Showing posts with label Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

‘Macho’ Identity worsened PTSD but no acknowledgment of training pushed on them?

Looks like researchers are catching up to Wounded Times on Combat PTSD...finally!

click the link and see what I mean.

The data analyzed went back 25 years, but no one seems to be able to explain why they still used Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, which fueled the notion that if they were mentally tough enough, they could prevent PTSD.

‘Macho’ Identity Linked to More Severe PTSD in Vets

Psych Central
By Rick Nauert PhD
Associate News Editor
28 Jan 2020
“These values can promote self-confidence and skill-building in the field, but when a service member is confronted with physical or mental trauma, they can also contribute to more severe PTSD.”

Traumatic experiences, including combat and sexual trauma, can lead to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, both of which are in direct opposition to what society expects of men: That they should be strong and in control.

Military training includes learning to suppress emotion and the development of self-reliance. These skills are believed to help service members perform better in the field. New research suggests that when veterans return home, strict adherence to these traits can become detrimental, leading to more severe post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that are more difficult to treat.

Researchers at Morehead University discovered that veterans with rigid adherence to traditional masculinity may be at increased risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreover, veterans “may have more severe PTSD symptoms and may be less likely to seek mental health treatment for PTSD,” said Elizabeth Neilson, Ph.D., the lead author on the study.

The research appears in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinities.

Neilson and her co-authors analyzed data from 17 studies, comprising more than 3,500 military veterans. The data, obtained over the last 25 years involved, at least in part, measuring the relationship between adherence to traditional masculine ideals and trauma-related symptoms.

The studies primarily focused on men, but one included both male and female participants. While most studies were conducted in the United States, the researchers also included studies from Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel and Vietnam.

“Overall, we found that strict adherence to masculine norms was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms in veterans, but more detailed analysis suggests that the association may specifically be caused by the veterans’ belief that they should control and restrict their emotions.

In other words, they should be tough,” Neilson said. This held true for both male and female veterans.
read it here

Friday, September 6, 2019

Why didn't the DOD know they would cause more suicides?

Why do Pentagon heads remain deaf, dumb and blind to the misery they spread?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 6, 2019

If you are guessing I am more angry than usual lately, you are correct. Too bad the leaders in this country are still delusional. It is almost as if pushing the "prevention" training has not worked after a decade, then they have to push it harder. As if something like that would ever make sense to rational people.

May 9, 2009 I wrote that Comprehensive Soldier Fitness would make it worse for those who serve and would increase suicides.
"If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them."
I was right and that should freak everyone out. Why? Because I am not in charge. I am not a paid expert with a long list of degrees. I was never in the military. Freak out because all I did was pay attention to them. Why didn't the ones in charge?

What we have seen ever since then was predicted, so no one should settle for "we did not know then" just as they should not settle for not knowing now.

The facts remain that the number of suicides has reached an all time high. The fact that the known suicides among OEF and OIF veterans has also remained high, even though they were trained to not do it, is the direct result of this malfunctioning preventive!


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Purdue University program taking a bite on suicides into poisoned apple

Battlemind is the poisoned apple

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 31, 2019

Purdue University is planning a conference on suicides tied to military life. The problem is, the seem to think that a program that failed miserably is a good place to start!

I have been slamming this Battlemind BS since 2008
Battlemind started almost a year ago and has done, nothing! Since then soldiers are still being discharge under "pre-existing" conditions, TBI is still getting confused with PTSD, they are still committing suicides and yes, homicides, and still being told they have to wait to have their wounded minds tended to. For all the "steps" taken to address the problem, it looks like they are still in training shoes learning to take baby steps, when they need a great pair of rocket roller blades! Give me a break!

This is a great example as to why this program should have been left to rot...

This comment was left on my blog for a post I did on 1st Sgt. Jeff McCkinney. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The tragic story of 1st Sgt. Jeff McKinney": Hello. I read your article about the 1st Sgt. that recently committed suicide. I wanted to tell you my story. My husband was in the 278th TN National Guard and he committed suicide on May 16, 2008. Here is my story:,Tracy Eiswert

Please, help me spread the word about veteran suicides! Send this link to everyone you know. P.S. The VA has denied all my appeals for a 100% rating................
This is what I wrote afterwards. 
Well, I watched the video in horror. At first as I listened to Tracy, I started to cry because she said, "no one told her" about PTSD. That's been the problem since Vietnam. People like me are hard to find. Let's face it, there is nothing glamorous or Google worthy when it comes to PTSD or trauma for that matter. Most of the people that need to know about all of this, need to know it well in advance of it coming into their family, but considering two thirds of the American people do not know what PTSD means, they are not about to go looking for information on it. I know what I know because my life depended on it when I met my husband 26 years ago.

Tracy's story was just one more reminder I didn't need that no matter how many hours I spend doing this, no matter how many videos, Power Points or posts I do, it does no good if people like Tracy have no idea what's available to help. Most of the emails I get come in the middle of the night from a veteran or a spouse after finding me by accident, either by a post or because of one of my videos. Yet if they were searching for sexy videos or comedies, they'd find what they were looking for right away. No matter what you Google, you can find it, but what you can't find is the miracle you're looking for when a life is on the line.

Let's face it, when it comes to PTSD, the government, as others have put it in the past, suck at what they do.

