If you're a veteran suffering with PTSD, please know that you are not alone. Please take your symptoms seriously.

From the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command website:

Fellow Soldiers - Talk to your friends about what you are feeling. Oftentimes it's a reality check ... a first line of defense.

Chain of Command - Team leaders, squad leaders, platoon sergeants/leaders, first sergeants, company/battalion/brigade commanders, command sergeants major.

Unit Ministry Teams
- They're especially good at counseling.

Family Life Chaplains
- Many have a Master's Degree in Counseling and will try to save a marriage; some will also work individually with the members of a couple.

Military One Source (Formerly Army One Source) - Call 1-800-342-9647, or visit the Web site. They offer six free sessions and it's anonymous.

Primary Care Managers - Many family practice physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are quite comfortable treating depression and sleep problems.

Community Mental Health Service
- They usually have at least one psychiatrist and a variable number of psychologists and social workers on staff as well as behavioral health technicians.

TRICARE Counseling - Spouses can go for free. Service members can often share a family member's appointment for marriage counseling.

Veterans Administration - Or Veterans Centers.

Army Substance Abuse Program (formerly ADAPCP) - Especially helpful if the Soldier or family member has a problem with alcohol or drugs.

VA/DOD Joint Programs - Aimed at service members near retirement and currently operating at Forts Hood and Bliss.

Local Church Programs - Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Social Services, etc.

Army Community Services
- Often coordinate/conduct stress management, anger management, parenting and other classes.

Online Community Bulletin Boards - A great resource to tap if you have questions; usually manned by veterans and military family members who've been through the same experiences.

The Internet - There is a truckload of solid information available on-line. Just do a search using the keyword




Combat PTSD: What are the Symptoms?

If you're a returning combat veteran having some difficulty readjusting to civilian life, you may be wondering what's going on. Why am I angry all the time? Why am I feeling detached?

If this sounds like you, you may want to review the following list of some of the general symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The following is a composite of PTSD symptom descriptions culled from the Journal of Clinical Psychology Expert Clinical Guidelines Series; the always informative National Center for PTSD website; and the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia

What You Need to Know

  • Traumas happen to many competent, healthy, strong, good people. No one can completely protect him- or herself from traumatic experiences.
  • Many people have long-lasting problems following exposure to trauma. Up to 8% of individuals will have PTSD at some time in their lives.
  • People who react to traumas are not going crazy. They are experiencing symptoms and problems that are connected with having been in a traumatic situation.
  • Having symptoms after a traumatic event is not a sign of personal weakness. Many psychologically well-adjusted and physically healthy people develop PTSD. Probably everyone would develop PTSD if they were exposed to a severe enough trauma.
  • When a person understands trauma symptoms better, he or she can become less fearful of them and better able to manage them.
  • By recognizing the effects of trauma and knowing more about symptoms, a person is better able to decide about getting treatment.

PTSD Symptoms/Signs

So, let's take a look at the symptoms or signs of combat-related PTSD. They generally fall into 3 main categories:

Intrusive - Re-experiencing of the traumatic event(s)

  • Distressing recollections
  • Flashbacks (feeling as if you're back in combat while awake)
  • Nightmares (frequent recurrent combat images while asleep)
  • Feeling anxious or fearful (as if you're back in the combat zone again)

Because trauma survivors have these upsetting feelings when they feel stress or are reminded of their trauma, they often act as if they are in danger again. They might get overly concerned about staying safe in situations that are not truly dangerous. For example, a person living in a safe neighborhood might still feel that he has to have an alarm system, double locks on the door, a locked fence, and a guard dog. Because traumatized people often feel like they are in danger even when they are not, they may be overly aggressive and lash out to protect themselves when there is no need. For example, a person who was attacked might be quick to yell at or hit someone who seems to be threatening.

Re-experiencing symptoms are a sign that the body and mind are actively struggling to cope with the traumatic experience. These symptoms are automatic, learned responses to trauma reminders. The trauma has become associated with many things so that when the person experiences these things, he or she is reminded of the trauma and feels that he or she is in danger again. It is also possible that re-experiencing symptoms are actually a part of the mind's attempt to make sense of what has happened.

Avoidant - Drawing inward or becoming emotionally numb

  • Extensive and active avoidance of activities, places, thoughts, feelings, memories, people, or conversations related to or that remind you of your combat experiences
  • Loss of interest
  • Feeling detached from others (finding it hard to have loving feelings or experiencing any strong emotions)
  • Feeling disconnected from the world around you and things that happen to you
  • Restricting your emotions
  • Trouble remembering important parts of what happened during the trauma
  • Shutting down (feeling emotionally and/or physically numb)
  • Things around you seem strange or unreal
  • Feeling strange and/or experiencing weird physical sensations
  • Not feeling pain or other sensations

Because thinking about the trauma and feeling as if you are in danger is upsetting, people who have been through traumas often try to avoid reminders of the trauma. Sometimes survivors are aware that they are avoiding reminders, but other times survivors do not realize that their behavior is motivated by the need to avoid reminders of the trauma.

Trying to avoid thinking about the trauma and avoiding treatment for trauma-related problems may keep a person from feeling upset in the short term, but avoiding treatment means that in the long term, trauma symptoms will persist.

