Monday, May 11, 2009

Epic Fail Treating PTSD in Iraq?

Reader, perhaps you've heard that an American solider went postal today, killing five of his fellow soldiers at a military stress counseling center in Baghdad. The shooter has been taken into custody.

At today's press conference, a Pentagon spokesperson said the incident “speaks to the issue of multiple deployments." I'll say it does. This reminded me of two things ... what are they again? Oh yeah: the pressure the military has been putting on doctors to not diagnose PTSD, which I wrote about briefly here and the movie Stop-loss. Though not a fantastic film, Stop-loss really helped you see how multiple deployments, which is a nicer way to say the involuntary extension of active duty, make soldiers completely bonkers. Really, the question isn't so much why did this happen today, but why doesn't it happen more often? Sadly, what happens far more frequently is suicide, which the military has a history of hiding.

Was the shooter receiving treatment at the center? Or had he been trying to access treatment, but told by a doctor, under orders to limit PTSD diagnoses, that he didn't qualify for treatment? I'll be staying tuned for more details. Hope they're forthcoming.

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