Watching the video on PBS I am even more convinced that Battle Mind is not only bad, it's dangerous. There is a Chaplain talking to a bunch of soldiers talking about getting angry, nightmares and flashbacks. His advice, based on Battle Mind, is to wait 90 days. Imagine that? After all, all the experts I've read over the last 26 years all seem to agree that if the symptoms of PTSD do not begin to fade in 30 days, they need to seek help. It appears the VA is 60 days too late along with everything else. (Is there any wonder why they won't hire me to work for them anymore?)

James Peak is also in this video. He denies that the rise in suicides is tied to combat. Isn't that remarkable considering that the news accounts of some of these suicidal veterans all have one thing in common. They all experienced combat and ended up with flashbacks, nightmares, along with all the other symptoms of PTSD but when Peak tries to tie it into nothing more than relationship problems and financial ones setting off depression, it's easy to hide it. Simply because PTSD ends up setting off depression and relationship problems and financial problems as well.

Battle Mind does not work and gives bogus advice. If it worked you'd see the number of attempted suicides and successful ones go down instead of up every year. Peak also denied that the redeployments increased the risk even though the report was released by the Army a couple of years ago, stating categorically that the risk of PTSD increased by 50% for each redeployment. At least there is a VA psychiatrist in this video saying that it has increased the risk.

As bad as we are treating the regular military, we are even worse at treating the National Guards men and women. They come home and are expected to just get back to normal life when there is nothing normal about life in combat for any of them.

The question is, how can people like me be paid attention to by the people in charge? It's impossible. Letters sent to congress go unanswered or they answer with a form letter. Even service organizations that are sent my videos ignore them. It's all backed up by research, news reports and living with it everyday plus doing the outreach work and listening to them very carefully. Some service organizations are using them and they are helping, which is a good thing, but how many accidental finds are out there searching for help right now?

The other point is that the local communities aren't paying attention either. If they think they have budget problems now, wait until they see family after family have to bury another National Guards man or woman because they didn't get the help they needed. Wait until yet another church holds a funeral for one that took their own life because the church refused to get involved in a family falling apart and a combat veteran suffered.

Service groups across the country are falling all over themselves trying to increase membership to stay active and pay their bills, but do they think of getting active when it comes to what the new generation of veterans need? Hell no! That would be too beneficial to their communities. I know. I've tried to get them to pay attention and have been ignored. It's not that I don't know people with the power to change all of this, they just won't listen.

Go to the link below and watch the video on what happened to Tracy's husband and know that everyday there are 18 more of them. We are losing over 6,000 a year to suicide and that number is expect to go up because the VA yet again is late but the veterans, well they were expected to show up on time to be sent into combat or they had to go to jail. Nice. Isn't it?
There are a lot of posts up on this program along with Comprehensive Soldier Fitness...another loser sold to every member of the military. On that one, I predicted in 2009 that suicides would increase..and they did. 

Both programs ended up with producing more suicides because they only became aware of bullshit instead of hearing the truth about what PTSD is and how they can heal.

If you are wondering how it is that I figured all this out way back then, but they are still living in denial, so am I. They are supposed to be the experts. All I do is pay attention like it really matters!

‘What IF We Ended Military and Veterans Suicide?’

Purdue University
Jeanne Norberg
July 29, 2019
The term “battlemind” initially was used by military to talk about the inner strength needed to face adversity, fear and hardship during combat. The application of the term then was broadened to take in psychological resiliency both during and after deployment.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The nation is grappling with service members and veterans who find it hard to cope with coming home. It affects their families and communities as well.

To address this challenge, the Military and Family Research Institute at Purdue University is hosting the 10th annual summit of "Battlemind to Home" on campus Oct. 8. Registration is open now, and early-bird pricing runs through Aug. 7. The “What IF We Ended Military and Veterans Suicide?” event is part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of the university’s Giant Leaps sesquicentennial campaign, which is a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. One of the Ideas Festival’s themes is health, longevity and quality of life.

Legal, mental health and community leaders at the Battlemind summit will learn and share strategies to ease the transition from the battlefront to the home front for military personnel, veterans and their families. Previously held in Indianapolis attracting 340 attendees, this year the conference will take place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union's ballrooms. It is expected to draw participants from more than 100 organizations in Indiana and nearby states.

The opening addresses will be delivered by Conrad Washington, the deputy director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative, who will talk about available programs and resources. In the afternoon Oz Sanchez, a former Marine and Navy Seal will address the conference. Injured in car-motorcycle accident, Sanchez is now a five-time world champion in the sport of handcycling under the Paralympic umbrella. The emcee will be Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David, whose 28 years of active duty and reserve military service included two post 9-11 deployments and three commands.
read it here
Hi Matthew,
I was reading about the upcoming Battlemind event and cringed. First, I applaud the spiritual aspect of helping them heal, however, modeling anything after the failure of Battlemind is a losing battle.

After extensive research on Battlemind, when it was introduced, I came to the conclusion it would do more harm than good. It turned out, I was right as evidence has shown.

That was followed by an equally repulsive attempt called “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness” which was also slammed by me in 2009. It also looks like I was right on that one too.

I have been doing this work for 37 years as if my life depended on it. That is because it does. I am married to a Vietnam veteran with PTSD.

Please, reexamine the “cure” before it is too late to discover it was a poisoned apple.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Albert Wong "ashamed to ask for help"

We taught them to not trust anyone!
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 11, 2018

The Sacramento Bee has an update on Albert Wong, "Friends of Yountville shooter describe his military life, civilian struggles" and this part should stand out more than anything else. 

It explains what has been going on after the so-called "resilience" training every member of the military has been told will make them "resilient" and make them mentally tough.
"He had nobody to turn to. He was ashamed to ask for help. He didn’t know his family," Saenz said.

