine Michael Elliott the psychological impact of war is the latest and most challenging battle. Private Joseph Dwyer survived rocket-propelled grenades and shocking violence, made his way back to his family and friends, but couldn't escape the “demons” that followed him home. Experts say up to 30% of returning soldiers will require psychiatric help: a number not seen since the end of the Vietnam War. Today 60% of war veterans suffering from PTSD don't receive any help at all.
PTSD: The War Within. A Marine writes about his PTSD experience. This article from the January issue of the Marine Corps Gazette was written by USMC Staff Sergeant Travis N. Twiggs. Twiggs killed himself and his brother after a long police chase in Arizona earlier this week.
The Peace Drug The Washington Post Magazine takes a look at MDMA as a cure for PTSD.
The MacArthur Foundation awarded its "genius" grants yesterday. Among the winners was Jonathan Shay, a a VA psychiatrist whose midlife discovery of the Homeric epics inspired him to use their depictions of soldier bonding and cohesion, leadership, trust and betrayal, and terror and rage to treat the psychological disorders and transition difficulties of combat veterans. NPR interview.
The killing of Jamie Dean. "Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
Court martialed for PTSD? "But I'm very concerned that, in a time when the Army is going out there and saying, we're trying to make sure that we provide good counseling for the troops, that, when someone has asked for help, they're potentially facing a court-martial. "
Behind Enemy Lines Liberal use of this narcotic produced with high voltage found to reduce the affects of PTSD, in coalition and British forces in particular.
Injured in Iraq. The story of the soldier who may have changed Congressman Murtha's mind about the war.
Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility. The Iraq war has transformed Walter Reed into "a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients." Meanwhile, despite predictions that the cost of medical care for veterans will skyrocket, the Bush administration apparently plans to cut funding for veterans' health care. Tired of waiting for the government, more people are taking the initiative in developing alternative facilities to help veterans.
Elephant Rage might just tell us a lot about ourselves. There are rehab programs for elephants [mefi thread], and perhaps the ones for human victims can paired . This would be a pretty big step in acknowledging the trans-species psyche. Could this lead to a scientific revultion? Should it lead to an ethical one?
Only 2,029 out of 9,145 veterans with post traumatic stress disorder resulting from combat have been referred to mental health for evaluation/treatment. I say give them the same treatment the IDF gets.
Are you a Gulf War veteran still suffering from mysterious symptoms or post-combat trauma? The Veteran's Administration has just the prescription for you: "Obecalp," otherwise known as placebo. (p.s. -- They'd better start working on an Extra-Strength version for Iraq War vets.)
It was an instant icon, with Dan Rather calling it "the best war photograph in recent years." About 100 newspapers ran the photo, dubbing the anonymous warrior the "Marlboro Man." The photograph hit the world on Nov. 10, 2004: a close-cropped shot of a U.S. Marine in Iraq, his face smeared with blood and dirt, a cigarette dangling from his lips, smoke curling across weary eyes. He's quieter now -- easier to anger. He turns to fight at the sound of a backfire, can't look at fireworks without thinking of fire raining down on a city. He has trouble sleeping, and when he does, his fingers twitch on invisible triggers. The diagnosis: post-traumatic stress disorder. The man in the photograph is James Blake Miller, now 21, and he is an icon, although in ways Rather probably never imagined.
Previously mentioned briefly here
Previously mentioned briefly here
WarIsReal Amazing reading from a fellow millitary blogger who is currently undergoing some high stress as a result of PTSD and is blogging his prescriptions and counseling sessions.
Is the aroma of burning flesh putting you off your lunch? An Israeli company called Patus is marketing a new product called Odor Screen to EMTs, soldiers, cops, and medical staff who work at the sites of suicide bombings, combat zones, and other modern catastrophes. The Proustian link between smell and vivid memories is well established, and by displacing traumatic odors with a "calming vanilla aroma," the company hopes to lessen PTSD in first responders, and that's no laughing matter. [via medgadget]
Stress epidemic strikes American forces in Iraq Up to one in five of the American military personnel in Iraq will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, say senior forces' medical staff dealing with the psychiatric fallout of the war. This revelation follows the disclosure last month that more than 600 US servicemen and women have been evacuated from the country for psychiatric reasons since the conflict started last March.
A study to see if MDMA can help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is finally set to begin. Coordinated and funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, the study was originally approved in 2001 (and discussed here.) Another study has identified a protein in mice which is the key to the overheating associated with ecstasy, and may lead to a treatment for people. Hopefully this research was more sound than the recent study in which the test monkeys were given the wrong drug (discussed here.)
They call it "PTSlaveryD": Post-Traumatic Slavery Disorder. A Boston psychologist says "Black and Latino males are showing up in droves" with the symptoms. The Wall Street Journal invited readers to take it a step further - Post Traumatic Big Bang Disorder, anyone?
A Bullet-Proof Mind? "Too much, and you end up with a My Lai.... Too little, and your soldiers will be defeated and killed." A balanced look at the reasons for, and consequences of, the reflex-based killing techniques in which U.S. Special Forces soldiers are trained. (NYTimes Magazine).
Chicken Soup for the soulless? Is Psychology screwing us all up? From messing up the civil rights movement , medicalizing grief, inventing faux illnesses and treating them , planting false memories , to diagnosing 25% of the United States with PTSD on October 11th, the industry/profession of psychology and its drug prescribing cousin psychiatry seem to be both the sloppiest and most ethically bankrupt scientific field. Is a diet of steady chicken soup for the soul actually toxic?
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