ANTIDEPRESSANT, PAIN KILLER & ALCOHOL: Soldier: Suicide Attempt: Iraq/Colorado

Paragraphs three through five read: “It did not work. He was prescribed a
list of medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression, and headaches
that made him feel listless and disoriented.”

“His weekly session with a nurse case manager seemed inadequate to him.
And noncommissioned officers ­ soldiers supervising the unit ­
harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.”

“Last August, Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and
painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.”

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/04/25/some_soldiers_find_no_
relief_in_transition_units/

Some soldiers find no relief in transition units

Army defends efforts to help returning troops

By James Dao and Dan Frosch

New York Times / April 25, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS ­ A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted
nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a
special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with
physical wounds and severe psychological trauma.

A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned
emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from
roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death. The transition
unit at Fort Carson seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay,
his mother thought.

It did not work. He was prescribed a list of medications for anxiety,
nightmares, depression, and headaches that made him feel listless and
disoriented.

His weekly session with a nurse case manager seemed inadequate to him. And
noncommissioned officers ­ soldiers supervising the unit ­
harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.

Last August, Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and
painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.

“It is just a dark place,’’ said the soldier, who is waiting to be
medically discharged from the Army. “Being in the WTU is worse than being in Iraq.
’’

Created in the aftermath of the scandal in 2007 over shortcomings at
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Warrior Transition Units were intended to be
sheltering way stations where injured soldiers could recuperate and return to
duty or gently process out of the Army. There are about 7,200 soldiers at
32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at Fort Carson’
s unit.

But interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care
professionals from Fort Carson’s unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest
that the units are far from being restful sanctuaries.

For many soldiers, they have become warehouses of despair, where damaged
men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription
pills, and treated harshly by noncommissioned officers. Because of their
wounds, soldiers in Warrior Transition Units are particularly vulnerable to
depression and addiction, but many soldiers from Fort Carson’s unit say their
treatment there has made their suffering worse.

Some soldiers in the unit, and their families, described long hours alone
in their rooms, or in homes off the base, aimlessly drinking or playing
video games.

“In combat, you rely on people and you come out of it feeling good about
everything,’’ said a specialist in the unit. “Here, you’re just floating.
You’re not doing much. You feel worthless.’’

At Fort Carson, many soldiers complained that doctors prescribed drugs too
readily. As a result, some soldiers have become addicted to their
medications or have turned to heroin. Medications are so abundant that some
soldiers in the unit openly deal, buy, or swap prescription pills.

Heavy use of psychotropic drugs and narcotics makes it difficult to
exercise, wake for morning formation, and attend classes, soldiers and health
care professionals said. Yet noncommissioned officers discipline soldiers who
fail to complete those tasks, sometimes over the objections of nurses and
doctors.

At least four soldiers in the Fort Carson unit have committed suicide
since 2007, the most of any transition unit as of February, according to the
Army.

Senior officers in the Army’s Warrior Transition Command declined to
discuss specific soldiers. But they said Army surveys showed that most soldiers
treated in transition units since 2007, more than 50,000 people, had liked
the care.

Those senior officers acknowledged that addiction to medications was a
problem, but denied that Army doctors relied too heavily on drugs. And they
strongly defended disciplining wounded soldiers when they violated rules.
Punishment is meted out judiciously, they said, mainly to ensure that soldiers
stick to treatment plans and stay safe.

“These guys are still soldiers, and we want to treat them like soldiers,’’
said Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Grantham, commander of the Warrior
Transition Battalion at Fort Carson.

The colonel offered another explanation for complaints. Many soldiers, he
said, struggle because they would rather be with regular, deployable units.
In some cases, he said, they feel ashamed of needing treatment.

“Some come to us with an identity crisis,’’ he said. “They don’t want to
be seen as part of the WTU. But we want them to identify with a purpose
and give them a mission.’’

Sergeant John Conant, a 15-year Army veteran, returned from his second
tour of Iraq in 2007 a changed man, according to his wife. Angry and sullen,
he reported to the transition unit at Fort Carson, where he was prescribed
at least six medications a day for sleeping disorders, pain, and anxiety,
keeping a detailed checklist in his pocket to remind him of his dosages.