He said Wong had trouble getting reimbursed through the GI bill program for classes he took. Saenz said Wong told him he suffered post traumatic stress disorder and was homeless after being put out of the VA program.

“He was trying to put his feet on the ground and it was hard for him,” Saenz said. “I'm disappointed he didn’t ask for help. None of this should have happened. He should have taken help.”
When these young men and women are told this training will make them mentally tough, they are hearing if they end up with PTSD, they are too weak minded and couldn't take it. They hear that if they suffer, it is their fault. No, that is not what is actually said to them, but that is the message they receive.

After all, while the press has a habit of simply reporting what the military tells them, they are not really listening to what else is said by those same people. 

The mentally weak message has been delivered over and over again by Generals trying to cover up the fact this program is pure bullshit!

In 2012, it was Major General Dana Pittard slamming the soldiers for committing suicide.

“I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act,” he wrote on his official blog recently. “I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.”

And in 2013 it was General Ray Odierno,

"First, inherently what we do is stressful. Why do I think some people are able to deal with stress differently than others? There are a lot of different factors. Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations."
And then he blamed the families.
"But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people."
For some reason, Wong managed to ask for help after his life fell apart. Did he refuse to do what he was supposed to do? Was he drinking? Doing drugs? Whatever the reason behind him being kicked out of the program, the fact is, he still had the wrong idea of asking for help. The rest of us have the wrong idea of what help actually looks like.

Running around the country, screaming about how many you think killed themselves, proves to those struggling to stay alive, you really don't give a crap. 

No good came out of the training they received in the military and no good has come out of "raising awareness" but the key here is, veterans are fully aware of both of these. Still wonder why they don't trust anyone? We taught them to not trust anyone!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Congress funded deadly PTSD program

Blame Congress for Deaths at Pathway House
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 10, 2018

Last night, the trigger was pulled at Pathway House. Three women, who dedicated their lives to help veterans recover from PTSD, were dead. A veteran, who dedicated part of his life to the Army, is dead and will be remembered as a murderer. 

Afghanistan veteran Albert Wong, will not be remembered for his service. He will not be remembered for seeking help for PTSD. No one will remember that he had not just been trained to use weapons, he was also trained, in what he was told, would make him "resilient" against what combat could do to him. How do I know? Because every member of the military has been told the same thing.

May 29, 2009 post was titled "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness will make it worse" along with this predication,
"If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them."
In this case, as with most of the deadly outcomes, I'm sick to my stomach knowing I was right. All the people in charge of this clusterfuck have been wrong all along.

By 2012 I knew I had to figure out why this was still going on. Why was it still being funded? Why was it being pushed on every member of the military? 

I tracked down reports on who was benefitting from it and laid it all out in The Warrior SAW, Suicides After War and the money was in the billions.

This so-called "resilience" training was not a proven program before the military bought it. It was a research project created to try to figure out how to give school aged children a better sense of self-worth. Yes, you read that right!

By 2013 RAND Corp, along with a lot of others, figured out that it was not working and offered warnings of their own.

In 2014 NBC News reported this 
Military Uses Unproven Mental Health Programs, Report FindsNBC NewsBY MAGGIE FOX
Veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars, as well as other service members and their families, have high rates of depression, anxiety and other disorders, yet the U.S. military isn’t using tested screening methods to help prevent them, a team of experts said Thursday. 
And despite extensive research, the panel of experts couldn’t find any proven Department of Defense programs to prevent domestic abuse. Programs to battle sexual assault — another documented problem — aren’t being assessed to see if they actually work, the Institute of Medicine panel reported. 
“A fundamental finding of the committee is that, with some notable exceptions, few of DOD’s prevention interventions are theory- or evidence-based,” wrote Kenneth E. Warner, a public health expert at the University of Michigan who headed the panel. 
One obvious example of an unproven and controversial approach is the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program, which includes a mandatory online training program developed with the American Psychological Association, the report finds.

Last night, I was trying to get updates on the Pathway House shooting, but the 24-7 national news stations were too busy on political topics. It seems they have also been too busy reporting on politicians than doing any investigations into the outcomes of what they do.

Three women are dead, a veteran survived risking his life in Afghanistan, but ended up committing suicide after killing the women who tried to help him. 

Where are the conspiracy researchers on this? Where are the investigative reporters on this? Where are the Congressional hearings on this? What excuses do the Joint Chiefs offer when military suicides are still averaging 500 a year?

Is anyone being held accountable for any of this? 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Brains Behind Battle Mind

The Brains Behind Battle Mind
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 8, 2017

A friend sent me a link to someone that has not been written about lately and that link (seen below about Pulitzer Prize) took me on a 4 hour hunt. What you will read, hopefully, will open your eyes to some very important details. The first one is, just because someone get attention, it does not mean they deserve it. It just means they know how to get as much as possible for themselves.

The "brains" behind the lost battle for minds caused this landmine for our service members and first responders. There is another way to put it but I'd end up with an "adults only" rating if I used what I am thinking.

Valvincent Reyes and Dave Grossman are among the "brains" responsible for telling the most courageous among us that they must be weak minded if they end up with PTSD or think of suicide.
Demographic characteristics and their associations with suicide A total of 255 active duty soldiers committed suicide in 2007 and 2008 (115 in 2007 and 140 in 2008). Table 2 presents the distribution of demographic characteristics for this group of individuals. Suicides were predominantly male (95%), 18e24 years old (45%) and Caucasian (73%), married at the time of death (59%) and lower enlisted (54%). Almost 69% had been deployed at least once to combat theatre.

