October 14, 2010

The Military And PTSD: A Star Wars Guide

stormtrooper.jpg

In The Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon is being pursued by Imperial Star Destroyers and several TIE fighters. 

Something hits the Falcon.  "That's not a laser blast..." says Han.

"Asteroids!" yells Leia from the cockpit.  They are everywhere.  She quickly gets up to allow Han to take control.

He makes a snap decision.  "Chewie, set 271."

She didn't expect him to say that.  "What are you doing?.... You're not actually going into an asteroid field, are you?"

"They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?"


han asteroid field.JPGHan Solo deftly turns and flips the ship, trying to doge the both the asteroids and the laser blasts from the remaining TIE fighters.  Leia, Chewie and C3PO stare powerlessly as asteroid after asteroid almost obliterates them.

It becomes obvious to all that this was a terrible idea.


asteroid exploding.JPG
"You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake," Solo deadpans. "Well, this could be it."

"I take it back....we're going to get pulverized if we stay out here any longer!" Leia says.

"Can't argue with you there.  I'm going in closer to one of the big ones."

"Closer?!"


millennium falcon pulverized.JPG


Take a good look at the expressions on their faces.  Solo focused, almost angry.  Leia terrified.  Chewbacca fearful and incredulous.

This is a kind of exposition, the character's personalities being revealed through a trial.

They all come out ok, but let's say they didn't.  Excepting the metallic version of Professor Smith, who there is most likely to get PTSD? 

Chewbacca is an ex-soldier who has seen all kinds of war horrors.  Leia's been tortured, seen her home planet be destroyed, been in gun fights, so it's not like she hasn't been stressed.  But looking at their faces, it's evident that they are more terrified, there's something about Solo that lets him manage his fear and his response to it.  Genetics?  Toughness derived from years of hardships?  Alcohol?

It may not be any of these things.  It may simply be that Han Solo is driving.


II.

Thanks to a reader, 2LT Timlin for turning me on to Sebastian Junger's War, a book I had never heard of and which apparently no one in the military has either.

The Navy study compared stress levels of the pilots [who have to land on tiny aircraft carrier landing strips] to that of their radar intercept officers, who sat immediately behind them but had no control over the two-​man aircraft. The experiment involved taking [cortisol] samples of both men on no-​mission days as well as immediately after carrier landings... Radar intercept officers lived day-​to-​day with higher levels of stress -- possibly due to the fact that their fate was in someone else's hands -- but on mission days the pilots' stress levels were far higher. The huge responsibility borne by the pilots gave them an ease of mind on their days off that they paid for when actually landing the plane.

The study was duplicated in 1966 with a twelve-​man Special Forces team in an isolated camp near the Cambodian border in South Vietnam... There was a serious possibility that the base would be overrun, in which case it was generally accepted that it would be "every man for himself." The two officers saw their cortisol levels climb steadily until the day of the expected attack and then diminish as it failed to materialize. Among the enlisted men, however, the stress levels were exactly the opposite: their cortisol levels dropped as the attack drew near, and then started to rise when it became clear that they weren't going to get hit... "The members of this Special Forces team demonstrated an overwhelming emphasis on self-​reliance, often to the point of omnipotence," they wrote. "These subjects were action-​oriented individuals who characteristically spent little time in introspection. Their response to any environmental threat was to engage in a furor of activity which rapidly dissipated the developing tension."

Specifically, the men strung C-​wire and laid additional mines around the perimeter of the base. It was something they knew how to do and were good at, and the very act of doing it calmed their nerves. In a way that few civilians could understand, they were more at ease facing a known threat than languishing in the tropical heat facing an unknown one.

Two things to note: one is the perception of powerlessness as a factor in stress; the other is that action is useful for its own sake.  Action according to logic or training can be empowering even if it is itself purposeless.

III.

Junger starts his book with this epigraph, from Lord Moran's Anatomy of Courage:

By cowardice I do not mean fear. Cowardice... is a label we reserve for something a man does. What passes through his mind is his own affair.
The quote is popular all over the internet, but it's a misquote.  This version conveys the impression that everyone feels fear, but only a coward acts on it.

By cowardice I do not mean fear.  Fear is the response of the instinct of self preservation to danger.  It is only morbid, as Aristotle taught, when it is out of proportion to the degree of the danger.  In invincible fear-- 'fear stronger than I am'-- the soldier has to struggle with a flood of emotion; he is made that way.  But fear even when morbid is not cowardice.  That is a label we reserve for something that a man does. What passes through his mind is his own affair.
The forces that go into creating cowardice were often outside of the coward's control.  He probably didn't want to be a coward; he wasn't trained not to be.

IV.

One of the most puzzling things about fear is that it is only loosely related to the level of danger. During World War II, several airborne units that experienced some of the fiercest fighting of the war also reported some of the lowest psychiatric casualty rates in the U.S. military. Combat units typically suffer one psychiatric casualty for every physical one, and during Israel's Yom Kippur War of 1973, frontline casualty rates were roughly consistent with that ratio. But Israeli logistics units, which were subject to far less danger, suffered three psychiatric cases for every physical one. And even frontline troops showed enormous variation in their rate of psychological breakdown. Because many Israeli officers literally led from the front, they were four times more likely to be killed or wounded than their men were -- and yet they suffered one-​fifth the rate of psychological collapse. The primary factor determining breakdown in combat does not appear to be the objective level of danger so much as the feeling -- even the illusion -- of control. Highly trained men in extraordinarily dangerous circumstances are less likely to break down than untrained men in little danger.

The division between those who feel in control of their fate and those who don't can occur even within the same close-​knit group. During World War II, British and American bomber crews experienced casualty rates as high as 70 percent over the course of their tour; they effectively flew missions until they were killed. On those planes, pilots reported experiencing less fear than their turret gunners, who were crucial to operations but had no direct control over the aircraft. Fighter pilots, who suffered casualty rates almost as high as bomber crews, nevertheless reported extremely low levels of fear. They were both highly trained and entirely in control of their own fate, and that allowed them to ignore the statistical reality that they had only a fifty-​fifty chance of surviving their tour.
Note again the relationship of the feeling of control-- not the actual possession of control-- to the reduction of fear.

And note the wording of the last sentence: "allowed them to ignore... reality."

IV.

Marshall McLuhan once said, "if everything around you is a nail, then get a really strong hammer."  So the psychodynamic hammer: if narcissism is the exertion of will towards the maintenance of ego-- trying to get everyone to see you the way you want to be seen, and to get them to act the way you need them to act-- then a narcissistic injury would be the discovery of the limitations of your own power. 

