Monday, October 12, 2015

Suicide Prevention Propaganda for Profit

Betrayed By Rank
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 12, 2015
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
It seems that Department of Defense has not reached their limit on stupidity. They are repeating failures over and over again. What began as a "prevention effort" to reduce suicides turned out to be yet one more propaganda campaign doing more harm than good. Telling soldiers they could train their brains to become mentally tough translated into they were mentally weak, didn't train right and suffering was their fault. After all, the military issued soldiers orders to stop killing themselves.

The Army has been struggling to deal with the suicide problem since numbers began rising in 2004.
The U.S. Army Can't Stop Soldiers From Killing Themselves
There are bad leaders in the Army. Every soldier has had at least one. They come in all different ranks and types. But soldiers and veterans are being lost every day to suicide--far too many to not take this problem seriously. Army leaders who are dismissive about the issue are failing as leaders. In the words of General Colin Powell, "The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

First betrayal
Descartes: “I Think Therefore I Am”
The famous French philosopher and mathematician RenĂ© Descartes, also known as the Father of Modern Philosophy, said the words "I think therefore I am”. Much of his work attempted to defy skepticism, a prominent ideology for the French intellectuals of the day. In addition, much of his philosophical thinking lead him to speculate about the connection between the mind and the body, which is what this quote focuses upon.
The Army makes sure every recruit is physically and mentally prepared to start Basic Combat Training.
Recruits go through marksmanship and combat training and learn to rappel at the Warrior Tower. This training is intended not only to teach Soldiers valuable skills, but also to instill confidence.
After becoming familiar with the use of automatic weapons and hand grenades in U.S. Weapons Training, recruits put their training to the test as they negotiate the Night Infiltration Course. After passing all their tests and challenges, they congregate for Rites of Passage.
Basic Combat Training has pushed the recruits' minds and bodies to new limits, giving them a deeper respect for themselves and those around them. Now, the time has come to celebrate their efforts and the strength they've gained. This is the day that their families and friends gather to watch them transition from citizens to Soldiers.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
The Army first tests them physically and mentally. The same Army turns around and blames soldiers for having "preexisting" mental illnesses like "personality disorders" and then kicks them out.

Yes. All service members receive a rigorous psychological screening before or during basic training. Service members are regularly prevented from deploying due to Personality Disorder. If the service members who were discharged on the basis of Personality Disorder actually had a Personality Disorder, this illness would have been diagnosed before they entered active duty.
Actually the update on bad paper discharges is "More than 140,000 troops have left the military since 2000 with less-than-honorable discharges, according to the Pentagon."

They enter this "job" knowing they could die and they are willing to pay that price.  The military trains them to be able to kill but does not deal with what comes afterwards.  They are trained to survive combat but not how to survive as a veteran of war.

Oh but then again you had contractors making plenty off the "programs" they sold to the military that had no evidence behind them or much else before they were not just tried, but pushed over and over again no matter what the result was.

Second betrayal 

Researchers on what war does to those we send.
History of PTSD in Veterans: Civil War to DSM-5
Early attempts at a medical diagnosis
Accounts of psychological symptoms following military trauma date back to ancient times. The American Civil War (1861-1865) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) mark the start of formal medical attempts to address the problems of military Veterans exposed to combat. European descriptions of the psychological impact of railroad accidents also added to early understanding of trauma-related conditions. Nostalgia, Soldier's Heart, and Railway Spine
Prior to U.S. military efforts, Austrian physician Josef Leopold (1761) wrote about "nostalgia" among soldiers. Among those who were exposed to military trauma, some reported missing home, feeling sad, sleep problems, and anxiety. This description of PTSD-like symptoms was a model of psychological injury that existed into the Civil War.
Shell Shock
In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first observance of Armistice Day, the day World War I ended. At that time, some symptoms of present-day PTSD were known as "shell shock" because they were seen as a reaction to the explosion of artillery shells.
Battle Fatigue or Combat Stress Reaction (CSR)
In World War II, the shell shock diagnosis was replaced by Combat Stress Reaction (CSR), also known as "battle fatigue." With long surges common in World War II, soldiers became battle weary and exhausted. Some American military leaders, such as Lieutenant Gen. George S. Patton, did not believe "battle fatigue" was real.
Development of the PTSD diagnosis
In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) produced the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I), which included "gross stress reaction." This diagnosis was proposed for people who were relatively normal, but had symptoms from traumatic events such as disaster or combat. A problem was that this diagnosis assumed that reactions to trauma would resolve relatively quickly. If symptoms were still present after six months, another diagnosis had to be made. Despite growing evidence that trauma exposure was associated with psychiatric problems, this diagnosis was eliminated in the second edition of DSM (1968). DSM-II included "adjustment reaction to adult life" which was clearly insufficient to capture a PTSD-like condition. This diagnosis was limited to three examples of trauma: unwanted pregnancy with suicidal thoughts, fear linked to military combat, and Ganser syndrome (marked by incorrect answers to questions) in prisoners who face a death sentence. In 1980, APA added PTSD to DSM-III, which stemmed from research involving returning Vietnam War Veterans, Holocaust survivors, sexual trauma victims, and others. Links between the trauma of war and post-military civilian life were established.
As you can see, the VA and Congress have had decades to find what works best for veterans, just as they have had generations to come up with the proper way to treat those they send.

