Friday, April 17, 2009

Has the VA Got a PTSD Treatment for You!

My God, it just gets worse and worse and worse.

I wrote here and here about the soaring suicide rate among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. But it seems that the VA may be partially responsible for suicides among veterans. At least, among those who seek help.

Martha Rosenberg writes on BuzzFlash that "suicides among Iraq war soldiers [are up] twice that of other wars."
  • What does the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggest as a treatment for PTSD? ... [Why they prescribe] antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors/SSRIs) and Cymbalta and Effexor (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors/SRNIs).
  • "We recommend SSRIs as first line medications for PTSD pharmacotherapy in men and women with military-related PTSD," says the VA's National Center for PTSD's Iraq War Clinician Guide, 2nd Edition. "Findings from subsequent large-scale trials with paroxetine [Paxil] have demonstrated that SSRI treatment is clearly effective both for men in general and for combat veterans suffering with PTSD."
  • [But] 660 people have killed themselves on SSRIs and SNRIs since 1988, according to published newspaper reports, including at least 17 Iraq war veterans. Many more have attempted suicide and committed felonies, self-harm, police standoffs, murders, murder/suicides and mass murders with high-powered weapons.
At least now we know why they are killing their spouses or significant others.

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