The medications disoriented him, Delphina Conant said, and he would often
wander the house late at night before curling up on the floor and falling
asleep. Then in April 2008, after taking morphine and Ambien, the sleeping
pill, he died in his sleep. A coroner ruled that his death was from natural
causes. He was 36.

Delphina Conant said she felt her husband never received meaningful
therapy at the transition unit, where he had become increasingly frustrated and
was knocked down a rank because of discipline problems. “They didn’t want
to do anything but give him medication,’’ she said.

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.
.

2,485 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Death: Man Becomes Violent, Lunges at Police, Shot Dead: GA

Paragraphs three and four read: “The officer gave several verbal commands
for the suspect to drop the knife. That’s when the suspect lunged towards
the officer and the officer opened fire,” said Cpl. David Schiralli,
spokesman of the Gwinnett County Police Department.”

“CBS Atlanta spoke to Bagley’s family. They said he was a huge teddy bear
and a wonderful grandfather. They said he suffered from depression since
losing his wife of 15 years a few months ago. He also had congestive heart
failure. He was on muscle relaxers, antidepressants and painkillers. Bagley
also needed oxygen to breathe.”

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/news/23181264/detail.html

Family Questions Police In Gwinnett Shooting

Suspect’s Family Questions Police On Shooting Of 59-Year-Old
by Hena Daniels, CBS Atlanta News Reporter

POSTED: 8:26 am EDT April 17, 2010
UPDATED: 8:06 am EDT April 18, 2010

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Gwinnett police are investigating a shooting
involving an officer at the Tanglewood Apartments in Lawrenceville.

Witnesses described 59-year-old Gene Bagley as irrational and in a daze
Saturday morning as he took a huge knife to a Ford Fusion in his parking lot,
breaking the back window. The owner of the vehicle told CBS Atlanta she
heard the suspect outside her apartment and that’s when she called police.

“The officer gave several verbal commands for the suspect to drop the
knife. That’s when the suspect lunged towards the officer and the officer opened
fire,” said Cpl. David Schiralli, spokesman of the Gwinnett County Police
Department.

CBS Atlanta spoke to Bagley’s family. They said he was a huge teddy bear
and a wonderful grandfather. They said he suffered from depression since
losing his wife of 15 years a few months ago. He also had congestive heart
failure. He was on muscle relaxers, antidepressants and painkillers. Bagley
also needed oxygen to breathe.

”I don’t think he’s capable of lunging. He’s too old and has too many
physical ailments,” said son-in-law Damon Wycoff.

The only conclusion Bagley’s family can come to is he may have mixed his
medications, but they still have tough questions for Gwinnett County police.

“Neighbors say he was shot three times. I don’t understand. He’s a
59-year-old man who can barely breath, overweight. Yeah, I understand he came at
them with a knife, but 3 times I don’t understand. Why couldn’t they use a
Taser?,” asked stepdaughter Maria Wycoff.

The police officer, a veteran on the force, has been placed on routine
administrative leave.
Copyright 2010 by cbsatlanta.com. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

1,573 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAIN KILLERS: Suicide: Woman: England

Paragraph 11 reads:  “A post-mortem examination also
found a mixture of other painkillers and anti-depressants
in therapeutic rather than fatal amounts, but they could have worked
to enhance the effect of the pills.”

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2065818_grieving_nurse_had_spoken_of_suicide

Grieving nurse had spoken of suicide

February 15,
2010

A nurse who was found dead on her sofa had taken an overdose of her
daughter’s painkillers, an inquest heard.

Lindsay Davies, 50, was
discovered by her 22-year-old daughter at the family home in Southcote on August
26.

She had just finished a 10-day stint of night shifts at the Duchess
of Kent House in West Reading and the inquest heard it was thought she decided
to have a few drinks and fall asleep on the sofa.

Her husband Ian, known
as Terry, woke to the sound of her falling off the sofa at 2am and went
downstairs to pick her up and put her back on the settee at their home in
Worcester Close.

Giving evidence at the inquest on Tuesday, Mr Davies
said that he had left for work at around 6.30am and his wife was still snoring
soundly on the sofa. He said: “She had just finished night shifts and was
exhausted. It was not unusual for her to have a few drinks and relax when she
knew she didn’t have to go to work the next day.

