Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Pathologizing Tragedy and War to Sell Drugs
So-called post-traumatic stress disorder emerged in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, when veterans were having difficulties overcoming the brutal events they had witnessed.
Three American psychiatrists coined the term PTSD and lobbied for its inclusion in the 1980 edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. While the effects of war are devastating, psychiatrists use people’s logical reactions to it to make money at the expense of their vulnerability.
Some experts say that most of the soldiers suffering the effects of participating in particularly dangerous missions were experiencing battle fatigue, or in other words, exhaustion, not “mental illness.”
Today, PTSD has become blurred as a catch-all diagnosis for some 175 combinations of symptoms, becoming the label for identifying the impact of adverse events on ordinary people. This means that normal responses to catastrophic events have often been interpreted as mental disorders.
Psychiatric trauma treatment at best is useless, and at worst highly destructive to victims seeking help. By medicalizing what is a non-medical condition and introducing harmful drugs as a therapy, victims have been denied effective treatment options.
Dr. Frank Ochberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, who at that time was involved in updating the DSM, said he and his colleagues wanted it called a disorder because — only half–jokingly — “we figured if we did, then Blue Cross would pay for it.”
The favored “treatment” for PTSD is psychotropic drugs known to cause violence and suicide.
The cornerstone of psychiatry’s disease model today is the theory that a brain-based, chemical imbalance causes mental illness. Despite the billions of pharmaceutical company funding in support of the chemical imbalance theory, this psychiatric “disease” model is thoroughly debunked. The whole theory was invented to push drugs.
In an effort to create the “Super Soldier,” the U.S. military spends hundreds of millions of dollars on psychiatric research programs that can only be described as science fiction-esque experimentation. It’s no secret that the nation’s military forces long have been used as guinea pigs for psychological and pharmaceutical experiments. Recent history is littered with examples of the botched experiments brought to light in the form of lawsuits and congressional investigations. As for the troops, well, it appears they truly are expendable. The military is spending billions of dollars on psychiatric drugs. In a 2012 assessment, the Institute of Medicine found that the majority of patients in the VA diagnosed with PTSD receive more than one psychotropic drug, and that 80 percent of them receive an antidepressant.
The Army and the other fighting services form rather unique experimental groups since they are complete communities and it is possible to arrange experiments in a way that would be very difficult in civilian life.
Psychiatrists used the Second World War as an opportunity to try some very risky treatments on soldiers who had very little to say in the matter.
From the 50’s through the 70’s psychiatrists in countries like Britain, the United States, and the USSR, continued to use their militaries as proving grounds for an arsenal of new experimental treatments such as LSD.
The drugging of the military is off the charts, especially in the United States. From 2005 to 2011 the U.S. Department of Defense increased its prescriptions of psychiatric drugs by nearly seven times. These powerful mind-altering psychiatric drugs carry warnings of increased suicidal thoughts, anxiety, insomnia, and psychosis, especially with high dosages or when abruptly stopped.
In early 2013, the official website of the United States Department of Defense announced the startling statistic that the number of military suicides in 2012 had far exceeded the total of those killed in battle – an average of nearly one a day. A month later came an even more sobering statistic from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: veteran suicide was running at 22 a day — about 8000 a year.
The situation became so dire that the U.S. Secretary of Defense called suicide in the military an “epidemic.”
Some have claimed that this spate of self-harm is because of the stresses of war. But the facts reveal that 85% of military suicides have not seen combat — and 52% never even deployed.
So what unsuspected factor is causing military suicide rates to soar?
According to the CCHR documentary The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda, all evidence points in one direction: the soaring rates of psychiatric drug prescribing since 2003. Known medication side effects of these drugs such as increased aggression and suicidal thinking are reflected in similar uptrends in the rates of military domestic violence, child abuse and sex crimes, as well as self-harm.
Pull the string further and you’ll find psychiatrists ever widening the definitions of what it means to be “mentally ill,” especially when it comes to post traumatic stress disorder in soldiers — and PTSD in veterans.
And in psychiatry, diagnoses of psychological disorders such as PTSD, personality disorder and social anxiety disorder are almost inevitably followed by the prescription of at least one psychiatric drug.
Psychiatrists know that their drugs do not actually cure anything, but merely mask symptoms. They are well aware of their many dangerous side effects, including possible addiction. However, they claim that the risks of the medication side effects are exceeded by their benefits. And while the soldier’s real problem goes unaddressed, his health deteriorates.
In the face of these grim military suicide statistics, more and more money is being lavished on psychiatry: the U.S. Pentagon now spends $2 billion a year on mental health alone. The Veterans Administration’s mental health budget has skyrocketed from less than $3 billion in 2007 to nearly $7 billion in 2014—all while conditions continue to worsen.
The Hidden Enemy reveals the entire situation in stark relief, while urging that soldiers and vets become educated on the true dangers of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. The answer lies in their right to full and honest informed consent—as well as exercising their right to refuse treatment. Our service members need to know there are safe and effective non-psychiatric solutions to the horrors of combat stress, and that these solutions will not subject them to dangerous and toxic treatments that will only send their health spiraling downward.
For more information:
Download and read the CCHR report — A Review of How Prescribed Psychiatric Medications Could Be Driving Members of the Armed Forces and Vets to Acts of Violence and Suicide.
Watch the CCHR documentary online — The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda.
If you are in the military, a veteran, a member of a military or veteran support group, or family or associate of a member of the military or a veteran, you quality for a free Hidden Enemy DVD. Fill out this form to receive a free DVD.