Looking into what is PTSD is revealing. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is defined on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website as a potentially debilitating anxiety disorder triggered by exposure to a traumatic experience. War veterans often have it.
Symptoms include flashbacks, reliving events, nightmares, insomnia, anger, becoming emotionally numb and suicide.
CBS news on February 1st reported that a two year study just completed by Robert Bossarte, an epidemiologist and researcher working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, stated that 22 military veterans commit suicide each day!
That would be 8,030 suicides in one year.
And now there’s been a double murder by someone labeled PTSD.
Saturday February 2nd, a man named Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine suffering from PTSD was arrested for the murder of Ex-Navy Seal Chris Kyle, 39, and another man both reportedly shot in the back by Routh at a gun range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort about 50 miles from Dallas-Ft Worth, TX.
Routh tried to flee in Chris Kyle’s vehicle but was captured by police in Lancaster, Tx.
Chris Kyle was a decorated war hero and author. Kyle’s military awards include two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. He served 4 tours in Iraq and was the bestselling author of the book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History”.
He was a father of two, well loved by friends and family, and did not suffer from PTSD.
A posting on a website run by members of the Special Operations Forces community, says Kyle had been volunteering his time to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD and mentoring them.
WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth reported that Kyle and the other man had taken Routh to the shooting range for the day to help him deal with his PTSD.
What made this PTSD labeled ex-marine snap and kill two fellow soldiers?
The answer might lie in what treatment he had received as it’s often the case that ex-military with PTSD symptoms have been treated with psychiatric drugs in the SRRI family. There is no information yet released regarding what treatments Routh had received.
Fortunately, at least some in the military have examined the record of psychiatric drugs in studying what is PTSD and are making some good changes.
They took note that a July 2010 report showed one-third of all active duty suicides involved a prescription drug and that a full 20% of active-duty soldiers were taking a psychotropic drug, eitherantidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics or other controlled substances.
Army Medical Command policy now states that Xanax and Valium should not be used to treat PTSD. Additionally, it cautions against using the anti-psychotic drugs Seroquel and Risperidone.
Reportedly Seroquel has been implicated in the deaths of combat veterans and the Veterans Affairs Department reported in August 2011 that Risperidone was no more effective in PTSD treatment than a placebo. The VA spent $717 million on the drug over the past decade and the military spent $74 million over the past 10 years on Risperidone.
Unfortunately, SSRIs such as Prozac continue to be acceptable PTSD treatment. And there are two FDA-approved medications for treating PTSD – the antidepressants Zoloft and Paxil – both of which have violence and suicide as potential side effects.
We will need to wait and see if Eddie Ray Routh was receiving any of these “acceptable treatments” for PTSD when he shot down two good men at point blank range.