Hyperarousal - Increased physical or emotional arousal

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
  • An exaggerated startle response (triggers bring you back to a certain combat zone event)
  • Hypervigilence, being overly angry or aggressive (feeling as if you need to defend yourself from danger)
  • Panic attacks


Triggers can include any of the following:

  • Specific scenes - crowded streets, sunsets, sunrises, familiar clothing
  • Movement - someone rushing towards the individual
  • TV - even if the story is unreal, the subject or the environment may cause thoughts which act as a trigger
  • Sound - helicopters, songs, unexpected loud noises
  • Smell - jungle or bush, rain, smoke, blood, cordite or explosives
  • Reading - or discussion about subjects of trauma
  • Touch - gun metal, webbing, blood
  • Situational - being crowded, walking across open spaces, feeling vulnerable or not in control

Just Remember

Although you may be overwhelmed by your symptoms, you do have many resources available to you. Please make use of them. If you need immediate help,
please get it. If you'd like to talk to someone about what you're going through, there are a lot of people and organizations you can turn to you may not be aware of. If you'd like to learn more, there are a wide variety of PTSD resources waiting to be explored by you.

And if you're seeking professional help, you've a lot of
options to help you find relief and resolution to your PTSD.


ARTICLE FROM:  Combat PTSD: Winning The War Within

PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITE:  http://ptsdcombat.blogspot.com/2006/03/combat-ptsd-what-are-symptoms.html




Free Resources For OIF/OEF Veterans and Families

Deep Streams
Offers San Francisco Bay-area OEF/OIF veterans and their families a complimentary multi-disciplinary program that integrates psychological, meditative and expressive arts approaches to healing from war.

Give an Hour
Provides complimentary nationwide counseling services endorsed by but separate from the military establishment to troops, veterans, and military spouses, children, parents, siblings, and unmarried partners.

Helios Warriors
Offers complimentary alternative holistic health care services that address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of Ashville, North Carolina, veterans and their families. They provide integrative health care that supports any other existing medical care being received.

The Merritt Center
Offers a complimentary four-weekend (Friday-Sunday) women's and men's retreat program for military trauma in the Star Valley woods near Payson, Arizona. Each weekend offers a different menu of items to aid in trauma release including walks in the woods, sweat lodge ceremony, therapeutic massage, release exercises of body and mind and much more.

ONE Freedom Inc.
Providing ground-breaking education and training models that are community-driven, transferable and sustainable. Complimentary reintegration resources for returning veterans. Located in Boulder, Colorado.

Return to Honor
Complimentary transition training workshops from Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, aimed at helping returning veterans and their families return to peaceful life following service.

The Returning Veterans Project NW
Offers free and confidential counseling to Portland-area veterans and their families of past and current Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Phone (503) 402-1717 or email info@returningveterans.com for more information.

The Sanctuary
Offers 'Guardians of Our Way of Life' [soldiers, intelligence professionals, law enforcement officers, or first responders (Fire/EMS)] and their families complimentary access to a nationwide network of retreat centers.

Soldier's Heart
Veterans’ return and healing project addressing the emotional and spiritual needs of veterans, their families and communities. Soldier’s Heart promotes and guides community-based efforts to heal the effects of war based on strategies presented in “War and the Soul” by Dr. Edward Tick.

The Soldiers Project
Free, confidential psychological counseling for southern California OEF/OIF vets and their families. Visit their website, phone 818-761-7438 or email info@thesoldiersproject.org for more information.

Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists (SOFAR)
Complimentary psychotherapy and psycho-educational services for New England-area families of Reservists and National Guard members stationed in or returning from Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

Swords to Plowshares
Their San Francisco drop-in center provides mental health services, including counseling for drug and alcohol problems and post-traumatic stress disorders, case management and referrals. Outreach and prevention programs target veterans who suffer from unemployment, poverty, medical problems, substance abuse, and social isolation.

There & Back Again: Navigating Life After War
A nonprofit organization privately funded by concerned Americans whose contributions support the well-being and reintegration of OEF/OIF service-members in the Cambridge, Mass., area. Their free reintegration program includes modules on freeing the mind from unhealthy thoughts as well as conditioning the body through yoga sessions.

Valley Forge Return to Honor Workshops
Complimentary three-day intensive cognitive and experiential reintegration workshops, after theatre (after trauma) decompression training, and family integration programs for returning Afghanistan and Iraq veterans and their families. Located in Pennsylvania.

Veteran Love
Assisting wounded and disabled service men and women with their post-war transition, this nonprofit has established a monthly “emergency assistance” fund granting financial help to selected veterans or military family members. See their website for details. Their online chat board is a great resource.
American Love and Appreciation Fund
930 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: 305-673-2856
Fax: 866-777-9431

Veterans Study Program
OEF/OIF veterans: access to a free reintegration counseling program and study fittingly called the Veterans Study Program at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in the Bronx, New York.



They said I would be changed in my body.
I would move through the physical world in a different manner.
I would hold myself in a different posture.
I would have pain where there was no blood.
I would react to sights, sounds, movement and touch
in a crazy way, as though I were back in war.

They said I would be wounded in my thoughts.
I would forget how to trust, and I would think that others were trying to hurt me.
I would see dangers in the kindness and concern of my relatives and others.
Most of all, I would not be able to think in a reasonable manner,
and it would seem that everyone else was crazy.

They told me that it would appear to me that I
was alone even in the midst of the people,
and that there was no one else like me.

They warned me that it would be as though my emotions were
locked up, and I would be cold in my heart and
not remember the ways of caring for others.
While I might give meat and blankets to the elders,
or food to the children, I would not be able to feel
the goodness of these actions.
That I would do these things out of habit and not from caring.

They predicted that I might do harm to others without plan or intention.
They knew that my spirit would be wounded.

They said I would be lonely and that I would find no comfort
in family, friends, elders or spirits.
I would be cut off from both beauty and pain.
My dreams would be dark and frightening.
My days would be filled with searching and not finding.
I would not be able to find connections between myself and the rest of creation.
I would look forward to an early death.

And, I would need cleansing in all these things.





PTSD should be a badge of honor

By Guest Columnist

November 07, 2009, 7:33AM 
What happens to our soldiers when they return from war? Where do they go? What do they do? For many the war isn't over, it's only just begun.