"Battlemind training before they deploy." 
"As soon as they are approved medically and psychologically, they are sent to war."

Published on Sep 9, 2010 Lt. Colonel Valvincent Reyes, Clinical Assistant Professor at the USC School of Social Work, delivers a lecture at the San Diego Academic Center on November 24th, 2009 about Battlemind, the army's current model for mental health care, with an emphasis on its application before deployment. Lt. Col Reyes illustrates the discussion with his recent experiences debriefing victims and family members of victims in the aftermath of the shooting at Fort Hood.

But this training does not work. The rise in the number of suicides within the military and veterans community prove that one.

While the number of reported veteran suicides is in dispute, the percentages are not. 65% of the veteran suicides are over the age of 50. That is a reflection of the Veteran demographics with the majority of US veterans are in fact, over the age of 50. 

What is even more troubling is that those older veterans did not receive "preventative" training before deployment, nor did they receive any of the "efforts" people like Grossman were pushing.

Every service member has been "trained" yet the results in the OEF and OIF veterans as well as those currently in the military have proven beyond a shadow of doubt, this is not only not working, it has had the opposite result.

The rate of OEF and OIF veterans are triple their peer rate. For female veterans, suicides are six times higher than other females. Training, like Battlemind, followed by the stupidity of Comprehensive Solider Fitness, actually prevents them from seeking help as soon as they acknowledge they need it. How? Because they were all told they were training their brain to be tough enough to take whatever they face. In other words, if they need help, they were weak minded or did not train right. Thus, prevented from opening up to the others they served with so that no one would see them as weak.

In 2009, I had a prediction of this disastrous outcome.

Then again, Grossman does not seem to even get the functioning of the human body. While no human can take a bathroom break during combat, but the body does what it has to even though it is not convenient, Grossman took the opportunity to disparage even that aspect of combat.

Warrior Mindset: Mental Toughness, Skills for a Nation's Peacekeepers."If we look only at the individuals at the tip of the spear and factor out those who didn't experience intense combat, we can estimate that approximately 50 percent of those who did experience it admitted they had wet their pants and nearly 25 percent admitted they had mess themselves."

Ok, sure he must expect them to be able to say "hold your fire I need to take a leak" and then walk away from the action. So why point out something like than unless you figure it matches what you already assume they are? 

Back to the video, Reyes called them "maladaptive" and that is defined as this,
adjective1. of, relating to, or characterized by maladaptation or incomplete, inadequate, or faulty adaptation:
Back to the facts, these are the numbers after they pushed this training. As you look at the numbers remember the size of the military had gone down year after year. Less enlisted equals higher suicide rates.

As you have just seen, the "training" did not work and when the DOD points out that the "majority have never deployed" proves it even more. Think about this training not preventing the "non deployed" from killing themselves, then wonder how they expected it to work on those with multiple deployments. Any reasonable "expert" would have understood this calamity and ended it, but they turned around and planned on just pushing it harder.  

It also seems that Grossman did more than push this training. It seems he has also tried to sell himself as a "Pulitzer Prize Nominee" and was pointed out clearly on thetruthaboutsocnetlies
I’ll leave it to the reader to determine the whys of someone that sells books and training for a living to likely fudge the difference between paying $50 and filling out a form to being an actual Pulitzer Prize nominee. My opinion is if, like John Giduck, Mr. Grossman is knowing lying about his background to sell you books and seminars, what else is he lying about?  See the links below to learn more about the circle around that mutually promote and defend each other.
I still laugh about how cops pay a guy that never killed anyone for advice about killing.  How dumb is that? You may as well be sitting in a Grossman lecture about menstrual cramps. 
That article is from 2014 but his claim goes back even further.
Pulitzer-Nominated Author to Keynote TREXPO West 2007   LOS ANGELES – Campus Safety Magazine and the organizers of TREXPO announce that Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, one of law enforcement’s most in-demand speakers and trainers, will be one of the charismatic keynote speakers at TREXPO West 2007, March 19-22, in Long Beach, Calif.Grossman has been featured on TV and radio talk shows, in documentaries and in newspaper stories across the United States, Australia and Canada. Wherever Col. Grossman speaks, he draws enormous crowds and standing ovations. The way he energizes and captivates his audience is legendary!Grossman will deliver the opening keynote address on Tuesday, March 20, discussing a sensitive topic he has studied extensively: violent behavior and the ways law enforcement and communities can prevent fatalities. He is the founder of Killology Research Group, a police and military consultancy, and the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated On Combat and On Killing, which is required reading at the FBI Academy and some of the nation’s top military schools.This talented speaker and trainer combined his experiences as a West Point psychology professor, a professor of military science and an Army Ranger to become the founder of a new field of scientific endeavor, which has been termed “killology.” In this new field the impressive Grossman has made revolutionary new contributions to our understanding of war and violence in our society. 
And yet these "brains" do not seem to be able to explain how the bravest of the brave have not only proven their courage in combat, they have received the Medal of Honor. Many of them talk about their own battles with PTSD as well as how heroes like Dakota Meyer have attempted suicide.
"But triumphant times led to terrible times, with Meyer attempting to kill himself:  "So, I pulled over to the side of the road and I just pulled one of my guns out and I just put it to my head and squeezed the trigger.  And...there wasn't a round in it.  I don't know.  I have no idea, but, obviously somebody had taken it out...and it sobered me up. And it was like, at that point in time, I told myself, I have to figure this out. I have to figure this out because if I would have killed myself, that was the most, you know, selfish thing that I could ever do.""
Maybe folks should stop listening to the "brains" that have contributed to the stigma of PTSD and start listening to the folks actually trying to do something to change the outcome?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rise in Military Suicides Predicted in 2009 On Wounded Times