If the Americanized culture of the past two generations has deliberately encouraged  narcissism as a positive personality structure, then we can expect higher rates of PTSD than in WWII not because the physical stresses are more severe-- in fact, they are most often less severe--  but because the discovery of the limitations of our own power shock us more deeply than it shocked them.

Typically, avoidance and flashbacks are the proxies for the diagnosis of PTSD, but these are drawn from experience with soldiers from a different time and a different culture.  Today, the primary symptom of a traumatic reaction to the discovery of powerlessness wouldn't be fear but rage.  Hence, new onset domestic violence is more sensitive than nightmares.  "Being there" (suddenly staring off into the distance) more specific than reliving the traumatic event.

It follows that a PTSD soldier at home would be much less traumatized by a terrible car accident than by the suspicion that his wife is cheating.


IVb.

I'm not saying soldiers are narcissists; but that's the culture we were taught from the day of our birth.  The military should have made an effort to understand the psychic vulnerabilities of the culture it was recruiting from, and adjusted its training to anticipate those vulnerabilities.

More broadly, a nation that chooses to go to war-- for good reasons or bad-- should train its population to be more selfless, to establish as obvious that each person is merely part of a far more important whole, and to incentivize displays of that thinking with explicit rewards.


star wars medals.jpgand you wonder why there are no other Wookies in V and VI

 
If it cannot do this, if it can't institutionalize this, it shouldn't go to war, most practically because it will not win.


V.


i am your father.JPG

I wasn't so young 30 years ago that I shouldn't have known better.

After Vader tells Luke he is his father, he implores Luke to join him, "together we can rule the galaxy!" etc.

I remember thinking, why doesn't Luke just lie?  Why doesn't he just pretend to join Vader, and then light saber him in the head or poison his rebreather later on?  Instead, he jumps like a Stoic.

Short term yes, long term no.  Turns out Lucas/Campbell was right and I was wrong.  In extreme scenarios, for example torture or being a prisoner of war,  lying and pretending gives short term gain but accelerates your mental breakdown.  People who have survived have done so not by toughing it out-- me vs. you-- but focusing on something they considered more important than their own survival.  "This hurts, but it's far better than bowing down to them."

In the language of learned helplessness: there is a vicarious learning in watching yourself apparently break down and give them what they want.  Furthermore, it reveals the limits of your power: I had no other options but acquiescence.

The military's immediate problem is that this advice must now be learned in adulthood; there hasn't been 20 years of practice.  It is not reflexive; narcissism is.  I hope it requires no elaboration that the people we are currently fighting have exactly the opposite circumstance.


IV.

Many of the solutions propose themselves, but with respect to the military, and any organization that rises or falls on the tenacity and relentlessness of its members, Lord Moran offers this generally unpalatable perspective:

Leadership only concerns me when it hastens or delays the using up of a soldier's will power.  But discipline runs through this part of my book like an undertone.  Men are everywhere demanding whether a discipline which was designed for the illiterate is still suitable for an army with considerable number of thinking men in its ranks.  I have turned over in my mind whether it is possible to relax that discipline without impairing a soldier's efficiency as a fighting man, and I can only find one answer...

The answer is no.


---

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych

 










Comments

In the WWII airborne units ... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 6:36 PM | Posted by Knives: | Reply

In the WWII airborne units example, aren't the people who qualify as pilots qualitatively different than the people who could only pull gunner? And here I am assuming that everyone wanted to fly the planes, but you get the point.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
"In a way that few civilian... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 7:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"In a way that few civilians could understand, they were more at ease facing a known threat than languishing in the tropical heat facing an unknown one."

That's kind of bad, considering how much the routine of our current wars consist of "drive or sit around until someone tries to blow you up."

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 13 (13 votes cast)
At the moment, most approac... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 8:53 PM | Posted by ShrinkWrapped: | Reply

At the moment, most approaches at the VA are focused on using Meds and CBT to treat PTSD; they are not having notable success. Their problems are also compounded because they have been unable, thus far, to fractionate Psychologically based PTSD and PTSD symptoms caused by subclinical TBI. The use of Psychodynamic Therapy at the VA is a thing of the past, though might come in handy with the current group of PTSD sufferers; testing your hypothesis would certainly be worthwhile.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 4 (6 votes cast)
Fighter pilots, who suff... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 9:39 PM | Posted by Jack Coupal: | Reply

Fighter pilots, who suffered casualty rates almost as high as bomber crews, nevertheless reported extremely low levels of fear.

The fighter pilot is in total control of what the huge aircraft surrounding him does or does not do. The pilot feels in control and is in control.

The bomber crew [including the bomber pilot?] is also surrounded by a huge aircraft with that pilot in total control of the aircraft. However, there are also other people present (gunners, navigator) that the pilot has semi-control over (any one of those other people could do something that leads to the demise of the aircraft.

Alone, are you claiming that it is only today that the military brass realize that the fighter pilot and the bomber pilot have different senses of and possession of control?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
"Furthermore, it reveals th... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 9:43 PM | Posted by JohnJ: | Reply

"Furthermore, it reveals the limits of your power: I had no other options but acquiescence."

This certainly helps to explain why people who think of themselves as victims react with so much anger towards someone tells them that they do or did have other options. The cognitive dissonance of being confronted with the possibility that perhaps there are or were other options hits hard.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 15 (15 votes cast)
"The primary factor determi... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 9:50 PM | Posted by Zo: | Reply

"The primary factor determining breakdown in combat does not appear to be the objective level of danger so much as the feeling -- even the illusion -- of control."

Is this true of women as well? Any data?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
Z: The whole system makes ... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 10:22 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Z: The whole system makes me feel... insignificant.
Psychologist: Excellent. You've made a real breakthrough.
Z: I have?
Psychologist: Yes, Z. You ARE insignificant.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 14 (14 votes cast)
"In extreme scenarios, for ... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 10:28 PM | Posted by Simbera: | Reply

"In extreme scenarios, for example torture or being a prisoner of war, lying and pretending gives short term gain but accelerates your mental breakdown."
"Furthermore, it reveals the limits of your power: I had no other options but acquiescence."

It really depends on how you frame it. I suppose your average footsoldier might tend to emphasise physical capability over intellectual capability in the structure of their identity, but if it were me I would positively delight in lying to get myself out of there.

It only reveals the limits of your power if you frame it as giving up, instead of an attempt to outwit. To my mind, it wouldn't indicate that I was too weak to take it, but that I was smart enough to talk my way out of it - with all the ego-boost implications that entails. The feeling of control would still be there.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 12 (18 votes cast)
" I hope it requires no ela... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 11:03 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

" I hope it requires no elaboration that the people we are currently fighting have exactly the opposite circumstance."