Forty years ago I carried Bobby out of a rice paddy. He was shot four times and covered with blood when I laid him down in the safety of a tree line. He had a shoulder wound, a sucking chest wound and his forearm was shattered. I tied my sock around his arm to hold the bone in place.

Then I pulled Bobby to his feet and we staggered to the medivac truck. As he left I feared I'd never see him again. They took him to a firebase, put him in a bunker and worked feverishly to save his life. When the doctor probed inside the hole in his chest, to spread his ribs, the pain was so great Bobby sat up and punched him. They shot him up with more morphine, inserted a tube in his lung and soon he's on a gurney, in a plane full of wounded, on his way to Guam.

In Guam they re-broke his arm and spent hours suturing him up. Days later he's on another plane headed to Camp Pendleton in Southern California. Back in Vietnam I already missed him. I trusted him. We used to run patrols during the day, set up ambushes at night and lived through nightmare firefights, often tending to our dying brothers. Like all combat Marines, we became adrenaline junkies, hooked on hunting other men.

Months later, Bobby is awarded the nation's second-highest medal, the Navy Cross, and meritoriously promoted to sergeant. Then he began his long rehabilitation at the Naval Hospital and soon married his high school sweetheart. The Marines tried to give him a medical discharge but he wanted to go back to Vietnam, to finish his duty. He worked out every day. He aced the physical fitness test and appealed to the commandant and was allowed to stay in the Corps.

The doctors fixed his body but there was trouble in Bobby's mind. He was full of rage and punched holes in walls and started drinking heavily just so he could sleep. He was drunk when he hit a telephone pole with his car at 110 but walked away without a scratch. There was no such thing as post traumatic stress disorder in the Marines back then. There were no veterans outreach centers like there are today, or doctors and psychologists and multiple therapy treatments for PTSD.

Although the casualties for Iraq and Afghanistan are far fewer than for Vietnam, coming home is far from easy. U.S. researchers say 40 percent of our soldiers will seek PTSD treatment.

Bobby's problems continued. He abused his wife and was filled with grief. In 1972 he was on base drinking with a couple guys and pulls out a .45 and shoots himself in the head. Doctors tried to save him but he flat-lined and was pronounced dead. His mother was sent a telegram and he was placed in the morgue.

Three hours later, Bobby came back to life.

He was discharged from the Marines with a lifeless left arm, a left leg brace and a patch of skin covering the hole in his head. He received no compensation for his head wound. Shortly after that his wife left him.

He married again and divorced and over the years he still raged and drank, had seizures and lived in near poverty. He loved the Marines but fought the Veterans Administration, which didn't believe that PTSD helped him pull that trigger.

Things are changing, of course, in treating PTSD. They test for it in servicemen before they are released, and try to combat its stigma. There are rap groups and yoga and rapid eye therapy. In California they have a clinic to teach veterans how to laugh again.

In 1982 Bobby married a nurse named Kathy and promised he'd never drink again. She worked hard caring for his damaged soul. They lived with us for a while in Oregon and then stayed close in a tiny trailer where rain leaked through the ceiling. Finally, after 24 years of fighting the government, he was awarded a 100 percent disability rating for PTSD. But money doesn't set the mind right. He goes to anger management and rap sessions and helps other veterans, but he's still in that rice paddy, like he was so many years ago. Kathy called me the other day, to tell me Bobby tried to commit suicide again by taking pills. I panicked and wanted to cry.

I went down to see him. He's heavy, his arm is still dead and his leg is bent back and disfigured. In the war he was fast, his mind quick, but now he is on so many psychotropic drugs his eyes droop and his speech is slurred. That gives me great sorrow.

Like Bobby, I too have PTSD. Quietly, though, afraid of the stigma. I've been to therapy for years and take medication to keep me steady. I'm better most days. And like many veterans, I hope someday people will look at PTSD as a badge of honor.

Jack Estes is a writer and lives in West Linn with his wife, Colleen. They are co-founders of the Fallen Warriors Foundation. Each November they hold a meditation retreat for veterans and their loved ones, dealing with PTSD. More information:

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Reference: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml


PTSD Love Letter


I love you through my anger,
In between my fits of rage.

I want us to be happy,
But I just can't turn the page.


I see in you the answer
To every time I've prayed.

Then I get mad; you leave the room;
I wish that you had stayed.


My love just wants to hold your hand,
But my anger doesn't care.

I feel the weight you carry.
It really isn't fair.


I gave our country everything
The day I went to war.

I thought the cost would be my life,
But it turned out to be much more.


I look into my child's eyes,
And I see a child burned

By Napalm lying on the ground,
Without a lesson learned.


So now they send the young folks
To act like war is fun,

Without a thought of how they'll feel
When their killing job is done.


When folks go fill their gas tanks
I think they all should know,

A veteran's future happiness
Is drowning in the flow.



P.T.S.D. Love Poem
© Sarge Lintecum 2003

Please visit Sarge and Leslie Lintecum's website:

PTSD Help 2000:  http://ptsdhelp2000.com/index.html



PTSD -- Department of Veterans Affairs  http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

National Center for PTSD  www.ncptsd.va. gov

National Institute of Mental Health   www.nimh.nih. gov

PTSD Support Services   www.ptsdsupport.net 

NAMI Veterans Resource Center  www.nami.org

PTSD Manual  www.ptsdmanual.com 

Mayo Clinic   www.MayoClinic.com 

Wounded Warrior Fight Blog


PTSD Combat Blogspot




by, Kathie Costos







Seroquel, a potentially deadly drug has been linked to the deaths of soldiers returning from war. Yet the FDA continues to approve it.


NOTE from Larry Scott, VA Watchdog dot Org ... Use our search engine for more information about ...

