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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

PTSD in the Military

  PTSD in the Military

I read an article in The National Psychologist-September/October 2014 regarding the effects of war on our military personnel with PTSD. In the article, the following disorders were cited in the Korean War: 1) Gastrological and skeletomuscular. While in the Vietnam War: 2) Thyroid disease, arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetes .And In the Iraq and Afghanistan encounters: 3) Alcohol abuse, arthritis, and digestive disorders, including ulcers and depression.

 Current military PTSD victims report that they feel a burden on society, they don’t belong, and experience emotional negatives related to combat exposure. Research shows that these three variables are most common among those military individuals that exhibit suicide behavior.

Statistics show that suicide was the second leading cause of death among US military personnel. For example, employing data from 2012 shows there were 319 suicides among active-duty service-members and 203 suicides among reserve service-members. On the other hand, there were 237 combat related deaths of active-duty service-members in Afghanistan. Another interesting statistic shows that soldiers who reported abuse as children were 3 to 8 times more likely to report suicidal behavior than those non-abused when young.

Prior to the Mideast military actions, there were about 14 per 100,000 suicides among veterans. Today, that number (Mideast military actions) has more than doubled to about 30 per 100,000.

 It is clear that suicide behavior has increased in the military since the turn-of-the-century.  What might be the cause for increased suicide behavior in our current military?

It would seem to me that being in the military is unlike, in terms of degree, any other experience. For instance, there are countless examples of the closeness of the military brothers that forms especially in combat conditions. These veterans become part of a close knit family and form cohesive bands. In fact, one often hears of one soldier, sacrificing his life in order to save his brothers. So, the survivors have difficulty coping with all the losses from that the experience. Not only that, the survivor often experiences survivor’s guilt. In combat situations, the individual can die, experience physical complications, PTSD, and live with survivor guilt. Does anyone go unscathed?

For the survivors, they go from one intensive support system and then return to the real world. They often believe that they don’t belong, they are a burden to society and lack meaning in their life. How would you deal with mental and physical components, if you just returned to civilian life after combat tours?

We have measures of the economic costs of war for the last decade. However, the human costs cannot be overlooked. I don’t know if our country’s warlike behavior has made us feel safer. And, even if we do feel safer, does this justify the consequences for our veterans?


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