My thought exactly. And there are other cultures with which we are not currently at war, but could be, who are much less individualistic.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (3 votes cast)
Along these lines, there wa... (Below threshold)

October 14, 2010 11:41 PM | Posted by Ryan: | Reply

Along these lines, there was a very interesting study done in rats (sorry no citation right now) to test control/stress.

They took pairs of rats in attached cages with electrified floors. At random times, the floor would become electrified and the rats would receive shocks until the current ceased. However, in one of the cages was a button that if the rat pushed it, would turn off the current to both cages.

So, the rats would both receive the same total time of shock, but one of each pair was "in control" by being able to turn of the shock by pushing a button.

The rats who didn't have the button had much higher levels of cortisol and were essentially quivering wrecks in their cage, while the rats with the button had much lower levels of cortisol and behaved normally.

Control makes a lot of difference.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (11 votes cast)
Alone, why do you tell peop... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 12:28 AM | Posted by lx: | Reply

Alone, why do you tell people who have lost "someone" in "the war" not to read these posts?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Oh my alone. Not that I nec... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 12:59 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh my alone. Not that I necessarily disagree with your premise (being in control helps buffer people from trauma), but the idea that you are using starwars to illustrate your point is beyond ridiculous. Did you ever think that perhaps Hans' stoicism is the reason he is always the pilot in control, rather than his stoicism being the result of falling into positions where he is able to express control? It only makes sense that the most stoic person would be the one to pilot the ship. The frazzled nervous emotional basket case should sit in a corner where he can't fuck up and shoot people accidentally or crash the ship or something.
Seeing as Hans Solo is a fictional frigging character, either of these explanations will suffice. Personally I would assume the author made Hans especially brave and stoic by personality, therefore in control.

If you look at any leader be it of a small group at work or a country one quality they all have in common is expert emotional control, the ability to keep their feelings under wraps and to just focus on the objective - taking control of the task. I don't think being in control causes emotional regulation... I think emotional regulation results in being in situations where you are in control. An emotionally disregulated failure is not likely to take control of anything, am I right?


Anyway, assuming the capacity to keep in control is the buffer against stress trauma, I would expect it to be relative. Meaning, personal control is relative to others lack of it. Control is power over someone or something else, including yourself. Control is something that cannot be shared, by definition - if you are in control that means others around you are not in control. Safety is not control, safety can be shared, we can all be safe... but only one or two people can be leaders, only one or two people can be in control, only one or two people have power. IN a group, in a troupe, we all cannot be in control equally, unless of course we are isolated from other people then we can have our control (over ourselves and our environments) equally... but it is much more difficult to maintain an illusion of control at war, am i right? In the civilian world isolation is an effective method of maintaining control but not at war. At war you must move in groups, and in groups only one or two people can be in control and the others by definition are not.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (5 votes cast)
I don't think its so much a... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 2:31 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by whatever: | Reply

I don't think its so much a matter of actual control as "belief in one's capacity to have an effect" and that is something that can be shared. Semantics, etc.

As an aside, there was a qualitative study on children with learning disabilities that focused on the experiences that led to them feeling either "normal" or "not normal." The main difference was whether or not the child was taught the "tools" to handle themselves.

Narcissism is like having one hammer in your toolbox. Something's not working? Bash it until it looks like you want. You only have one option of dealing with a situation and it's usually not going to work.

We live in a society that says either "ignore your emotions, just do what you want" or "let your feelings guide you." This isn't exactly a breeding ground for emotional regulation.

Anyways, we'll all be better off when we become Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 7 (7 votes cast)
The military cannot and wil... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 2:55 AM | Posted by Ben: | Reply

The military cannot and will not take their recruits' narcissism into account for training purposes. Doing so would require them to come clean about their purpose and would reveal the impossibility of their own self-image:

A military needs its recruits to be prepared to kill people they've never met and have no personal attachment to. Getting people ready to do this, and then actually making them do it, requires rewiring people so far away from their natural behaviour that they have pretty much no chance of being productive citizens afterwards. If killing strangers becomes normal or laudable behaviour, how are you supposed to react to the AIG fiasco or someone at the DMV screwing you over with resignation and sang froid.

The military can only get away with this reprogramming because they're able to convince everyone that they're necessary for the protection of the group. Of course, a big part of the reason why the group is at risk is because they are militarized. This is more of a problem in, say, Israel than in Norway or Canada because the use of conscripts and the (kind of understandable) siege mentality implicates everyone in the group. Reforming military training as you suggest would also require them to admit 'Yeah, we break our own people and use them up. But it's worth it because we're protecting the group. Question at the back?" "How can you claim to be protecting the people you're breaking?" "Shut up." The military cannot do this because it would undermine the reasons for its own existence, and the military, like most social institutions that have been around long enough to develop a sense of identity, operates largely for reasons of self-preservation. A wolf with the capacity for ethical reflection will starve.

None of this implies a conspiracy because none of the participants needs to be conscious of the process and its effects. It's the matrix (if I may borrow the concept).

For another interesting analysis of PTSD in an unconventional context, I recommend Shay's "Achilles in Vietnam".

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (16 votes cast)
"Yossarian was right" - Sci... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 9:18 AM | Posted by popo: | Reply

"Yossarian was right" - Science

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
But Han Solo isn't a stoic.... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 9:22 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by GT: | Reply

But Han Solo isn't a stoic. He showed emotion. Even when he was being frozen in carbonite he didn't stand there emotionless; look at the expression on his face.

The Han Solo archetype is one of single man, without any history or commitments who looks like he is living for himself but when you look at his decisions, he risks himself for other people and for a greater good that goes beyond his self interest like when he came back to help Luke destroy the Death Star instead of taking his reward and paying off his debt to Jabba the Hut. He had self reliance but his actions were towards a greater good.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Who is saying Solo is a sto... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 10:04 AM | Posted, in reply to GT's comment, by Han Solo: | Reply

Who is saying Solo is a stoic? The passage above refers to Luke committing suicide like a Stoic, which is characteristic of their acceptance of suicide as a legitimate alternative to living life unvirtuosly.

And Han Solo didn't really attack the Death Star out of the greater good, he did it to help Luke, which is fine, but it is clearly an example of unstoic behavior, and in line with a mercenary attitude. Technically, he's a pirate.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
Who said Han Solo was a sto... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 12:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Han Solo's comment, by GT: | Reply

Who said Han Solo was a stoic? The comment was about his stoicism and my counter was that he showed emotion clearly indicating that he was not indifferent to whatever he was experiencing. Whether the character actually was a stoic who sometimes showed emotion is beyond the scope of my comment.