... the "drug cocktail" ...

... Seroquel ...


Are Veterans Being Given Deadly Cocktails to Treat PTSD?

A potentially deadly drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has been linked to the deaths of soldiers returning from war. Yet the FDA continues to approve it.

AlterNet / By Martha Rosenberg



Sgt. Eric Layne's death was not pretty.

A few months after starting a drug regimen combining the antidepressant Paxil, the mood stabilizer Klonopin and a controversial anti-psychotic drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, Seroquel, the Iraq war veteran was "suffering from incontinence, severe depression [and] continuous headaches," according to his widow, Janette Layne.

Soon he had tremors. " … [H]is breathing was labored [and] he had developed sleep apnea," Layne said.

Janette Layne, who served in the National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom along with her husband, told the story of his decline last year, at official FDA hearings on new approvals for Seroquel. On the last day of his life, she testified, Eric stayed in the bathroom nearly all night battling acute urinary retention (an inability to urinate). He died while his family slept.

Sgt. Layne had just returned from a seven-week inpatient program at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati where he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A video shot during that time, played by his wife at the FDA hearings, shows a dangerously sedated figure barely able to talk.

Sgt. Layne was not the first veteran to die after being prescribed medical cocktails including Seroquel for PTSD.

In the last two years, Pfc. Derek Johnson, 22, of Hurricane, West Virginia; Cpl. Andrew White, 23, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, of Roundrock, Texas; Cpl. Nicholas Endicott, 24, of Pecks Mill, West Virginia; and Spc. Ken Jacobs, 21, of Walworth, New York have all died suddenly while taking Seroquel cocktails.

Death certificates and other records collected by veteran family members show that more than 100 similar deaths have occurred among Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets and other military personnel, many of whom took PTSD cocktails that included Seroquel and other antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sleep inducers and pain and seizure medications.

Since the 2008 publication of "The Battle Within," the Denver Post's
expose of a "pharmaco-battlefield" in Iraq, in which troops were found to be routinely propped up on antidepressants, the Department of Defense has sought to curb the deployment of troops with mental health problems to combat zones. The DOD has also stepped up monitoring of soldiers who have been medicated, according to the Hartford Courant, and with good reason: 34 percent of the 935 active-duty soldiers who made suicide attempts in 2007 were on psychoactive drugs.

But the U.S. Army's Warrior Care and Transition Office reports that soldiers are dying after coming home, many in Warrior Transition Units that were established in 2007 to prepare wounded soldiers for a return to duty or civilian life. According to the Army Times, between June 2007 and October 2008, 68 such veteran deaths were recorded -- nine were ruled suicides, six are pending investigation and six were from "combined lethal drug toxicity." Thirty-five were termed "natural causes."

The mysterious deaths -- and an alarming track record -- have cast renewed scrutiny on Seroquel. Although it has not been approved for treatment of PTSD, Pentagon purchases of Seroquel nearly doubled between 2003 and 2007. Elspeth Ritchie, medical director of the Army's Strategic Communications Office told the Denver Post the drug is "increasingly utilized as an adjunct for PTSD."

The Seroquel Scandals

It would be hard to find a drug with a wider fraud footprint than Seroquel -- at least one that's still on the market.

One of its first backers, Richard Borison, former chief of psychiatry at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, lost his medical license, was fined $4.26 million and went to prison for a swindle involving Seroquel's original clinical studies.

AstraZeneca's U.S medical director for Seroquel, Dr. Wayne MacFadden, had sexual affairs with two different women doing research on Seroquel, a study investigator at London's Institute of Psychiatry and a Seroquel ghostwriter at the marketing firm, Parexel. According to court documents, MacFadden even joked about the conflicts of interest with one paramour.

Last year, the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica reported that Chicago psychiatrist Michael Reinstein, who wrote 41,000 prescriptions for Seroquel, received $500,000 from AstraZenenca. Meanwhile, a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune discredited influential studies by AstraZeneca-funded Charles Schulz, MD, chief of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.

Seroquel was even promoted by the disgraced former chief of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine, Charles Nemeroff, who was accused by congressional investigators of failing to report $1 million in pharmacological income -- in AstraZeneca-funded continuing medical education courses.

And until a Philadelphia Inquirer expose last year, Florida child psychiatrist Jorge Armenteros, a paid AstraZeneca speaker, was chairman of the FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee responsible for recommending Seroquel approvals.

In a trial that began in New Jersey last month, AstraZeneca is defending itself in one of 26,000 lawsuits, denying that Seroquel caused diabetes in Vietnam veteran Ted Baker, who was prescribed Seroquel for PTSD. Last year, London-based AstraZeneca agreed to pay $520 million last year to settle suits pertaining to clinical trials and illegal Seroquel marketing.

Yet, instead of reconsidering a drug linked to an alarming number of deaths and marred by at least eight corruption scandals in 13 years -- Seroquel was even
prescribed to a 4-year-old Massachusetts girl, Rebecca Riley, before her death -- the FDA continues to issue approvals for new uses for Seroquel.

Seroquel was first approved to treat schizophrenia in 1997. The FDA subsequently expanded its use, approving it for "acute manic episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder" in 2004, "major depressive episodes associated with Bipolar Disorder" in 2006 and "maintenance treatment for Bipolar I Disorder" in 2009.

Last April, the FDA opened the door to prescribing Seroquel to people who have not even been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, approving Seroquel as "an additional therapy in patients suffering from depression who do not respond adequately to their current medications."

Not that Seroquel needed a boost; its $4.9 billion in sales in 2009 signals usage far beyond the 1 percent of the population with schizophrenia and the 2.5 percent with bipolar disorder. North Carolina's Medicaid spends $29.4 million per year on Seroquel -- more than any other drug, according to the Charlotte
News and Observer.