The following is from San Antonio Express Hood Army Suicides Hit Record Mark on January 2011.
The Pentagon has launched mental health and suicide-prevention programs and created an Army task force in hopes of turning the tide. In 2008, the Army began a five-year study with the National Institute of Mental Health. That research effort examines risk and resilience factors associated with suicides. A new military research consortium will test and develop interventions

Chiarelli told reporters that he believes the programs instituted by the Army in recent years have saved lives, but Col. Carl Castro, director of the medicine research program that established the suicide consortium, said no one is sure of their effectiveness.
“We think they’re effective,” he told the Express-News, “but we haven’t done the research to demonstrate that they may in fact be effective.” 
Chiarelli pointed to the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, which offers screening tests for soldiers, family members and Army civilian workers, as one successful effort. He said research comparing soldiers who committed suicide against a control group showed that, “broadly speaking, resilient soldiers do not complete suicide.” 
Yet the increase in suicides was predicted in 2009 once this "attempt" began.  It did not come from the Pentagon.  It did not come from highly educated military brass.  It did not come from members of Congress. The prediction of more dying from their own hands came from me. 

"If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them."

I have written about Comprehensive Soldier Fitness making it worse for them to the point where I have lost all hope anyone with the power to stop this would actually take action instead of supporting this.

So the suicides in the military went up and they didn't notice this was part of the reason.  Suicides within the Veterans Community went up and they did not even care anymore because the DOD did not have to account for any who received this training.

Congress came up with bills without ever once considering this as the biggest part of the problem and they kept paying for it financially while the soldiers paid for it with their lives.

So while I continue to comfort the men and women believing PTSD is their fault instead of the DOD telling them they are mentally weak instead of emotionally strong so they feel it all more, I also have to comfort families when it is too late to remove the stigma the military has actually paid billions to inflict on them.

And now the latest report comes from USA Today Experts worry high military suicide rates are new normal

Seven years after the rate of suicides by soldiers more than doubled, the Army has failed to reduce the tragic pace of self-destruction, and experts worry the problem is a "new normal."
"It's very clear that nothing that the Army has done has resulted in the suicide rates coming down," said Carl Castro, a psychologist who retired from the Army in 2013, when he was a colonel overseeing behavioral health research programs.
The sharp rise in the Army's suicide rate from 2004 through 2009 coincided with unusually heavy demands on the nation's all-volunteer military, as hundreds of thousands of troops, most of them in the Army, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The vast majority have since come home, but suicide rates remain stubbornly high.
The Army's suicide rate for active-duty soldiers averaged nearly 11-per-100-000 from Sept. 11, 2001, until shortly after the Iraq invasion in 2004. It more than doubled over the next five years, and, with the exception of a spike in 2012, has remained largely constant at 24-to-25-per-100,000, roughly 20% to 25 higher than a civilian population of the same age and gender makeup as the military.
This is the best example of how this has failed.

"Scientists still don't know exactly why suicides increased so dramatically in the military. Major studies have shown no direct link between the deaths and being deployed overseas, and suicide increased even among soldiers who did not deploy."

If it did not work for the non-deployed, then how the hell did they expect it to work on those with multiple deployments?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Suicides Went Up Because of CSF Contagious Stigma Feeder

How the Army Killed Off Hope
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 30, 2015

This question came from an article on the New York Times about the 2/7 Battalion. They lost 20 to war but so far 13 more to suicide.
Q. Are multiple combat deployments a contributing factor to suicide?
Dave Philipps: The data suggest there is little or no added suicide risk associated with multiple deployments, but those studies have been unable to address the amount of combat seen. Second, no study has looked at this question after active duty. We simply don’t know. Anecdotally, nine of 13 members of the 2/7 who killed themselves did multiple tours. And I think it is important to note the quick succession of these tours, with less than a year between.
The answer is, redeployments have a lot to do with the suicides and the Army knew it back in 2006
The report also found a doubling of suicides among soldiers serving in the Iraq war from 2004 to 2005, the latest period for which data are available. Twenty-two soldiers took their own lives in Iraq and Kuwait in 2005, compared with 11 in 2004 and 25 in 2003, Army officials said.
That was from the Washington Post Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD Army Finds
U.S. soldiers serving repeated Iraq deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health.
Earlier Army studies have shown that up to 30 percent of troops deployed to Iraq suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the latter accounting for about 10 percent.

The findings reflect the fact that some soldiers -- many of whom are now spending only about a year at home between deployments -- are returning to battle while still suffering from the psychological scars of earlier combat tours, the report said.
If you are serious about understanding any of this, I strongly suggest you go and read the whole report that is still active online. All the answers came from what the Army started and the Marines paid for along with the Airmen and Sailors.

How a Marine Unit’s High Suicide Rate Got That Way
New York Times
OCT. 29, 2015
The funeral for Eduardo Bojorquez, a member of the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, who committed suicide in June. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Since coming back from Afghanistan in 2008, the hard-hit Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment has struggled to adjust. The battalion, known as the 2/7, lost 20 men in war. In the years since, it has lost 13 more to suicide. The battalion now has a suicide rate 14 times that for all Americans.