You ignore the fact that Han joined the rebels and returned the reward he got for rescuing Leia. I argue that as he was leaving he had a change of heart and came back to help Luke and join the rebels. His coming back was for the greater good regardless of what form it took. It's not like he helped Luke then said, "See ya later. I got a bill to pay" which would more tie in with his pirate/mercenary persona.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
KnivesIn the WWII... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 1:21 PM | Posted by Brian Dunbar: | Reply

Knives
In the WWII airborne units example, aren't the people who qualify as pilots qualitatively different than the people who could only pull gunner? And here I am assuming that everyone wanted to fly the planes, but you get the point.

Your point is taken, but your example is off. Not everyone wants to fly the plane, or to become an officer, which is required to fly the plane. Some guys, who were upstanding and righteous citizens before and after the war, simply wanted to enlist, do their part, but didn't want to be in charge.

Ben
A military needs its recruits to be prepared to kill people they've never met and have no personal attachment to. Getting people ready to do this, and then actually making them do it, requires rewiring people so far away from their natural behaviour that they have pretty much no chance of being productive citizens afterwards. If killing strangers becomes normal or laudable behaviour, how are you supposed to react to the AIG fiasco or someone at the DMV screwing you over with resignation and sang froid.

Ben, you are profoundly ignorant. Or you're a troll - I can't decide.

Millions of men have been indoctrinated, done horrible things in war, killed strangers by the dozens or thousands at a time. This was normal and laudable. Then these guys came home, became peaceful and productive citizens.

To argue that the process breaks an individual and renders them unfit to live with the rest of us is to deny that million of veterans are walking around, building things, creating wealth, and living our lives in peace and righteous harmony.

Some of us develop an intolerance for shenanigans and foolishness.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 8 (10 votes cast)
> A military needs its recr... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 2:18 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

> A military needs its recruits to be prepared to kill people
> they've never met and have no personal attachment to.
> Getting people ready to do this, and then actually making
> them do it, requires rewiring people so far away from their
> natural behaviour that they have pretty much no chance of
> being productive citizens afterwards.

Most people who go to war, including those who kill, don't come back dysfunctional. If we recognize what causes some to be more susceptible to PTSD and other problems, we can reduce the number we lose this way, and better rehabilitate those effected.

Also, as Alone already pointed out, it is not the killing that lends most to PTSD -- it is personal powerlessness. The loved one I lost to PTSD has never killed. He was a support MoS working in a command center when the traumatic event occurred, and he was not even there to see it.

> Of course, a big part of the reason why the group is at risk is
> because they are militarized.

Part of the reason the group is at risk of what? PTSD? Losing a loved one to PTSD was horrible. It is still preferable that we have a national defense (whether or not I always agree with its use) than that we have none at all.

> This is more of a problem in, say, Israel than in Norway or
> Canada because the use of conscripts and the (kind of
> understandable) siege mentality implicates everyone in the
> group.

Do you have evidence to back this up? I haven't seen research on the subject, but I would expect (from my own experience and observations with the US military, and from talking to Israeli citizens I have met) that Israeli soldiers would have *lower* rates of PTSD than their Norwegian or Canadian counterparts, who would in turn have lower rates than their American counterparts.

Israel has very close to the perfect culture for generating PTSD-proof warriors -- the only better examples I can think of are some Native American tribes. In Israel, *every* young person is raised with the knowledge that they will be called to military service, this service is part of their identity. Whereas a typical American serviceman feels that the value of his service depends upon his ability to distinguish himself through action, the typical Israeli serviceman feels that he earns his value to his nation through service -- the mere act of serving is empowering to the Israeli sense of self. Additionally, no Israeli soldier must come back from the front an outsider -- every single adult person back home is their comrade in arms, and has been in their place before.

> Reforming military training as you suggest would also
> require them to admit 'Yeah, we break our own people and use
> them up. But it's worth it because we're protecting the
> group. Question at the back?" "How can you claim to be
> protecting the people you're breaking?" "Shut up."

You do not have to break a person to make a good soldier of him or her. Soldiers aren't naturally "used up" by service in war. The problem is that we are doing it wrong. Let's change that.

In my (extensive, but still anecdotal) experience, the soldiers I found psychologically strongest (for lack of a better term) grew up with families that valued some martial art(s) in the context of civilian life, valued military service, and taught personal responsibility to self, family, and nation. They had a rational, well-developed internal code of ethics that was not dependent on external rules or the perceptions of others, and it included the idea that there are things more dear than achievement or even survival.

Those most at risk for PTSD were introduced to martial concepts late in life (for example, they were raised in anti-gun cultures and/or cultures that did not respect, let alone practice martial arts). They were introduced to violence as something that only happens in the movies. They generally felt that they did not have enough control over their own lives. They hinged their sense of self-worth on something likely to be taken from them in war (athleticism, beauty, etc.)

What I find most interesting is that control freaks, whom you'd expect to be most likely to crack, were some of the most resilient people I met. Even in an out-of-control situation, they generally found something they *could* control and placed their focus there. For example, the non-pilot in the bomber would buck up a less experienced comrade, or check the status of the payload.

> A wolf with the capacity for ethical reflection will starve.

Patently untrue. Plenty of moral, ethical human beings eat meat every day, myself included.

*Murder* conflicts with being a rational, functional, moral being, *killing*, in and of itself does not.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (11 votes cast)
I"m hardly a star wars expe... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 2:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Han Solo's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I"m hardly a star wars expert and I admit to never being able to muster the attention span to sit through a whole movie (I know, I know... but it's like sports my mind just can't pay attention no matter how hard I try)...

However, in the depiction above, TLP describes hans as being in control, and then states it is because he has control over the ship. At this junction I scoffed and pointed out that 1) hans is a character, so his behavior need not necessarily be informative of real people 2) his stoicism may be the reason he is the pilot, as opposed to being a pilot causing his stoicism, either explanation is sufficient as he is fictional.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Brian, I think ben's commen... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 2:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Brian Dunbar's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Brian, I think ben's comment was spot on.

It's true some military service men lead normal lives in the civilian world, but a whole LOT do not, and that shouldn't be swept under the rug. Some people may have the mental capacity to shift from war to civilian life but apparently a whole lot of people who are being selected for the military lack this ability. Or perhaps it's all about the types of experiences. My personal theory, the military actively selects for slightly unstable people (who normal joins the military?) which makes them high risk for damage and antisocial behavior.

But, yea, either way we can't ignore that a looot of soldiers have problems fitting in and being "normal", before and definitely after discharge.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -5 (7 votes cast)
> A wolf with the capacity ... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 2:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

> A wolf with the capacity for ethical reflection will starve.