Most recently, in December, Seroquel was quietly approved for children between the ages of 10 and 17 who are diagnosed with bipolar mania and children between 13 and 17 with schizophrenia. It was a stealth end-of-the-year decision, announced not by the FDA itself but by AstraZeneca. (The change was reflected in an entry on Seroquel's FDA approval page that notes "Patient Population Altered.")

'When six people die from peanut butter we shut the factories down'

With veteran deaths in the news, family members hope the unsolved mysteries surrounding Seroquel-linked deaths of soldiers could finally force AstraZeneca to take responsibility for its product.

Stan and Shirley White lost two sons to war. Robert White, a staff sergeant, was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, when his Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. But the death of Robert's younger brother Andrew, who survived Iraq only to succumb to a different battle, is in some ways "harder to accept" says his father.

Like Eric Layne, Andrew was taking Seroquel, Klonopin, Paxil and prescription painkillers for PTSD after returning home from his Iraq tour. Like Layne, he deteriorated physically and mentally on the prescribed cocktail until experiencing a sudden, inexplicable death.

"When six people die from peanut butter we shut the factories down, but at least 87 military men have died in the past six years on Seroquel and similar drugs and no alarm sounds," Stan White told AlterNet.

When White informed his representatives, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, of Andrew's unexplained death, they were helpful, as was Tammy Duckworth, the VA's Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. But packets White distributed to news organizations, Congress and the White House were acknowledged only by First Lady Michelle Obama, who forwarded hers to the VA, and Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. In letters to White, both remarked that therapy, not just drugs, should be part of PSTD treatment.

A 2008 investigation by the VA's Office of Inspector General into the deaths of Andrew White and Eric Layne was inconclusive, finding "no apparent signal to indicate increased mortality for patients taking the combination of Quetiapine, Paroxetine, and Clonazepam when compared with patients taking other similar combinations of psychotropic medications."

"The direct impact of non-prescribed medications in these patient deaths cannot be determined," investigators concluded.

SSGT (Ret) Tom Vande Burgt's Army National Guard company was stationed outside Baghdad at the same time that Eric and Janette Layne were serving, in 2004 and 2005, but his story has a happier ending.

Like White and Layne, he was prescribed a PTSD cocktail that included Seroquel, along with Klonopin and the antidepressant Celexa, but as tremors, sleep apnea and enuresis (bedwetting) developed, his wife, Diane, questioned the high dosage, off-label use of a bipolar drug like Seroquel. After her husband was taken off his meds abruptly and it was discovered there were no records of the drugs being sent to him (or the doses) by a VA primary care doctor -- mistakes that "could have cost him his life," according to Diane -- the Vande Burgts filed a complaint with the VA Office of the Inspector General. It, however, found no wrongdoing, concluding the treatment was within the VA's "standard of care."

Under the care of a private psychiatrist, Vande Burgt's cocktail only grew, but eventually he went off the drugs with the help of his doctor, and his sleep apnea, urinary problems, tremors, weight gain, depression, mood swings, lethargy and paranoia subsided.

The way Vande Burgt describes it, Seroquel "drugs vets up" to such a degree that they "don't dream at all."

"It wipes out the hypervigilance factor," he told AlterNet via e-mail. "But as soon as the meds are decreased, the hypervigilance and anger and trust issues come raging back, worse than before."

Now the Vande Burgts, who live in Charleston, West Virginia, coordinate a
PTSD support group and a Web site that emphasize nondrug solutions and the need for soldiers and veterans to have an advocate present during care for PTSD and traumatic brain injury to ensure clear communication between doctors and patient. Tom also uses the services of Give an Hour, a program in which local therapists donate one hour of therapy a week to veterans, soldiers and families dealing with PTSD.

"There is no cure for PTSD, especially in a magic pill," the Vande Burgts told AlterNet. "Good old-fashioned talk therapy and support groups are tried and true … all the others are just quick fixes that add to the problem, not addressing the root of the problem."

AstraZeneca: Too Big to Regulate?

Seroquel's ability to cause cardiac arrest and sudden death is well-known.

A search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine database yields 20 articles linking "Seroquel" and "sudden death," 24 linking "Seroquel" and "QT prolongation" (a heart disturbance that can led to death), 55 linking "Seroquel" and "toxicity," as well as such terms as "cardiac arrest" and "death."

A 2005 article in the Journal of Forensic Sciences says Seroquel was detected in 13 postmortem cases and the cause of death in three, observing that "little information exists regarding therapeutic, toxic, and lethal concentrations."

A 2003 article in CNS Drugs reports, "some patients have died while taking therapeutic doses," of atypical antipsychotics like Seroquel and that "toxicity may be increased by coingestion of other agents."

"The second-generation antipsychotics were termed 'atypical' based on misconceptions of enhanced safety and efficacy," Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy and Veterans Administration psychiatrist and author of Drug-Induced Dementia and Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs, told AlterNet in an interview. ("Atypical" antipsychotics supposedly function differently from "typical" antipsychotics and are thought to cause fewer side effects.)

"In 2002 and 2003, according to a VA study published in 2007, 20 to 30 percent of demented veterans [veterans with brain conditions including organic and psychiatric psychosis] died within the first 12 months of beginning treatment with an antipsychotic," said Jackson. "When you combine antipsychotics with antidepressants, benzodiazepines and antiepileptics -- especially in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who have likely sustained traumatic brain injuries -- you have potential lethality from sleep apnea, endocrine anomalies and opioid intoxication."

Seroquel's record of causing sudden cardiac death was on the docket at last year's FDA hearings, which Stan and Shirley White and Janette Layne attended.

