James Dao reports in the New York Times that the military is considering 2 steps to reduce its startling rate of active duty suicides—which is approaching an unacceptable one suicide every day. Both measures are completely sensible, but neither goes nearly far enough.
With understandable urgency, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made suicide one of his top priorities, instructing commanders at all levels to feel acutely accountable for it. The numbers are startling. On average 1 active duty soldier is killing himself each day--twice the number of combat deaths and twice the civilian rate.
This psychiatrist was not prepared for the scope of impact our two long wars have had on military children.
Depression, PTSD, panic disorder, and abuse of alcohol and drugs are more insidious, quieter forms of illness that can cause the same desperation and disability as psychotic disorders.
Most military families successfully adapt to a service member's deployments for military duties. Nevertheless, almost a decade of wartime stress associated with the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has presented unprecedented challenges for military families.
The latest information released by the US Army reveals that last year American soldiers attempted suicide at the rate of about 5 /day. There were 160 successful suicides last year and during June the rate was 1/day. Military research has reported that one in 10 Iraq veterans may develop a severe case of PTSD.
There has been much recent attention to the deleterious effects of natural disasters and war on children and adolescents.
An array of military-related presentations were given at this year’s American Psychiatric Association (APA) conference, addressing the rise of psychiatric issues in returning veterans and their families.
With the seemingly impending war with Iraq, Dr. Stone revisits the Marxist-based film The Battle of Algiers and is surprised to find Islamic fundamentalism prominently featured throughout. Looking back, he finds nothing in the director's or writer's notes, or in critics' writings on the film, to indicate they were aware of its presence-the film was viewed through the context of the time. Are we still making this deadly error in dealing with Muslim nations?