Patently untrue. Plenty of moral, ethical human beings eat meat every day, myself included.

*Murder* conflicts with being a rational, functional, moral being, *killing*, in and of itself does not.>>


It's way easier to eat a flat grey slab of hamburger than it is to go out hunt and kill an animal with your jaws. If you had to do that I suspect you would stop eating meat.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (5 votes cast)
From the article: "The mili... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 3:28 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

From the article: "The military should have made an effort to understand the psychic vulnerabilities of the culture it was recruiting from..."

A few US military recruiting slogans:

"Be All That You Can Be."

"An Army of One."

"Army Strong."

"The Few, The Strong, The Proud."

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (6 votes cast)
Anon 3:28, excellent point.... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 4:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Anon 3:28, excellent point. American military recruitment mechanisms are already capitalizing off of our widespread western narcissism by appealing to the desire to be a "special hero" in the army.

Kind of cruel that once these kids are actually IN the service, that we make no effort to support them psychologically (although actively exploit it prior to enlistment).

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 3 (5 votes cast)
"but if it were me I would ... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 6:07 PM | Posted by AnonyMouse: | Reply

"but if it were me I would positively delight in lying to get myself out of there."

What makes you think they would ever let you go?

"A military needs its recruits to be prepared to kill people they've never met and have no personal attachment to. Getting people ready to do this, and then actually making them do it, requires rewiring people so far away from their natural behaviour"

Liberal-creationism fails again. Most people throughout most of human history have lived in a world where killing strangers and raping their women was the NORM. Human beings will naturally kill the out-group because nature has rewarded it, it is a trait that evolution has selected for.

After a police shooting, it is not uncommon for a police officer to "go home and have the best sex of my life" with their spouse. The only way for the sex to be hotter would be for the cop to kill the other person in front of his wife.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -3 (15 votes cast)
Anonymouse why can't you co... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 6:47 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Anonymouse why can't you commit suicide already... seriously.

"Natural" does not always mean "good". It's natural to piss in the middle of the street, it's natural for a man to rape is 13 year old daughter (although knowing you, you would argue that's a good thing), it's natural to eat dogs and cats, I mean lots of crap is "natural" that civilized people find disgusting abhorrent and immoral.

In modern society it is not "normal or natural" to shoot people and rape their wives/girlfriends/daughters. That you think this is normal and natural only highlights how unsocialized and mentally unstable you are.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (10 votes cast)
Treatment against PTSD: </p... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 7:38 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Treatment against PTSD:

Tea Ceremony?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
This entry is not very inte... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2010 8:48 PM | Posted by America: | Reply

This entry is not very interesting. It is well known that the military exists to carry out the objectives of those who control government: namely, shareholders of publicly and privately held corporations. No one- from the general in command to the U.S. president- gives a fuck about the rate of PTSD in soldiers returning from their respective war zones. No one cares if the VA's treatment of said PTSD in returning soldiers is inadequate or successful for that matter. No one of any power or importance gives a fuck about the suffering of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan just like no one of any power or importance gave a fuck about the 58,000 american guys who died in Vietnam.

Can we please move on from these elementary posts about war and its psychological implications? The real issue that determines the fate of these soldiers is economic.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (8 votes cast)
I could be profoundly ignor... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2010 3:31 AM | Posted, in reply to Brian Dunbar's comment, by Ben: | Reply

I could be profoundly ignorant and a troll, but it's hardly for me to decide.

"Millions of men have been indoctrinated, done horrible things in war, killed strangers by the dozens or thousands at a time. This was normal and laudable. Then these guys came home, became peaceful and productive citizens."

Well that depends on what you consider 'peaceful and productive'. If they have to perpetuate the militarization of their society, if for no other reason, to absolve themselves from bearing the responsibility for killing dozens or (gasp!) thousands. Someone who's convinced he has to kill strangers for abstract reasons is, at best, a poor sod - not a hero. Convincing him or others that such behaviour is normal or laudable is, yes, breaking them.

Jumping to Anonymous's request for data on Israel, here's the tip: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/terror-leaves-42-of-children-with-ptsd-1.90439 so feel free to speculate about the iceberg. Think about Israel's situation: everyone with throwing distance of a medium-range ballistic missile wants you dead, and there's a way out of this, but you're constitutionally required to put on a uniform. Duck and cover is a game of ring-around-the-rosy by comparison. What were you saying about helplessness as the cause of PTSD?

"It's way easier to eat a flat grey slab of hamburger than it is to go out hunt and kill an animal with your jaws. If you had to do that I suspect you would stop eating meat." Bingo.
I have killed, cleaned, skinned and slaughtered animals. Lambs continue to kick and cry even after the blood's almost drained. Decapitated chickens *do* continue to kick and stumble, but plunging them into boiling water right away seems to help. I've also always kept pets, and aside from fish, they all seem to have a personality, but even fish obviously feel discomfort when they're wounded or sick. Camus once wrote that "All I ask is that, in the midst of a murderous world, we agree to reflect on murder and to make a choice." I still eat meat, but I reflect on how the animal of its provenance lived and died, and I make a choice. That's not too much to ask of sentient, social carnivores. Why should it be too much to ask of citizens, whether in uniform or not?

"Forgive us father, for we know not what we do" *is* a laudable sentiment, but unfortunately there's nobody listening. We *do* have the capacity to listen to each other saying it, and we'd be much better off if did.

Flame away, but stop before I'm well-done or it'll taste like shoe leather.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -4 (8 votes cast)
Ben fails to see the differ... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Ben fails to see the difference between PTSD symptoms caused by terror acts (i.e. a bus exploding on your street, surprise, lack of control over your fate) and ones that are not caused by going to the Army and being prepared to take the risks involved, or kill if needed to protect what is for all intents and purposes your extended family (while having a great deal of at least perceived control). I'd have thought the difference should be clear, especially following TLP's post saying exactly that, but, oh well.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
TLP's post is about PTSD in... (Below threshold)

October 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by AnAnon: | Reply

TLP's post is about PTSD in the military so, while what he's saying may apply to civilians as well, he's quite definitely talking about how people in the military get and experience PTSD...and the problems with military training in the context of current warfare that contribute to some soldiers developing PTSD. You haven't managed to call Ben out on anything with your post or offer a viable rebuttal to what he's proposed (there may well be one, you didn't make it). Claiming your position and what you're saying is the same as what TLP wrote (ie. claiming what you perceive as his authority for yourself in an attempt to be perceived as an authority/expert without exhibiting any expertise) doesn't make it so - though you may very well believe your interpretation of what TLP wrote is what TLP meant. Oh well...