According to Dr. Wayne Ray, who testified before the FDA's Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee, one study involving 93,300 users of antipsychotic drugs -- half of whom were on atypical antipsychotics -- showed that such users were at no less than double the risk of a "sudden, fatal, pulseless condition, or collapse … consistent with a ventricular tachyarrhythmia occurring in the absence of a known, non-cardiac cause."

Ray, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, published the findings in an article titled "Atypical antipsychotic drugs and the risk of sudden cardiac death," in the New England Journal of Medicine last year.

Unwilling to let Seroquel's approval prospects sink just because it's dangerous, the FDA's Marc Stone, a medical reviewer, donned his AstraZeneca hat at the hearing. In a presentation rebutting Ray's testimony, he asked how the death certificates in these cases were accurate when "paramedics are more likely to identify some deaths as sudden cardiac deaths?"

"Smoking as an important risk factor for sudden cardiac death is unlikely to appear in the Medicaid claims data used in this study," Stone continued, and, "How do we know smoking wasn't a factor in the deaths -- or that antipsychotic users aren't less likely to 'communicate symptoms of cardiac disease to medical personnel?'" He also pointed out that "Mental illness severe enough to require antipsychotic drugs … may also increase the chances of someone being homeless or living alone with little social contact," apparently forgetting that the purpose of the FDA hearings was to approve Seroquel for non-mentally ill people with anxiety and depression.

Elsewhere, Seroquel for PTSD gets good reviews.

"These data are encouraging for adjunctive treatment with a second-generation [atypical] antipsychotic in patients who have partially responded to an SSRI or an SNRI [antidepressants]," says the American Psychiatric Association's March 2009 Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Matthew J. Friedman, one of its four authors, is executive director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD -- and an AstraZeneca consultant.

"Quetiapine improves sleep disturbances in combat veterans with PTSD," wrote Mark Hamner in a 2005 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology article. Hamner is medical director of the PTSD clinical team at the Ralph H. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, SC -- and an AstraZeneca consultant.

"Atypical antipsychotics also have an emerging place in PTSD pharmacology, particularly for symptoms of paranoia, intense hypervigilance, arousal, extreme agitation, dissociation, psychotic-type flashbacks, and brief psychotic reactions," writes Cynthia M. A. Geppert in a 2009 Psychiatric Times article. She is chief of consultation psychiatry and ethics at the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System -- and recipient of three AstraZeneca grants.

Meanwhile, critics and activists ask: What protections are afforded to veterans enrolled in Seroquel studies -- some combining Seroquel with other drugs -- that AstraZeneca-funded doctors conduct at VA medical centers?

Many say that Big Pharma, embedded in academic institutions, medical schools, military medicine, government entitlement programs and the FDA itself is too big to regulate, like Wall Street firms. But others say the incarceration of VA Chief of Psychiatry Richard Borison in 1998 is proof the system works. (Of course, he will be out soon.)

As veterans continue to come home from Iraq, even as more are deployed to Afghanistan, PTSD will continue to threaten their mental health. The untold number who will have survived the wars only to die at the hands of deadly pharmaceutical cocktails is a scandal the FDA -- and the Pentagon -- cannot afford to ignore.

"Treating PTSD does not have to be drugging up our soldiers and Marines in order to keep boots on the ground," says Diane Vande Burgt. "Our soldiers and Marines are not dispensable to save a dollar."


Martha Rosenberg frequently writes about the impact of the pharmaceutical, food and gun industries on public health. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and other outlets.
posted by Larry Scott
Founder and Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org     http://www.vawatchdog.org/10/nf10/nfmar10/nf030910-5.htm


Marine Who Campaigned For Veterans Takes His Own Life
 Like the Marine he was, Clay Hunt launched a front-line assault against the demons he brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The 28-year-old Texan, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, appeared in a suicide prevention campaign encouraging returning veterans to reach out for help. He went to Washington, D.C., to speak out for veterans' rights. He also built bikes for a rehabilitation program for injured vets and traveled to disaster-ravaged countries to provide humanitarian aid.

   But the Purple Heart recipient, a veteran of two wars, lost his most important battle last week when he died alone, in his apartment near Houston, Texas, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His memorial service this week drew more than 1,100 mourners, including veterans from across the country.

    "Clay struggled to deal with the war that we all fought. He needed us as much in peace as he did in combat," his best friend, fellow Marine veteran Jake Wood, who delivered the eulogy, said. "Let us learn a hard lesson from this - that some of us are still fighting the war, even though we're home and out of uniform."


Hunt's family remembered him as a boy who loved to play football, read and collect turtles, the Houston Chronicle reported in a story yesterday. He was about to transfer to his dream school, Texas A&M, when he decided instead to enlist in the Marine Corps infantry in May 2005. He was deployed to Iraq in January 2007. Within a period of a few weeks, two of Hunt's friends from his company were killed. Shortly thereafter, Hunt was sent back to the United States after a sniper's bullet tore through his left wrist. The shot barely missed his head which, at that moment, was resting on his hand.

 "I would've thought you'd feel like the luckiest guy on the Earth that you got shot and they missed your head, but that's not how he felt," his father, Stacy Hunt, said. "He felt he didn't deserve it."


    After his rehabilitation, Hunt went to Marine sniper school and was deployed again, this time as a Marine Scout Sniper to Afghanistan. There, two more friends were killed, his parents said.


    Hunt left the Marines in 2009, honorably discharged. He put his Purple Heart and other medals along with pictures of his four slain Marine friends in a shadow box, a gift from his mother. "Every day he looked at that and thought of his guys," his mother said.


