Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War

Well it is the end of March and it is still not finished. To bring justice to the families of these veterans it has taken longer than I thought it would. There is too much information that has to be in this book.
With the fact congress and the DOD have wasted about a billion dollars on "suicide prevention" I decided that the release date will be, appropriately enough April 15, 2013, tax filing date.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Letter to Jean Baptiste Le Roy, 13 Nov. 1789

I doubt Franklin thought of how the two of them would end up being connected for so many military families.

The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War, release date has been changed. There are too many reports coming out too fast to keep this work up to date. The expected date of release has been moved to late March so check back to get your first copy of it as soon as it is done.

There are things in this book that need to be talked about from real research to real healing and help for families to be able to help them. None of this is hopeless.
The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
November 28, 2013

On January 31, 2008 I posted When will they notice us falling into darkness? 31 minutes after it was posted.
Army suicides up as much as 20 percent
Associated Press Writer 31 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - As many as 121 Army soldiers committed suicide in 2007, a jump of some 20 percent over the year before, officials said Thursday.

The rise comes despite numerous efforts to improve the mental health of a force stressed by a longer-than-expected war in Iraq and the most deadly year yet in the now six-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

Internal briefing papers prepared by the Army's psychiatry consultant early this month show there were 89 confirmed suicides last year and 32 deaths that are suspected suicides and still under investigation.

More than a quarter of those — about 34 — happened during deployments in Iraq, an increase from 27 in Iraq the previous year, according to the preliminary figures.

The report also shows an increase in the number of attempted suicides and self-injuries — some 2,100 in 2007 compared to less than 1,500 the previous year and less than 500 in 2002.

In January of 2013 there will be a new book on military suicides.

There are now 782 posts on Wounded Times with Military Suicides and 101 Attempted Suicides. To read the numbers going up is heartbreaking because of how much we've known on how to prevent them and for how long we've known it.

In 1995 Jonathan Shay's Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character was released in paperback. Had his work been put into practice, we wouldn't have seen all of this agony.

Up until I found his book, I had to go to the library and read clinical books that helped me understand what PTSD was. The problem was that there was nothing I could find to help me with what I was going through. I was so blown away by Shay's work that I emailed him.

I didn't think someone as important as he was would ever respond to me, but I wanted him to know how much his book meant to me.

I didn't get an email back but about a week later there was a letter in my mail box from Dr. Shay. I had my email account set up wrong and he was not able to respond to me. This man took the time to find me by searching the Web. We ended up emailing back and forth until 2001 when he tried to get his publisher to take on my book, FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE. After September 11th, we talked about how Vietnam veterans would experience "secondary stressors" after the attack and they would discover what they thought they "got over" was only sleeping. It would send most of them into extreme PTSD. It did and reports came out later in October of 2007 148,000 Vietnam Veterans sought help in just 18 months. This was proof our fears were correct.

Had the VA and the DOD listened to Dr. Shay, or anyone else working on PTSD before it became the topic of OEF and OIF veterans, their lives would have been spared the horrors, stigma and denials. Less parents would have had to bury their children because they could not survive surviving war.

This interview is from 2010.

When I've read what "experts" had to say on PTSD and military suicides, few come close to what Shay tried to do. There are now over 17,000 posts on this blog about our veterans and our troops.

So now after all these years, after all the hogwash I've read and failures by the military to prevent suicides and erode the stigma, we've reached the point where there are now over 1 active duty member committing suicide a day, more attempting it and 18 veterans a day taking their own lives.

This cause me to try to bring the numbers into human terms. Coming soon is my second book on military suicides compiled from news reports.

The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War will be released in January of 2013

Combat stress: As old as war itself
Monday, 15 August 2005
By Richard Allen Greene
BBC News
Emotional turmoil

Dr Jonathan Shay, a US psychiatrist who has worked with Vietnam veterans for many years, says combat stress is an age-old problem - certainly one known to the ancient Greeks.

In his book Odysseus in America, he argues that the Homeric hero was a severe combat stress case - a loner and deceiver who had murderous rages.

Society has a duty to its soldiers, advocates say "Combat stress is as old as the human species," he says - and, in a way, a very normal phenomenon.

"It is an absolutely valid adaptation to survive in a horrific situation. In war, people really are trying to kill you. You are surrounded by enemies and have to be prepared to kill instantly to survive."

Soldiers - and civilians caught up in war - become hyper-vigilant, unnaturally alert and focused.

And combat can have a devastating effect on a person's emotional health.

"We shut down all emotions that do not serve survival - grief, sweetness, fear," Dr Shay says.

But one emotion may remain switched on, he adds: anger.

"So a veteran comes home with all emotions shut down except for anger. Guess what this does in the family, in the workplace. It's a problem," he says.
read more here