Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 8, 2009

V8-17

Soldiers’ stress

By Jane O’Brien
Washington DC

US soldiers in Afghanistan

Half a million soldiers are being asked to take part in the biggest ever investigation into the number of suicides in the US armed forces.

Last year, 143 soldiers killed themselves and there were 113 suicides in the other armed services – the highest number since records began 30 years ago.

Already this year there have been more than 100 reported suicides among soldiers on active duty.

During the study, set to take three years, new recruits will be asked for personal information that will be used for psychological assessments. Read More…

Also in the news:
Soldiers fear ruining their career if they show signs of stress

Veterans who need help for post-traumatic stress disorder are still stigmatised in the military… there is a “regimen of fear” within the military about showing signs of the condition because it too often means the end of a career.

Mental Health can’t be an afterthought
… but it’s hard to count on anything emerging soon, or at all, from Congress on health care.

Build in care for veterans
We protected Americans usually send our military men and women far away to fight our wars, content to clasp our hands over our hearts and ignore the distant carnage. But those who live and work closely with returning veterans know that the violence and trauma of battle often follows them home.

Combat Stress can cause persistent attention problems
Soldiers who spend months in combat situations are known to have cognitive changes when they return home. They tend to respond to dangers quicker and have some trouble with skills related to attention, learning and memory. A study published today shows those deficits can still be measured one year after returning from Iraq.

Stress Disorders up dementia risk in older veterans
Older veterans who have had post-traumatic stress disorder have nearly double the risk of dementia than other veterans, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Court links soldier’s MS to post traumatic stress
The Federal Court ruled Dennis Patterson should receive a military pension for the multiple sclerosis he claims was caused by post-traumatic stress he suffered in the military.

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Responses

  1. My uncle, J.C., was in Vietnam. He died of cancer nearly twenty years ago.

    I remember he and I talked about his time over there only once. He was a decorated rescue Helicopter pilot, “extraction Jackson” they used to call him, although the J in his name was for Johnny. And during our brief chat about Vietnam he said something that I have never forgotten. Him and his crew were shot down before he left the war. He and his crew survived and had to be extracted by another chopper.

    He said of his ordeal, “I lost a chopper that day, I lost a few buddies, saw more than my share of ours die en-route or at pick up, but we lost a hell of a lot more than lives in that goddamned war…”

    It was the last time we spoke of it, but I saw something in my uncle that day that I hadn’t recognized or picked up on before; a resounding loss, a silence so profound that it was deafening.

    He was a very good person. He was funny, generous, kind, peaceful, yet very quite all in one fell swoop.


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