    As Hunt fell into despair in the months after his discharge, he dropped out of college and his marriage fell apart. But he found new hope by reaching out to other veterans, appearing in the award-winning public service announcement by the non-profit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). He helped build bikes for the group's Ride 2 Recovery. And he joined the non-profit group Team Rubicon, formed by Wood, which uses the talents of military veterans to provide humanitarian aid during disasters. Last February, Hunt went with the group to Haiti and later wrote about his work on the group's Web site. "On a personal level, I found more in Port-au-Prince than I knew I was missing," he wrote. "I cannot tell you how good it feels to be able to go into a rubble-strewn city in a Third World country, and to be able to do good without wondering if everybody is about to start shooting at you. I found a renewed sense of purpose for myself that has been missing since I separated from the USMC, and I found myself in the company of a band of brothers once again - absolutely priceless."

    His family and friends hoped Hunt was finding peace. But on March 31, when he didn't show up for work or answer his phone, his mother drove to his apartment. There, emergency crews found his body. "I remember sliding down the wall and just sitting there and pressing my back to the wall as hard as I could because I thought this is as close as I'll ever be to him again," she said "I can't hug him. I can't kiss him. I can't say 'I love ya.' I can't touch him again." . 

    His friend Wood described Hunt as a man who wanted to change the world. "He was always looking for an outlet to help," Wood wrote on the Team Rubicon blog. "The world just didn't want to come along at his pace."



My friend, Steve Burns, has so graciously allowed me to present some of his excellent work here on my website.  Everything in the section below is his work.  We hope that many veterans and their families will be helped by what is found here.   Steve has put many long hours into putting these resources together.   To view this complete page of information and also many others on Steve's website, please visit 'Veterans Information' at www.veteransinfo.org

You Can Contact Steve Here: snakecharmer550@yahoo.com 

Here are more of the places where Steve helps others:






And if we can learn inner peace then we can conquer all things..snakecharmer

Click pic for the Warning


Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC)

Doctor: Injection can 'cure' PTSD in veterans


Wounded Times

Dstress Line


Mental Health America

Emotional Freedom Technique ( EFT )

Heal My PTSD

Researching the Effectivity of Emotional Freedom Technique On Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Trauma

Returning from the War Zone Guides

Iraq Never Leaves Us-- pps

Make The Connection

Military Sexual Trauma (MST)Page

Homeless Veterans Page

National PTSD Awareness Day

The Elephant in the Room by Dr. Samuel Arnold

New Ruling on PTSD from the Federal Register

A Disparate Impact on Female Veterans

Advanced Technology Showing How PTSD Alters Brain Function

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Fearless Nation

From War Zones to Jail

Real Warriors, Real Battles

Secondary PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Shinseki Letter On Blue Water Navy and PTSD

Traumatic Grief: Symptomatology and Treatment for the Iraq War Veteran

If You Had Malaria In Vietnam, Then You Need To Read This

About Medications For Combat PTSD

12 Step Program for PTSD

Becks Depression Scale

Behavior of Some

C & P examiners perspective relating to psychiatric exams

Claims for Service Connection for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder M21

CAPS Trauma Assessment Checklist

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Healing Combat Trauma

Help Guide

Help For My Life

HHS, Department of Defense Sign Agreement To Increase Mental Health Services Available to Returning Military Service Members

Holistic Self-Care for Post Traumatic Stress and Dissociative Identity by Dr. Cindee Grace

Joint Services Records Research Center

Many Links On Trauma and PTSD


Monthly Mood Chart

Natural Health and Meditation Resource Pages

Psychometric properties of PTSD Checklist (PCL)


PTSD Combat

PTSD & Domestic Violence

PTSD and Early-Age Heart Disease

PTSD Manual

PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers


Stressor Verification (powerpoint)

Study Finds Dementia Link


FOR THE LOVE OF JACK; A Book On PTSD Presented by Kathie Costos

Class Action Filed Challenging Governments Mistreatment of Returning Veterans Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Helping a family member who has PTSD

Her War 2

PTSD victims no longer need to prove trauma


Self Test for PTSD

Self Test 2

The Army's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (PTSD/MTBI) Chain Teaching Program

Tools for Coping with Life's Stressors

Women, Trauma and PTSD

Links to Information on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Acute Traumatic Stress Management


The below 10 links is how PTSD is measured.

Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS)

Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale

Impact of Events Scale

Los Angeles Symptom Checklist (LASC)

Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD

Penn Inventory for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD Symptom Scale - Interview (PSS-I)

Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS)

Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID PTSD Module)

Structured Interview for PTSD (SI-PTSD)

The PTSD Book


PTSD 101

PTSD and Relationships

PTSD and TBI Research

Buddy Statements

Concussion Raises PTSD Risk for Iraq Vets

Deployment Checklist-Tips for Military Spouses

Getting Help


Homecoming Preparedness Guide

Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC)

Marine Parents

Mental Health PDF

Mental Health Program Guidelines

Mental Health Self-Assessment Program

Military Spouses for Change

Most PTSD Treatments Not Proven Effective

Nam Guardian Angel

PTSD and Veterans

PTSD Lawyers for Veterans

Study Links Asthma With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Suicide Helplines

Suicide Helplines VA

Suicide The Forever Desision

Surviving the "Killer Instinct"

Symptoms Of PTSD

Tips For Families Of Returning Troops

Tips for Returning Military Members

Treatment of PTSD

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

VA Seeks To Enhance Mental Health Services

VA Suicide Info

Veterans Law Project

What Every Veterans Family and Friends Need to Know about Post-Traumatic Stress and PTSD

What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is among only a few mental disorders that are triggered by a disturbing outside event, quite unlike other psychiatric disorders such as depression

Many Americans experience individual traumatic events ranging from car and airplane accidents to sexual assault and domestic violence. Other experiences, including those associated with natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, affect multiple people simultaneously. Dramatic and tragic events, like the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and wars occur, and with media exposure such as we have today, even people not directly involved might be affected. Simply put, PTSD is a state in which you "can't stop remembering."