Third betrayal
Everyone else claiming they are raising awareness about the problem but not doing anything to help them heal.
“I am also convinced that one gains the purest joy from spiritual things only when they are not tied in with earning one’s livelihood.”
Albert Einstein --- To L. Manners, March 19,1954. AEA 60–401.
A Donor's Guide to Serving the Needs of Veterans and the Military

"Donors who want to make contributions towards charitable programs that serve the military and veterans face an almost overwhelming volume of choices with, by some accounts, the existence of over 40,000 nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the military and veterans and an estimated 400,000 service organizations that in some way touch veterans or service members.

Even the 2013/2014 Directory of Veterans and Military Service Organizations published by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as an informational service for veterans seeking support lists over 140 national nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the number of new veterans charities has increased relatively rapidly over the past five years or so, growing by 41% since 2008 compared with 19% for charities in general, according to The Urban Institute as reported in a December 2013 The NonProfit Times article.
The number of suicides within the military as well as within the veteran community have gone up. So have the number of popup experts raising awareness. The trouble comes when there is financial gain for the doers. When they treat helping veterans like a business, veterans become a product to sell, profiting of their suffering. The CEO of Wounded Warrior Project said that "it is run more like a business than a charity"
The charity also has been criticized for its salaries, with 10 employees earning $150,000 or more. Executive Director Steve Nardizzi, whose total compensation was about $330,000 last year, said salaries are in line with similarly sized organizations.

“We’re a direct service provider, dealing with some of the world’s greatest social ills,” Nardizzi said, referring to the charity’s more than 250 employees who provide services to veterans. “We hire the best of the best, and we pay them a living wage.”

And therein lies the problem. When people are making their living off suffering, suffering continues or their paycheck stops. Most charities are run by volunteers, at least that was the way they used to be. Now it is all about give me money to talk about stuff those who suffer know all too well and those who don't won't learn much more than they had the ability to learn decades ago.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Without question you lived your life for others.  So much so that you were willing to die for them. You lived for a better life for your family, your country and those you served with. That simple fact set you apart from civilians who can never comprehend that unselfishness.

There are some folks trying to help for the right reasons simply because they value you and want to give you something in return for what you gave to so many. Then there are some who want to use you for what you can give them.

We should not just care about what folks claim they are doing but also why they are really doing it. Do they fill a need? Is that need for themselves or those they claim to want to help? If it is for veterans, then why are they experienced enough to do any good at all? What is their background? Training? Plans? Emergency contact? Any clue? Do we even ask basic questions before we write a check so we can feel good we just did something to help without one single clue if we helped a veteran or the person asking for the money?
"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
Freely you have received; freely give."
Matthew 10:8 New International Version (NIV)
So why would anyone need so much money for this outcome? More doing more making more suffering simply does not make sense.
“Where there is love, there is no imposition.”
Albert Einstein --- Quoted in Sayen, Einstein in America, 294.
Final betrayal is us

The rest of us are to blame as well because either we didn't tell you what you needed to hear, didn't prove what we believed was worthy of all you went through or walked away because staying was just too hard. We didn't help you train for your next mission as a veteran.

When you let your pride get in the way of asking for help, when you don't want to bother anyone, then you forget what love is. When you are hurting to the point where you can no longer see a reason to try one more day, you forget how much you have already survived and how much love you had within you that allowed you to risk your life for the sake of someone else.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
John 15:13 New International Version (NIV)
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."
Don't stop questioning. There is what we simple humans think we were capable of within our own imagination and then there is what we are actually capable of in reality.

This is especially hard when you are dealing with survivor guilt. You may think you had the actual power to change the outcome but reality tells a much different story. You are not superhuman. You do not have ESP and the ability to know what was going to happen before it did.  Even if you did, you did not have the ability to actually do something about it fast enough. All too often the reality is things could have turned out worse.

Get help and heal as a survivor and train just as hard to live as you trained to go into the military.

Combat should be harder than being back home, 
not the other way around.

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