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
You suspect wrong. I grew ... (Below threshold)

October 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You suspect wrong. I grew up on a farm, I've spent a good portion of my life slaughtering my own food.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
In Love and Will, Rollo May... (Below threshold)

October 19, 2010 12:43 AM | Posted, in reply to Zo's comment, by MyLittlePony: | Reply

In Love and Will, Rollo May said that the most direct way to affect another human being was with violence. And being able to be noticed or have influence gives the illusion 'you' have control, or at least like you exist, so when people act like you don't exist the way you want them to, hey, violence. I don't have the book anymore otherwise I'd give more context.

Zo-- I suspect the answer is yes. Re ""The primary factor determining breakdown in combat does not appear to be the objective level of danger so much as the feeling -- even the illusion -- of control." related to women as well. My thought is that looking at the literature on rape might shed some light-- although my google searches have revealed a whole host of variables that play into recovery/ptsd development outcomes. So I'm not sure my thought is verifiable via google.

I guess I am answer your q not as being specific to combat, but if the sense of control in a potentially dangerous situation in general. Of course you probably want more than the suspicions of some random internet person.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
smarter people drink margin... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2010 2:31 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

smarter people drink marginally more . . . http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/10/chart-of-the-day-.html maybe that explains your rum activities :)

What does building a tolerance/acceptance for uncertainty do for resilience to stress?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)
I just happened to read tha... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2010 9:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by DB: | Reply

I just happened to read that one too — came across it by a completely different route (it was linked next to the introvert blog @ the same site). It was so wildly speculative and rationalistic that that at first I thought it must be a parody. Really? You can't think of ANY other explanation other than "evolutionarily novel"? This is why "evolutionary psychologists" need to be rounded up in concentration camps.
And I had really been hoping for some material I could use, too. "Honestly, Honey! This here study proves that I'm so smart that I HAVE to drink!" But nah.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Today I was scheduled to me... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2010 5:02 PM | Posted by NT: | Reply

Today I was scheduled to meet with a VA psych rep to go over a PTSD claim that I reluctantly put in after a few years being out and a high frequency of severe depressions/avoidance about/from the world. I had been preparing myself mentally for this interview because it is a long ordeal, about 2 hours, and involves speaking of things that I would prefer to forget about. Upon arrival I found out the meeting had been cancelled without notification to me, and that it would be rescheduled at a later date when someone from the "cleveland" office called...whenever that will be who knows. I found myself almost shaking with rage, and picturing the clerks trachea in my hand while the rest of his body still sat in his chair. I came home and this rage/breakdown lasted for about 2 hours during which time I thought about selling my limited property, quitting school, and just closing off from the world. A completely unbalanced reaction. I realized towards the end of all this that a large part of this rage came from what I perceived as a great lack of control that I had in the world. Here I had been preparing myself to speak with this person and how I'd try to keep control while talking, and the biggest "fuck you you have no control" that could have happened, a cancellation, happened. I live under a strict regiment because it gives me an impression of control and any deviation wrecks my entire universe. This is something I've started to realize more and more, and if I was delusional enough to be religious I'd say God put this article here for me. Well, maybe chance did, maybe nothing at all did, the point and my question is what exactly can someone like myself do once this is realized? What's the next step? I'm feeling desperate lately to interact with the world and just regress toward some mean of normality so people aren't taken aback when I say that the world is just a horrible place masked by our cultures desire to congratulate itself for being so civilized and free. Not that it isn't, this is a comment on the media's lack of integrity and fear of being seeing as "subjective" half the time. I'm all over in this post I know, but I'm curious of what is a good course compared to the joke of treamtment consisting of pills the VA offered me in the past with half baked therapy of "a lot of people feel this way" which is supposed to make me feel better in some perverse way.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 6 (8 votes cast)
Hi NT - I'm really sorry th... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2010 6:14 PM | Posted, in reply to NT's comment, by karen: | Reply

Hi NT - I'm really sorry that the VA did this to you. I hope you get the help you need long-term and start to feel like yourself again.

Short term, I want to respond to your question of "what exactly can someone like myself do once this is realized? What's the next step?", because, even though I don't think there is a "next step" per se, I have some experience with getting through similarly bad times & difficult realizations. So, like TLP's suggestion - "Action according to logic or training can be empowering even if it is itself purposeless." - I think the best thing to do is to find a way to short-circuit your big brain until it is ready to do what you need & desire it to do. Basically slow down the words and the narrative and the rumination until your mind is clear(er) and you can start thinking of the next steps (purposeful actions) that fit your situation. And slow them down in a healthy way, of course, not via alcohol, drugs, screen time, too much sleep. (This is the part where I'm gonna get flamed for making it sound too easy...it's not.) I play piano & sing & listen to audiobooks, other people I know go fishing, meet friends to chat, meditate & do yoga, etc. Among other things that makes it _not easy_, is that you will have to _work_ to focus your mind on these things in order to give your brain a break - so I'd pick something you know you enjoy and can do without too much motivation/extra planning or coordination.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (2 votes cast)
A good therapist will not g... (Below threshold)

October 20, 2010 9:09 PM | Posted, in reply to NT's comment, by anon: | Reply

A good therapist will not give you pills (and a good doc will think twice before throwing antidepressants at you, which can only intensify already horrifying nightmares). A good therapist will help you see how avoiding the bad stuff only gives more power to it--power it may not intrinsically have any more, in the here and now. So instead you go back and process it. This is painful, rough, times btw. But the only way out. Avoidance is a way around (and the badness comes back at you anyway, usually when you're not ready for it, and hard and heavy-duty). The bad news: I really think it is hard to find a good, well-trained therapist who can do this kind of work. There are some at the VA I know, but just as many who will try to give you prozac and send you hints that maybe avoiding the issue isn't the worst thing in the world. Which it really is.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (4 votes cast)
Hi NT - First I'd like to s... (Below threshold)

October 21, 2010 11:14 AM | Posted, in reply to NT's comment, by AnAnon: | Reply

Hi NT - First I'd like to say I'm very sorry you had such traumatic experiences and are suffering.

For some people with PTSD, meditation and mindfulness practices can be helpful. And you don't have to believe in any god or religion to do it - depending on where you live, you may be able to find a community that will guide and support you. However, nobody can really teach anyone mindfulness meditation - it's a practice and the point is the practicing - but it can be useful to learn breathing techniques.

It can't and doesn't replace psychotherapy or desensitization training but it can be very useful when paired with cognitive behavioral therapy. Also, since Buddhism very much deals with suffering, you may find it therapeutic to be in an environment that recognizes the suffering in the world and responds with compassion.