In 1 out of 10 Americans, the traumatic event causes a cascade of psychological and biological changes known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Wars throughout the ages often triggered what some people called "shell shock," in which returning soldiers were unable to adapt to life after war. Although each successive war brings about renewed attention on this syndrome, it wasn't until the Vietnam War that PTSD was first identified and given this name. Now, mental health providers such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and other health care professionals can attempt to understand people’s response to these traumatic events and help them recover from the impact of the trauma. 

Although the disorder must be diagnosed by a mental health professional, symptoms of PTSD are clearly defined. To be diagnosed with PTSD, you must have been in a situation in which you were afraid for your safety or your life, or you must have experienced something that made you feel fear, helplessness, or horror.

The worse the trauma, the more likely a person will develop PTSD, and the worse the symptoms. The most severely affected are unable to work, have trouble with relationships, and have great difficulty parenting their children.

Research has shown that PTSD changes the biology of the brain. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans show changes in the way memories are stored in the brain. PTSD is an environmental shock that changes your brain, and scientists do not know if it is reversible.

  • In the United States, 60% of men and 50% of women experience a traumatic event during their lifetimes. Of those, 8% of men and 20% of women may develop PTSD. A higher proportion of people who are raped develop PTSD than those who suffer any other traumatic event. Because women are much more likely to be raped than men (9% versus less than 1%), this helps explain the higher prevalence of PTSD in women than men.

  • Some 88% of men and 79% of women with PTSD also have another psychiatric disorder. Nearly half suffer from major depression, 16% from anxiety disorders, and 28% from social phobia. They also are more likely to have risky health behaviors such as alcohol abuse, which affects 52% of men with PTSD and 28% of women, while drug abuse is seen in 35% of men and 27% of women with PTSD.

  • More than half of all Vietnam veterans, about 1.7 million, have experienced symptoms of PTSD. Although 60% of war veterans with PTSD have had serious medical problems, only 6% of them have a problem due to injury in combat. 

  • African Americans, when they are exposed to trauma, are more likely to develop PTSD than whites.

  • People who are exposed to the most intense trauma are the most likely to develop PTSD. The higher the degree of exposure to trauma, the more likely you are to develop PTSD. So, if something happens to you more than once or if something occurs to you over a very long period of time, the likelihood of developing PTSD is increased.

  • Sometimes, people who have heart attacks or cancer develop PTSD. 

  • Refugees (eg, people who have been through war conditions in their native country or fled from conflict) may develop PTSD and often go years without treatment.

  • New mothers may develop PTSD after an unusually difficult delivery during childbirth. Also, patients who regain partial consciousness during surgery under general anesthesia may be at risk for developing PTSD.

American Combat Veterans of War

American Psychiatric Association

Anxiety Disorders

Association of VA Psychologist Leaders

Best Practice Manual for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Compensation and Pension Examinations

Before you go for a Compensation & Pension Exam
(C&P Exam) at a VAMC you should review what the exam
consist of.. go to web site... save it on your computer
favorites so you can find it when needed

C&P Exams, Index to Disability Examination Worksheets

Complex PTSD

Connecticut Blue Star Mothers page

Cybersarges Page On PTSD

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Facts About PTSD

Gateway to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Information

Healing Those Who Serve

How Does PTSD Affect Families

How To File A Claim for PTSD

Less Than Half of Soldiers With Mental Health Problems Seek Treatment

Mental Health Self-Assessment For Service Members and Their Families. (This is for Veterans and Active Duty)

Military News On PTSD

My Take on PTSD

Nam Vet on PTSD


National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Patience Mason's Pages On PTSD

Policies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD Help by Gary Chenett

PTSD Combat:Winning The War Within

PTSD for Spouses

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, Types and Treatment

PTSD and Chronic Severe Pain in Psychiatric Outpatients


PTSD Screening Tools

PTSD Support

Report From Science Magazine

Special Topics

The Black Snake

Traumatic Stress Syndrome

VA Best Practice Manual for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

VA Forms for Compensation

Vietnow on PTSD

Wildgun's Page On PTSD

This Yahoo Group is for all family members of veterans and the now serving to find information on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and ANY OTHER PROBLEMS our Military face.
Questions on VA benefits or ANY OTHER MILITARY MATTERS.

Click here to join ptsdandtbi
Click to join ptsdandtbi









Please click the Topsites symbols to vote for this site and to find other troop/veteran support sites:






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This website is being worked on each day.  Please check back often, as more pages will be added and more information placed on the pages that are here.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  If you wish to have information added, make corrections, have comments, or find a link that no longer works, please let me know.






Please visit me on my other websites:

Women of Ministry / Women of Faith  www.WomenofMinistryWomenofFaith.com

Faith and Life Ministries  www.FaithandLifeMinistriesInternational.com


On the websites of those I am affiliated with:

Patriot Guard Riders    www.PatriotGuard.org

Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders   www.ctpatriotguard.org 

Missing In America Project  www.MIAP.us

 VA Voluntary Service  http://www.volunteer.va.gov/

Military Ministry  http://www.militaryministry.org/

Christian Military Fellowship  http://cmf.com/ 

VFW National Home For Children  http://www.vfwnationalhome.org/

Post #296 VFW Ladies Auxiliary   www.vfwpost296ladiesaux.com

Marine Corps League Auxiliary  http://mcldeptct.org/pages/mcl_ct_auxiliary.html

American Soldier Memorial Project http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AmericanSoldierMemorial

  No Soldier Left Behind  Memorial    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NoSoldierLeftBehindMemorial/


On my husband's websites:

JESUS My Lord and Savior Church www.JesusMyLordandSaviorChurch.com  

Men Walking With God  www.MenWalkingWithGod.com/