The New York Times asked Dr. Charles Engel, of the RAND Corporation, and two Marines who served with the battalion in Afghanistan, Arthur Karell and Keith Branch, to answer readers’ questions about the devastating effects of combat and the high suicide rate among veterans. The conversation took place on Facebook in October, moderated by Dave Philipps, a reporter for The Times who covers veterans’ affairs. Here are some of the questions and answers, which have been condensed and edited. read more here This is another important piece on the report
A.K.: The events of the past inform the outlook for the future. When the events of the past repeatedly trigger an anguish that doesn’t abate, it may cause a veteran to question what kind of future they have in store. I’ve heard of post-combat stress described as a response to deep moral trauma, as war is just about the most intense and certainly the largest-scale moral trauma humans inflict on one another. For veterans, post-military activities, pursuits and/or careers that involve or embody a shared purpose, go a long way toward recovery from that moral trauma.
That stigma is due to the program that had been sold as the answer to not just to preventing suicides, but in preventing PTSD. It is called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) is designed to build resilience and enhance performance of the Army Family — Soldiers, their Families, and Army Civilians. CSF2 does this by providing hands-on training and self-development tools so that members of the Army Family are better able to cope with adversity, perform better in stressful situations, and thrive in life.

It didn't take long to understand this program has in fact fed the stigma and should have been ended as soon as suicides increased after its implementation in 2009. Even I knew it would and predicted the inevitable outcome of increasing suicides. Telling them they could take this training to become resilient managed to translate into their thinking that if they ended up with PTSD, they were mentally weak and didn't train right.

Instead of ending this fubar farce, they pushed it harder. It didn't matter it was an unproven research project.
The Dark Side of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness”
Mandatory "resilience training" program for all U.S. soldiers raises concerns.
Psychology Today
Roy Eidelson Ph.D. Roy Eidelson Ph.D.
Dangerous Ideas
Posted Mar 25, 2011
Although its advocates prefer to describe Comprehensive Soldier Fitness as a training program, it is indisputably a research project of enormous size and scope, one in which a million soldiers are required to participate. Reivich, Seligman, and McBride write in one of the special issue articles, "We hypothesize that these skills will enhance soldiers' ability to handle adversity, prevent depression and anxiety, prevent PTSD, and enhance overall well-being and performance" (p. 26, emphasis added). This is the very core of the entire CSF program, yet it is merely a hypothesis - a tentative explanation or prediction that can only be confirmed through further research.
This is yet another good place to learn some facts because as the Army tends to point toward the high number of non-deployed soldiers committing suicide, they fail to mention this program was so insufficient that it could even keep them alive, refusing to even consider the fact they expected it to work on those with multiple deployments.

Top that off with the other factor of the high number of young veterans receiving this training only to commit suicide stateside after surviving combat overseas and you get the idea they failed to see.

When you hear someone saying they are "raising awareness" make sure they are made aware of this since so far few have a clue of what I knew would happen after listening to them complain about Battlemind, the predecessor to CSF. As for Congress, they just kept paying for it, over and over and over again along with all the other money they have spent over the years to produce more deaths after combat than during it. It should have been called Contagious Stigma Feeder because that is exactly what it did!

The Army managed to explain less about the facts on PTSD. They don't know what PTSD is, why they have it or the simple fact that it does not mean they are stuck suffering the way they are today.

PTSD is set of by trauma, not them. They are not weak. As a matter of fact it is the strength of their emotional core that causes them to feel everything more deeply than others.  Feel more love and feel a lot more pain.

They can heal and the sooner they get it the better when it is mild and most can be reversed.

None of this is new and Vietnam veterans pushed for all the research going back to the 70"s.

We learned a lot because of what they started yet it appears the Army is still loading the same old BS they used when Patton slapped a soldier.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

General Amos has a lot to answer for

General Amos has a lot more to answer for than just skipping training. Amos talks a lot about Marines committing suicide however, he keeps talking about them happening even though there has never been a time when more had been done to prevent them.

Amos says that most suicides happen because of "relationship" problems. Ok, then since the military has psychological testing before recruits enter the military, why didn't those test find Marines at risk for suicides? Why didn't the testing discover psychological issues like depression?

As for the "resilience" training generals keep talking about, why isn't it good enough to train the non-deployed to be resilient while they expect it to make the deployed resilient? Doesn't make sense to the rest of us but makes perfect sense to Amos no matter how the number of enlisted Marines were reduced even as the number of suicides went up. The generals never seem to be able to explain any of that.

This is from 2009 just when they started to push Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. The rate of suicides going up tied to this "training" was predicted the same year but those in charge didn't care.
Marine commandant faces new questions
Marine Corps Times
Lance M. Bacon
October 10, 2014

Gen. Jim Amos' critics are not letting him quietly retire as commandant of the Marine Corps, raising fresh allegations of wrongdoing even as he prepares to end his tenure on Oct. 17.

At issue is whether Amos attended basic Marine officer training in 1972 as he said in the career service record he provided Congress four years ago during his confirmation as the service's 35th commandant.

Amos was a Navy pilot and lieutenant junior grade who transferred to Marine Corps aviation and bypassed The Basic School, a rite of passage for all Marine officers. The Corps says Amos did complete the school — five years later than claimed and via correspondence course.

A spokesman for Marine Corps headquarters said it could not provide documentation late Friday afternoon. Marine Corps Times had sought details on Amos' Basic School history since Wednesday.
read more here

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seven years of troops being told PTSD and Suicides is your fault

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 10, 2014

Last year David Wood of Huffington Post interviewed General Ray Odierno on military suicides. The interview told more about why they were committing suicide and it had more to do with his attitude than anything else. Odierno blamed the troops for being mentally weak and not having supportive families.
"First, inherently what we do is stressful. Why do I think some people are able to deal with stress differently than others? There are a lot of different factors. Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations.

But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people.

Where did he get such an irrational idea? Same place most military leaders did.

Seven years ago today I started Wounded Times keeping a promise to a Marine serving in Iraq. He liked reading my other site because of PTSD but didn't like political posts. Most people don't like politics and I have kept my promise to him ever since then. I don't like politicians. Easy to see if you read Wounded Times with any regularity. None of them live up to what they promise they will do if they get elected. I told the Marine the only time he'd read about a politician was when they did something for or to veterans.

I've been thinking a lot about the day this started. After the post about the new site, it was followed by a post on a Veterans Center healing invisible wounds. East Valley Tribune reported it out of Arizona.

For Mike Saye and Daryl Cox, it was the Iraq War that unearthed the horrors of combat. The Vietnam veterans struggled for nearly 30 years with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, but never sought help until young Americans started fighting, and dying, in the Middle East.

They were gathered Thursday at a new Veterans Readjustment Center near Fiesta Mall in Mesa, getting help for their own demons and hoping to give younger veterans the benefit of their experience.

“It triggered everything in me. I started dreaming about it again,” Saye, of Mesa, said of the Iraq War.

“I was a candidate for PTSD for years and years, but I thought I could handle it,” he said, even as he struggled through four marriages and some 30 jobs.

“But I can’t, and they can’t either. I don’t want them to wait as long as I did to get help.”

Though a trickle of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are finding their way to the new center, team leader Patrick Ryan knows many more are out there.

“We’re certainly trying to do outreach, but we’d like to see more of them,” Ryan said. “The stigma is not what it used to be, but it’s still there.”

Over the years far too many veterans did not get the care they needed to heal. They committed suicide. The number of suicides among veterans increased dramatically by 2007. A few days after Wounded Times began, I released a post I had done on my older blog Why isn't the press on suicide watch? The press counted, as well as they could, the number of suicides within the military however, never seemed to link veterans committing suicide to those numbers. After all, veterans were in fact created by the military but they were no longer Department of Defense's problem.

Tracking news reports across the country has been heartbreaking. Major national news sources ignored most of these suicides just as much as they ignored veterans facing off with police and SWAT Teams after families called for to get the veteran help. The vast majority ended with the veteran being killed instead of helped.

The other thing the national news reporters ignored was as funds to prevent suicides increased to billions a year, suicides increased as well. The reason became clear in 2009 as the Army announced they would be using a program called "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness."

By 2009, it was clear that if they pushed this program suicides would go up.
If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them.
It was not a guess on my part. It was already proven when numbers increased after the other failed attempt called "Battlemind" leaving the troops blaming themselves for being mentally weak and not training right. All the military had to do was actually talk to these men and women to discover these attempts were making it worse than it had to be for them.

Comprehensive Soldier Fitness was a research project to give school aged kids a better sense of self worth. It was still in the research stage when it was sold to the Department of Defense as training to prevent PTSD and then decrease suicides. It was pushed throughout the military afterwards with absolutely no proof of the validity of the claims made by the creator, Martin Seligman.

Army Times reported on a publication from Coalition for Ethical Psychology titled "Dark Side of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness"
Worse, say members of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, these programs could undermine coping mechanisms developed by troops who already successfully handle stress.

Created in 2008 to address alarming trends in soldier behavior, such as rising suicides, alcohol and drug abuse, and behavioral health problems, CSF is based on the teachings of Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and proponent of positive psychology. He says an optimistic outlook can affect all aspects of life and ward off anxiety and depression.

The training, and the program's annual measurement test, the Global Assessment Tool, is mandatory for all soldiers. Since 2009, 8,000 officers and enlisted personnel have attended master resilience courses. They in turn teach CSF at the unit level.
Eidelson and psychologist Stephen Soldz said they believe the Army's conclusions of success are "deeply flawed" because they are based solely on self-assessment and do not include validated measures of the program's effects on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicides or psychological disorders.

The Army said its next report, due later this year, will examine the impact of CSF on these behaviors.

"I can understand the desire for a primary prevention program, but the fact that the suicide rate is up this year, after this program has been in place for a while, does suggest it's not producing any miracles," Soldz said.

We were all proven right years later when RAND Corp took a look at these "programs" discovering they did not fit with military culture and people cannot be taught to be resilient.

Most programs have been implemented before evidence of their effectiveness has been established. Programs often are modified for each client or context, making it difficult to design studies that will provide evidence of effectiveness for all military populations and situations. New scientific studies have recently been funded and are in the planning or initial data collection stages, but, as with most quasi-experimental or controlled studies, it will be a number of years before evidence of their effectiveness is fully established. As these studies with evaluative data progress, they should be encouraged to publish their results.

Conduct More Rigorous Program Evaluation
Although there are many programs available to the military and civilian communities, there is very little empirical evidence that these programs effectively build resilience.

Similarly, there are a number of factors related to resilience, but there is almost no evidence that resilience can be taught or produced. Results from both the literature review and the program review echo the need for more program evaluation, as identified as one of the missions of the DCoE. As noted, only 11 documents in the literature review are based on RCT evaluation design, and only five of the programs reviewed have formally evaluated program success, yet programs are often rolled out before evidence of their effectiveness has been established and are modified for each client or context, making it difficult to provide evidence for effectiveness across populations and situations.