What one is "doing" with mindfulness meditation is being in the moment with oneself. It may be useful to start off with learning some relaxation techniques (one of the things that happens with PTSD is that our bodies stay in high alert and never really relax, we become hyper-vigilant). I can see if I can find you some links if you like. As for the meditation itself, all one is really doing is focusing on the breath (because it helps to have something to return our focus to and deep breathing is relaxing) and observing oneself. At first, most of the practice involves bringing one's focus back to the breathe when one starts to follow a train of though. Essentially it's giving oneself a bit more awareness and control over our inner narrative - however it is not a replacement for a good cognitive behavioral therapist.

We can never "get back" to who or where we were if we're experienced extreme trauma but we can sometimes surpass ourselves and use these experiences for both our own good and that of others. We can retrain our brains and this can lead to us feeling and thinking differently. Be kind to yourself.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
In our study of the crew of... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2010 5:50 PM | Posted by Navy Shrink: | Reply

In our study of the crew of the USS COLE, we saw that higher ranking folks faired better (in the aftermath of trauma) than their lower-ranking shipmates, and postulated a bit in the discussion section as to why. What we came up with was that the Officers and Chief Petty Officers likely felt more of a sense of control during during/after the attack.
Here's an excerpt (full text at http://bit.ly/cxM9Zy)

Rank may [have been] a surrogate for certain psychological characteristics such as self-efficacy, or what has been described as an internal locus of control. Internal-external locus of control has been described as the degree to which an individual senses the events around them as dependent on his or her own behavior versus the result of powers beyond his or her own control and understanding.

We also speculated that realistic anticipation of combat (versus: "I'm just here for the college money!") might play a role:

Retired U.S Army Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman [postulated that] the reasons leaders appear to be buffered from combat trauma is [this concept of] a "warrior spirit." This quality is felt to be a reflection of a service member's anticipation of the reality of combat as a possibility.

The belief that the lack of a realistic anticipation of combat forebodes poor psychological sequelae is not unprecedented. J. T. Calhoun, a Civil War Army surgeon, contended that cases of nostalgia (the war syndrome of that era that was probably related to combat stress) resulted from recruitment of poorly motivated soldiers with unrealistic expectations of combat.
Lastly, we speculated that having the authority to respond to aggression/attack likely plays a protective role as well:
[L]eaders' internal locus of control may be bolstered by having the authority to respond to aggression during combat, in contrast to lower ranking service members who more often must wait for orders to react, reinforcing the belief that events are beyond his or her control.
Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (3 votes cast)
We typically don't "throw a... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2010 6:13 PM | Posted, in reply to anon's comment, by Navy Shrink: | Reply

We typically don't "throw antidepressants" at patients in the military. I'm a psychiatrist for a Marine Regiment in garrison. My last billet was as Psychiatrist to a forward-deployed Brigade in Helmand Province. Many years ago I was an enlisted Marine myself who had deployed to combat (Desert Shield/Storm). All I seem to read about in the media, and in blog posts and comment walls are castigations against military mental health, mostly by people who have zero experience with military mental health. In fact, this debate is largely waged by folks who don't even wear a uniform.

With that said...I can tell you that the level of care provided to our Marines is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Marines at my regiment can (and do) get same-day appointments for acute and even sub-acute problems. Those with more chronic problems can get into see me within 2-3 days. How many civilians have that kind of access? The resources available are phenomenal. At my base, I have a deployment health center that has a psych NP, two LCSWs, and FOUR doctoral level psychologists who I can refer patients to. Many of my patients receive multi-speciality care (e.g. concussion clinic, neuropsych). We also have tremendous substance abuse assets, to the tune of 6 or 7 substance abuse counselors. We have a plethora of inpatient and residential programs available for patients who need it. (How many civilians can afford 90 days residential treatment?)

Again, sorry if I sound defensive. I've been living/breathing this for years, i.e. the conscientious care of our embattled warriors, and all I ever seem to hear is how horrible of a job we're doing. Of course, I guess all the good care and good outcomes don't make for much of a headline, eh? (Also, because of the stigma, most of my patients who are doing well [stable, thriving in the military] don't exactly want to 'come out' and disclose their treatment.)

I don't need kudos to do my job (thankfully), and I've developed some pretty thick skin, and I certainly feel that military MH (like every other medical asset) should come under scrutiny so that we are constantly looking to improve the care we provide. But seriously, please stop with the accusations that we just "throw pills" at people. No one I know does that. Even my mediocre colleagues don't do that.

On last thing, in our defense: I think the charge that we "throw pills" at people stems from some belief that military providers are too busy to have sufficient time to spend with patients, which is patently untrue. In fact, it's one of the things I love about military medicine: I'm not beholden to anyone for RVUs or other such nonsense. If I want to do psychotherapy with every patient, I can. Last year, while I was the lone psychiatrist at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, I routinely did weekly intensive psychotherapy with patients. Heck, some of my patients underwent therapy with both me and my psychologist colleague.

Constantly beating up uniformed MH providers is not the way to better outcomes. If you want to have a debate, I'm all for it. But let's stop with the baseless, generalized attacks.

Okay, gotta get back to "throwing pills" at people.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 11 (11 votes cast)
<a href="http://www.... (Below threshold)

November 2, 2010 2:06 AM | Posted by coach handbags: | Reply


asics running

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)
<a href="http://www.coachus... (Below threshold)

November 2, 2010 2:07 AM | Posted by asics running shoes: | Reply

coach outlet

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)
Thanks for your content and... (Below threshold)

December 3, 2010 10:32 PM | Posted by wholesaler: | Reply

Thanks for your content and I will go back again soon because this place is so interesting .

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I really like this website ... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2011 1:02 AM | Posted by cheap clothes : | Reply

I really like this website , and hope you will write more ,thanks a lot for your information.
http://www.belowbulk.com

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
The article is worth readin... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2011 1:21 AM | Posted by cheap clothes online: | Reply

The article is worth reading, I like it very much. I will keep your new articles.
http://www.belowbulk.com

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
Here's an article I just re... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2011 8:44 AM | Posted by Bruno: | Reply

Here's an article I just read, from the New York Magazine, with a throught-provoking if unsophisticated spin on the Yank soldiers' mass-PTSD phenomenon.

The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War

The article's only drop quote goes: “I didn’t want to be one of those soldiers who wound up shaking a baby.”

