Military Mental Health

Writing the Book on Military Mental Health

The literature of war can be literature — think Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage (Civil War), Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (World War I), or Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. And sometimes it’s less lit and more textbook. That’s surely the case with the …

Soldier’s Heart?

My colleague Mark Thomspon has already highlighted the Miller-McCune piece about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sometimes being thought of as an injury to the warrior’s soul. But I wanted to comment on this one as well. As I have noted here several times I was treated for PTSD both in theater and stateside. I’ve spent a lot of time …

Could PTSD Really Be Post-Traumatic Soul Disorder?

Fascinating piece in Miller-McCune, a new and valued journal that asks tough questions, even if it can’t always come up with the answers. In Beyond PTSD: Soldiers Have Injured Souls, writer Diane Silver peers into soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and suggests something else may be amiss:

What sometimes happens in war may

Post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: SLDN Stays Relevant in the Fight

One of my favorite movies of all time, Kill Bill (vol 2) has a scene where one of the main characters is facing the demise of her nemesis. One of her comrades approaches her with the following question:

“They say the number one killer of old people is retirement. People got ’em a job to do, they tend to live a little longer so …

Mom Always Said It Was Brain Food

Can fish oil help curb the epidemic of military suicides? That’s the startling finding in a new study just published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. It links suicides by military personnel to low level of docosahexaenoic acid — found in fish oil — and finds that troops with higher levels of DHA in their blood were less …

Army Suicide Rate Hits New High

Just when you’re thinking the Army may have turned the corner on its troops’ killing themselves, a new number has surfaced that dashes those hopes. On Friday, the Army said it suffered a record 32 suspected suicides in July, the most since it began releasing monthly data two years ago.

The Army is waging war on suicide just as …

Suicides, PTSD and Drug Abuse Among Combat Vets

Once again, the Congressional Research Service has badgered a federal agency – in this case the Department of Veterans Affairs – and come up with snapshots about how U.S. vets seeking VA services are faring (CRS reports are not officially released to the public – dammit, you paid for them, and Congress works for us, so why does …

Limboland – Day 378

Just an update as promised to my quest for benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On July 21, I had my Compensation and Pension(C&P) examination at my local VA medical center. That was exactly 366 days after I had first filed for benefits.

Let me explain what has happened to …

Take a Chance

Last week was pretty hectic for me, so I’m just catching up on some housekeeping. I wanted to comment on my colleague Mark Thompson’s post about the suicide of Marine Sergeant Ian McConnell. Mark commented that that “Ian’s blood is on our hands,” and that “home, for many of our veterans, is a theater of war.”

These are …

Not Born on the 4th of July

Just because you haven’t read something like this in awhile doesn’t mean it’s no longer happening:

It’s common that when a person dies with most of his or her life seemingly ahead of them, friends and family create online memorials. Ian is no different. His sister, Meg, posted one on Facebook over the weekend, and it has

Limboland – Day 360

Progress. Yesterday I received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs about my nearly year-long quest for disability benefits. I was irked to find that it looked suspiciously like the last letter I received from them, on April 21. These letters all begin with a salutation followed by a note that “We are working on your claim …

Military Suicides: The Families Left Behind

In the recent swirl of articles and blogs about the new Presidential policy on honoring those who suicide in combat with a condolence letter, there are some who may be lost: the Families. The controversy seems to be about whether or not you should “honor” the Soldier who died with a letter of condolence. Recently the White House …

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