Tag Archives | Veterans

Revolution vs. Rationalization: The Militarization of the Police and The Death of Rebellion

DonkeyHotey (CC by-sa 2.0)

DonkeyHotey (CC by-sa 2.0)

[Editor’s note: For future reference, Willis Gordon will be running a column on Disinfo.com: “Photobombing Salman Rushdie.”]

I initially wrote this to be presented to a crowd of highbrow poets and writers in the aftermath of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Considering my audience, I started reading up on classic poets and philosophers and found myself revisiting some of my favorite English Philosophers to get a handle on America’s current events. One of these sages, the Philosopher Jagger once said in 1968 that “in sleepy London town there’s just no place for a street fighting man.”

That was 44 years ago. That sleepy London Town is now the entire American landscape, and the street fighting man has not been displaced by some massively oppressive police force, totalitarian government, private death squad or even overfunded espionage tactics. It was us. We are so afraid of true revolution, or even change, that we have conditioned ourselves to shrink back from any indication of it.… Read the rest

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Why Psychedelics Are So Important To Veterans

Psychedelic dingbats.png

By Hendrike (CC)

Tom Shroder, author of Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal, tells the story of Nick, a veteran haunted by PTSD in an interview with The Daily Beast in which he relates why psychedelics are so important to veterans, and the roadblocks researchers face getting it to them:

LSD, an illicit drug with a serious stigma, was once the darling of the psychotherapy world.

Synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938, the two decades following its birth were populated with study after study showing positive effects. With its ability to reduce defensiveness, help users relive early experiences, and make unconscious material accessible, it proved tremendously successful in therapy.

In a plethora of studies from the 1950s, researchers found the drug, and other psychedelics in its family, to be successful in treating victims of psychosomatic illnesses ranging from depression to addiction. With fear and hesitation stripped away, psychologists could help their patients dive headfirst into a painful memory, feeling, or thought, and work through it.

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George W. Bush Gets Weepy-Eyed Discussing Suffering of Iraq and Afghanistan War Vets: “I’m In There With Them.”

Sometimes I just don’t know what to say about something we’re sharing here. This is one of those times. Why this reptile continues to slither into the sunlight from time to time is beyond me.

Via Raw Story:

Former President George W. Bush described himself as “emotional” recently when he talked about how he was trying to make a difference for the veterans who are trying to put their lives back together after serving in the wars waged by his administration.

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Oaksterdam University Training Veterans To Grow, Sell, Advocate Medical Cannabis

Pic: Oaksterdam U. (C)

Pic: Oaksterdam U. (C)

As more returning vets discover cannabis as a treatment alternative, advocates at Oaksterdam University are giving them the tools they need to engage in political activism and help others.

Via AlterNet:

Casey Robinson of Santa Cruz, Calif. served in the Marine Corps from March 2001 to March 2006, completing three tours in Iraq. He was injured in 2003, and again in 2005. After completing his term he was honorably discharged due to his injuries, then referred to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for treatment. That treatment involved a cocktail of different pharmaceutical drugs, which Robinson says made him feel unbearably numb, “like a zombie.”

That zombie effect, or inability to feel anything after using pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to veterans for psychological issues and pain, is commonly reported, as is suicide, which is listed as a possible side effect on most of the drugs commonly prescribed through the VA to treat psychological symptoms in veterans.

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Healing Trauma in Veterans with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

Please support and help spread awareness of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) research.  MDMA studies are foot in the door for a  big change in psychedelic drug policies worldwide. Not to mention its an incredible psycho-therapeutic tool on its own, capable of helping millions.

In a recently completed study83% of subjects receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy no longer qualified for PTSD, and everyone who received a placebo and then went on to receive MDMA-assisted psychotherapy experienced significant and lasting improvements. These results were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. These subjects had suffered from PTSD for an average of 19 years.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/healing-trauma-in-veterans-with-mdma-assisted-psychotherapy

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Embattled Childhoods May Be the Real Trauma for Soldiers With PTSD

Picture: Sean J. Gourley (CC)

Can an abusive childhood be worse than war?  Via ScienceDaily:

New research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers challenges popular assumptions about the origins and trajectory of PTSD, providing evidence that traumatic experiences in childhood — not combat — may predict which soldiers develop the disorder.

Psychological scientist Dorthe Berntsen of Aarhus University in Denmark and a team of Danish and American researchers wanted to understand why some soldiers develop PTSD but others don’t. They also wanted to develop a clearer understanding of how the symptoms of the disorder progress.

“Most studies on PTSD in soldiers following service in war zones do not include measures of PTSD symptoms prior to deployment and thus suffer from a baseline problem. Only a few studies have examined pre- to post-deployment changes in PTSD symptoms, and most only use a single before-and-after measure,” says Berntsen.

The team aimed to address these methodological issues by studying a group of 746 Danish soldiers and evaluating their symptoms of PTSD at five different timepoints.

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Nearly Half of New U.S Veterans Are Seeking Disability

US Dept. of Veterans AffairsReports the AP:

America’s newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen.

A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press.

What’s more, these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14. By comparison, Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.

It’s unclear how much worse off these new veterans are than their predecessors.

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