Reads wonderfully in the light of your articles. Cheers.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
interesting things to read ... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2011 11:17 PM | Posted by iphone 4 case: | Reply

interesting things to read about a variety of subjects, but I manage to include your blog among my reads every day because you have interesting

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
This is really my very firs... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2011 11:17 PM | Posted by Nike pas cher: | Reply

This is really my very first time here, great looking blog. I discovered so many interesting things inside your blog especially its discussion.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I will definately post a li... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2011 11:19 PM | Posted by Nike Air Max 90: | Reply

I will definately post a link to this post on my website. I’m positive my followers will find this article really useful.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I was very fantastic chi... (Below threshold)

June 17, 2011 9:53 PM | Posted by chi flat iron: | Reply

I was very fantastic chi digitalwhy i not see your blog before i will come back.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
It looks very nice and usef... (Below threshold)

June 21, 2011 3:06 AM | Posted by North Face Jackets: | Reply

It looks very nice and useful.


Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Wishing you the best... (Below threshold)

June 23, 2011 11:11 PM | Posted by Ray Ban Jackie Ohh: | Reply


Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.


Ray Ban Jackie Ohh

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Great article and yo... (Below threshold)

July 1, 2011 4:38 AM | Posted by Jimmy Choo Shoes: | Reply


Great article and your blog template is so cool. Is this template free or not?


Jimmy Choo Shoes

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Thank you very much. I am w... (Below threshold)

July 19, 2011 5:33 AM | Posted by Mickey Mantle Jersey: | Reply

Thank you very much. I am wonderring if i can share your article in the bookmarks of society,Then more friends can talk about this problem.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Shop The Latest Christian L... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2011 4:12 AM | Posted by http://www.saleoutnet.com/: | Reply

Shop The Latest Christian Louboutin & Jimmy Choo & Manolo Blahnik From Outlets, Up to 70% Off the Latest Designer Styles.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Designer Shoes for e... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2011 4:14 AM | Posted by http://www.designershoesoutlets.com/: | Reply


Designer Shoes for everyday discount prices on DesignerShoesOutlets.COM, Save as much as 79% off designer favorites. Online and in store.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Designer Shoes for e... (Below threshold)

July 27, 2011 4:14 AM | Posted by http://www.designershoesoutlets.com/: | Reply


Designer Shoes for everyday discount prices on DesignerShoesOutlets.COM, Save as much as 79% off designer favorites. Online and in store.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
even if they aren’... (Below threshold)

August 1, 2011 5:56 AM | Posted by oakley canada: | Reply

even

if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out:

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
chocolate boots on sale now... (Below threshold)

August 8, 2011 10:59 PM | Posted by chocolate boots: | Reply

chocolate boots on sale now !

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
black boots on sale ... (Below threshold)

August 8, 2011 11:03 PM | Posted by http://black-boots.weebly.com/: | Reply

black boots on sale now!1

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Thank u for your sharing.Yo... (Below threshold)

November 1, 2011 2:11 AM | Posted by cheap canadian goose parka: | Reply

Thank u for your sharing.Your blog has a unique feature that can make the people who reads become happy.After reading your blog,I feel happy.

caiyifang/comment201111

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
What a good blog!!I like i... (Below threshold)

November 4, 2011 5:01 AM | Posted by cheap jeans for men: | Reply

What a good blog!!I like it very much.Thanks for sharing.linmei/comment201111

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Hi there, I found your blog... (Below threshold)

January 4, 2012 10:25 PM | Posted by Canada Goose: | Reply

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching something and your post looks very entertaining for me. Great page you are running there. And many thanks for posting this.caiyifang/comment201201

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
Their so extremely instruct... (Below threshold)

March 23, 2012 4:14 AM | Posted by Monster headphones: | Reply

Their so extremely instructive things are submitted below. These products would be the high quality inside them for hours straight answers are usually posted here, plus 'm seeking for this type of info thanks for current.liulipingcomment201203blog

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
"...should train its popula... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2012 8:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"...should train its population to be more selfless"
train a population?!
this is suspicious rhetoric. all that a member of a society owes the society is that he doesnt kill anyone else and that taxes are paid on time for public amenities. Giving governments a moral imperative is disgusting.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -2 (2 votes cast)
PTSD treatment for Veteran... (Below threshold)

June 5, 2012 6:14 PM | Posted by Daniel Haszard: | Reply

PTSD treatment for Veterans found ineffective.

Eli Lilly made $65 billion on the Zyprexa franchise.Lilly was fined $1.4 billion for Zyprexa fraud!
The atypical antipsychotics (Zyprexa,Risperdal,Seroquel) are like a 'synthetic' Thorazine,only they cost ten times more than the old fashioned typical antipsychotics.
These newer generation drugs still pack their list of side effects like diabetes for the user.All these drugs work as so called 'major tranquilizers'.This can be a contradiction with PTSD suffers as we are hyper vigilant and feel uncomfortable with a drug that puts you to sleep and makes you sluggish.
That's why drugs like Zyprexa don't work for PTSD survivors like myself.
-Daniel Haszard FMI Google-Haszard Zyprexa

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I definitely enjoyed every ... (Below threshold)

July 23, 2012 4:31 AM | Posted by t shirts online: | Reply

I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out the new stuff you post.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I've worked in prisons as a... (Below threshold)

July 23, 2012 6:41 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I've worked in prisons as a psychologist in the past and it always struck me as odd that I felt more comfortable in higher security prison areas (where offenders were implicitly higher risk and yet to prove their ability to behave) than in more open, free areas with offenders who had shown they could behave within the rules. I always felt like the rules and limits of the situation and our interaction were clearer in what felt like a more familiar and recognisable 'jail' setting. Control has to be a part of that.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 2 (2 votes cast)
I make sure to bookmark it... (Below threshold)

October 8, 2012 3:33 AM | Posted by shopping for kids: | Reply

I make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
I'm confused by the first e... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2013 7:12 PM | Posted by Han Torso: | Reply

I'm confused by the first excerpt from Sebastian Junger's book. In the excerpt's two scenarios, the pilots correspond to the special forces members, and the radar operatives to the officers, right? But the pilots stress went up when they were engaged in the activity they were trained for but down when they were inactive, whereas the special forces members' stress went down when they were engaged and then up afterwards. Did I mix up who corresponded to whom? If anyone can point out what I'm missing I'd appreciate it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
leather bomber jackets and ... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2013 2:27 PM | Posted by Nadia: | Reply

leather bomber jackets and flight jackets made in the USA,Nylon Bomber Jacket fit the bill quite nicely.
However, it had an ancestor, a forefather so to speak ---the Military B10 and B15 Canvas Service Jacket.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)
A massive dose of mo... (Below threshold)

September 4, 2013 2:23 AM | Posted by Renault CAN Clip V120: | Reply


A massive dose of modernity comes courtesy of its 700-horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 0 (0 votes cast)

Post a Comment


Live Comment Preview

December 18, 2014 05:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: