Monday, December 13, 2010

Soldier Suicides

MENTAL SUFFERINGS AND SUICIDES OF US TROOPS. A sharp increase of soldier suicides has occurred recently, to an all-time high. In one period more suicides than combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Growing evidence of neglect of PTSD soldiers showing suicidal signs. Mark Benjamin’s study on examines ten cases. For example, Adam Lieberman’s strong symptoms of mental illness following his return from Afghanistan were treated by the Army as non-combat. He turned to alcohol and prescription drugs and killed himself. Benjamin found many cases of depression, violence, self-medication prior to suicide. Interv. Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, 2-20-09.

(from Citizen Soldier Reports 2011)
Soldier suicides increasing. 2009 rate highest since Army began keeping records in 1980. “In April 2010, the VA reported that an average of 18 veterans kill themselves each day; that’s 6,500 a year.”
Half of veterans who need treatment seek it, fearing damage to their careers. Only about half of these receive adequate care.
Drugs instead of therapy. The military over-prescribes drugs like Paxil and Zoloft to “treat” PTSD despite warning of the risk of suicide. Prescribing psychiatric medications for soldiers and dependents has increased 42%.
Drugs are preferred at many military clinics because “psychotherapy would make them ineligible for deployment and would be much more costly than drugs.”
Citizen Soldier:

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