What is PTSD and how is it treated? PTSD, or post traumatic stress syndrome, is defined by The Mayo Clinic as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”
What is PTSD in our soldier population? As of 2004, 1 in 8 returning soldiers expressed the symptoms of this disorder. One can surmise that this diagnosis has not diminished in the ensuing decade, and in fact there are PTSD statistics as high as 25% for soldiers deployed to combat zones as recently as 2013 .
Unfortunately, the FDA still approves Zoloft and Paxil as treatments for PTSD sufferers. Prozac is also considered a drug of choice, among many other pharmaceuticals, all of which have nightmarish side effects.
The following are just a few of the horrific side effects that may be experienced by Zoloft users:
- Aggressive reaction
- Fast talking, and being overly excited to the point of being out of control
- Increased in body movements
- Lack of energy
- Muscle spasm or extremities jerking
- Loss of bladder control
- Mood and behavior changes
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Suicidal thoughts or action
Many experts feel that psychiatric drug treatment for PTSD sufferers is dangerous, and only leads to more misery for those already traumatized by war.
And some in our military are fed up with the “treatment” offered by the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries, and are demanding alternatives to the current wholesale drugging of our men and women returning from war.
Enter Samueli Institute’s Center for Military Medical Research, an organization looking into the effectiveness of integrative health care. They are interested in “augmenting” the care our troops are currently being given. At this time only 1/3 of active troops use alternative therapy, but half of all veterans depend on complementary or alternative treatment.
This is somewhat encouraging, but still leaves a large percentage of young military men and women vulnerable to psychiatric anti-psychotic drugs as a way to suppress their symptoms. And for the most part, alternative therapies such as acupuncture are only “complementary” to continuing drug treatment.
The Veterans Administration has spent close to $65 million to research projects involving alternative health care combined with current medical practice for the troops. At least there is some cognizance that the current wholesale drugging by psychiatrists is not producing cures.
Even the Psychiatric Times referred to “our national orgy of over using psychotropic drugs,” in an article criticizing their use in treating PTSD. The article also states that PTSD is “unsuccessfully treated with a wide array of psychotropic drugs, which in their aggregate wind up killing the patient-often at a very young age.”
When the psychiatric profession begins to question their own treatment, their feet should be held to the fire and a cessation of their indefensible actions demanded.
What is PTSD deserves an honest answer, and a treatment that not only answers the question, but knows how to cure it. Psychiatry had their chance, and they have unquestionably failed.