Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 28, 2009


More cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are diagnosed as two wars continue

by Kim Lamb Gregory

It became a sixth sense. When he and fellow Marines were patrolling a village in Iraq, Victor Manzano always had a feeling when something was about to explode. “It’s indescribable. The adrenaline is pumping. It’s like this weird intuition,” said Manzano, 28. The explosives might be under a piece of trash or a dead animal; anything or anyone could kill you. This hyper-vigilance that helped Manzano survive a tour of duty in Afghanistan and two tours of duty in Iraq, was destructive when he returned home to Los Angeles in 2004.
His sleep was tortured. He was irritable with his fiancée, and when they had a son in 2006 and another in 2008, he was impatient with them.
“I saw a lot of kids on the ground. People smashed,” Manzano said. “It’s hard to paint a picture for anybody who hasn’t served.”
Manzano is among thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. According to a study this year from UC San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the incidence of PTSD increased four to seven times since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Read More…

Also in the news:
Untreated Mental Illness: a human tragedy it’s time we addressed

The announcement of yet another task force is usually about as exciting as egg salad.
But then most announcements aren’t punctuated with gunfire.
Earlier this month, Dallas County commissioners announced a new task force on improving mental-health services here.
At almost the same moment across town, in a tragic but telling coincidence, a man opened fire on his neighborhood.

VA Program Trains Officer for Mental Health Conflicts
Responding to calls about mental patients is often loaded with tricky decisions that have to be made quickly, the two men said. And a major concern has to be the safety of the patient, the public and the officer involved.
The new course is designed to give officers tools to address and, if needed, defuse situations in which people with mental health problems become dangers to themselves or others.

Walter Reed uses practice to treat PTSD
Instructor Mary Ellen Rose leads students through such acute body and breath awareness to induce full-body relaxation. It’s all part of Integrative Restoration, a guided meditation based on the ancient Eastern practice yoga nidra, or “sleep of the yogis.”
“It teaches how you can learn to be more in touch with yourself and teaches you how to quiet your mind,” says Mary Ellen Rose, who teaches Integrative Restoration, or iRest, at the Synergy Studio.

Veterans abandoned to private hells
What plays most on his mind is that since returning from Iraq in 2006, when he crashed into a depression that has seen him attempt suicide more than 10 times — including by trying to hang himself in full uniform — no one from the army has ever rung him.
No one — not from his unit, not from the command — has ever called to say: “How are you going, mate?”
He does not feel part of the brotherhood. He does not feel he can talk to veterans his own age.
The army has washed its hands of him. He is seen as a head case. And those who have taken an interest in this young man — namely, veterans from earlier conflicts — are now seeing great numbers of Iraq and
Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic trauma syndrome and major depression.

1st Sgt Grisham interviewed about PTSD
Senior NCO and You Served Radio co-host CJ Grisham was recently interviewed by a local news station about this recent decision to “come out” about the issues he is dealing with from his tour in Iraq and how he is trying to seek help.

160 Veterans get medical care, meal
More than 160 homeless veterans received long overdue medical care and housing help at the Cherry Hill National Guard Armory on Friday.
Volunteer escorts accompanied veterans as they made their way across a variety of health screening and paperwork stations. VA hospital workers recorded medical histories, counselors discussed treatment options for mental illness, and social workers provided information on resources available to the jobless and homeless veterans.

Politician Wastes Veterans Money
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Most of a $10 million program aimed at helping returning National Guard soldiers has been spent on salaries and consultants, with little help for the people it was supposed to serve, a newspaper reported Friday.

Forcing the VA to Follow the Law
One consequence of war, we make victims of veterans. Honoring them requires more than waving a flag or slapping a bumpersticker on our cars.
In our country honoring veterans means following the law mandating veterans care.
Putting aside the horror of war victims abroad, those serving in the armed forces come home physically and psychologically mangled, many never to live the same again. The U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is charged with delivering aid and support.


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