Other evidence has proven RAND Corp and other experts right but what we just ended up with is the American Psychological Association releasing another report that blames the troops for having "pre-existing mental health problems.
Suicide risk among soldiers may be rooted in their past
Sharon Jayson
August 9, 2014

Experiencing child abuse, being sexually victimized and exhibiting suicidal behavior before enlisting are significant risk factors for suicide, according to recent studies from the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.

WASHINGTON — The high suicide rates among military veterans and current servicemembers may be more likely a result of past traumatic experiences rather than combat and multiple deployments, suggest new findings presented Saturday at the American Psychological Association's annual convention.

Experiencing child abuse, being sexually victimized and exhibiting suicidal behavior before enlisting are significant risk factors for suicide, according to recent studies from the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.

Findings show that traumatic experiences before military service make current and former military personnel more vulnerable to suicidal behavior.

"Combat exposure and deployment at times may be a risk factor, but it's relatively low in comparison to these other demographic characteristics. That war causes an extreme amount of distress, which leads to suicide -- I believe that's questionable, given some of the results that we have," Griffith says.
read more here

They want to blame the troops still no matter how much evidence has come out over the years. While blaming the troops, they ignore all they have done to "prevent" military suicides has failed. They ignore the fact that their mental health evaluations prior to enlistments must have failed if they did not discover mental health issues they now claim to be factors.

If their testing and training have failed, there are no excuses left and blaming the troops feeds the stigma preventing them from seeking help to heal.

Seven years of posting their stories has proven beyond a doubt the military refuses to accept responsibility for what they have done to the men and women they command.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bad outcome:Awareness up, spending up and so are military suicides

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 26, 2014

In 2009 I was able to figure out that Comprehensive Soldier Fitness would increase military suicides.
"If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them."
Finally the reduction of military personnel is being factored in on the suicide reports like this.
After years of attempting to prevent suicides, these numbers are more proof it isn't working. One more factor to include in this is there are less serving this year than last year. According to the DOD Army 537,135 April 2013 went down to 518,576 April 2014. Marines had a decrease from 194,703 to 191,599 and the Air Force went from 334,255 to 329,979. The Navy had an increase from 318,999 to 323,788. But why include the other side of the numbers that do in fact matter?

When you think of the design of the Capitol it is totally appropriate it is a huge circle. Members of Congress keep running around and arriving right back at the same place others started.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Over and over again members of Congress come up with Bills to address suicides but other than doing a lot of talking, they simply repeat what has already failed. The military is just as guilty. How is it that no one has been held accountable for the billions spent each year when the result has been more suicides and less recovering?

How is it that Generals like Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno got away with blaming soldiers and their families for suicides and was not ever forced to apologize for what he apparently believes?
"First, inherently what we do is stressful. Why do I think some people are able to deal with stress differently than others? There are a lot of different factors. Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations."

"But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people."

What exactly would he say to veterans after they survived? What would he say to all the Medal of Honor Heroes talking openly about their own issues with PTSD and thinking about suicide? What would he say to Dakota Meyer's face after he did in fact try to kill himself with a gun put up to his head and he pulled the trigger not knowing his Dad removed the bullets?

No one has been held accountable for any of this and we got excuses while families were forced to plan funerals instead of retirements. Think the problem in the VA is bad with claims and wait times for appointments? Then think of this other fact. Senator Joe Donnelly said, "43 percent of service members who committed suicide never sought help. He says trying to combat the problem of military and veteran suicide needs to involve erasing the stigma of seeking help." avoiding the fact that also means 57% committed suicide after seeking help. Next time you read a report on the over 22 veterans a day ending their own lives remember that fact. Next time you read a story on servicemembers committing suicide think of the rest of what you read. If you were not already pissed off then you were not paying attention!
Number of military suicides showing uptick
By Patricia Kime
Staff writer
July 25, 2014

The number of military suicides so far this year is running slightly higher than for the same time frame last year, but without the context of force reductions, the raw data say little about current suicide trends in the armed services.

This year, the four services have seen 162 confirmed or suspected suicides — 151 among active-duty troops and 11 among reserve component members — through July 20, according to Pentagon documents obtained by Military Times.

The Navy and Air Force both had an uptick in suicides, while the Army and Marine Corps are down from their 2013 year-to-date numbers.

In the same period last year, there were 160 total deaths by suicide across the four services. In 2012, there were 209.

While the numbers appear to signal a reversal of the decline in military suicides in 2013 compared to the year before, the breadth of the change, if any, will be determined when the Defense Department calculates the current incidence rate of suicide — a measure that weighs the number of suicides against the number of personnel serving.

The most recent rates published by the Pentagon show that in 2013, the incident rate among active duty personnel was 18.7 per 100,000. In 2012, it was 22.7 per 100,000 — the highest it has been since DoD began closely tracking the data in 2002.

A current incidence rate was not included in the 2014 year-to-date suicide report. The figure is challenging to calculate, since it is based on the number of troops on active duty as well as the number of mobilized Guard and reserve troops — numbers that fluctuate as service members train and move between active and reserve status.

Of the 162 confirmed or suspected suicides to date this year for both the active and reserve components, the service breakdown is Army, 71; Air Force, 34; Marine Corps, 21; and Navy, 36.

This time last year, the figures were Army, 85; Air Force, 25; Marine Corps, 26; and Navy, 24.

The Navy is well ahead of its pace at this time last year and in fact is already closing in on its total of 43 for all of 2013.
read more here