“She had mentioned a few
things about taking her life but it was soon after her mother died and I just
thought it was normal to talk like that. I didn’t think she would actually do
anything, especially not where her family would find her.”

Mrs Davies,
who had a history of depression, had discussed taking her life with her daughter
but had said she would walk into the sea until she drowned and take her beloved
dog Charlie with her.

Her husband found a number of empty pill packets in
the house and some food bags of ham that had been laced with pills. But the dog,
who had been sleeping next to her, showed no signs of
poisoning.

Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said that Mrs Davies had pills
in her stomach containing a painkiller that was prescribed to her daughter who
also suffered depression.

The pills were a potentially fatal
dose.

A post-mortem examination also found a mixture of other painkillers
and anti-depressants in therapeutic rather than fatal amounts, but they could
have worked to enhance the effect of the pills.

Recording an open
verdict, Mr Bedford said: “There is not enough evidence to allow me to reach a
clear conclusion.

“There is no suicide note, there is only one drug that
she overdosed in her body when you expect someone to try and take all the pills
you could get your hands on, and the fact she had said she would not do it at
home where her daughter would find her.

“There is doubt for me
there.”

1,599 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Woman Attempts Suicide 8 Times While on Antidepressants-UK

Paragraphs 18 through 26 read:  “At 12 she was on
antidepressants
, seeing a child psychologist and was educated at
home.

“At the age of 16 she was prescribed  another type form
of antidepressants and was scared of leaving the safety of her
home to go to college.”

“Combined with her BDD symptoms, the anxiety was
too much to bear and the teenager tried to kill
herself with an overdose of painkillers in September 1999. “

“She
was found by her mother Heather Samuels, who rushed her to hospital and saved
her life.”

“It was then Ms Camille was referred to another child
psychologist, but the symptoms proved too much again.”

“At the age of 17
, she tried to end her life again in June 2000, but was saved and finally
diagnosed with BDD.”

“But treatment did not help and at 18, she
tried to take an overdose in the summer of 2001 and October 2001,

each time being rescued by her now ex-partner.”

“For three years
Ms Camille has kept her illness at bay but in summer
2004 tried twice to commit suicide.”

“It was finally at the age
of 23, in 2006, that she hit rock bottom and made what would be
the final attempt to take her own
life.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1227516/Attractive-student-suffering-body-dysmorphia-attemptssuicidetimes-seeing-disgusting-figure-mirror.html

Blind to her own beauty: The woman with body dysmorphia who can’t bear to
look at her own reflection

By Daily
Mail Reporter

Last updated at 2:11 PM on 13th November 2009

A
young woman spoke today of her secret battle against a rare body dysmorphia
condition that has caused her to attempt suicide eight times.

Hannah
Camille, 26, regularly gets admiring glances from men, but takes them as looks
of repulsion, not attraction.

Her body dysmorphic disorder blinds her to
her own beauty and makes her feel worthless – despite obvious good
looks.

Recovering: Hannah Camille’s body dysmorphic disorder made her
hate her body so much she tried to commit suicide eight times

Depression: Hannah, pictured at 21, before she hit rock bottom two years
later and made what would be the final attempt to take her own life

The
illness is so severe it has made Hannah try to take her own life eight
times.

Ms Camille, from Walsall, West Midlands, claims when she looks in
a mirror, she cannot see the person everyone else does, but a grotesque, fat
figure.

But now, Hannah thinks she has found the key to battling the
illness – thanks to her passion for photography.

By making herself a work
of art, she says she has managed to look at herself objectively.

Ms
Camille’s nightmare began when she was just nine and started puberty early,
sparking feelings of self-loathing and paranoia.

Hannah said: ‘When I
look in the mirror all I see is where it’s fat. I can see parts of me that look
thin but I push that aside.

‘I see my stomach sticking out, my hips are
wide and my legs are huge.

‘When it first started I can remember thinking
that I wasn’t good enough and believing people thought I was disgusting to be
around.

‘I remember feeling everybody hated me and I used to focus on
everyone’s put downs, and dismiss any compliments.

‘The worst point was
just before I started college, I tried to commit suicide for the first
time.

‘That was when I felt I didn’t care if I’m not alive, that I was
not afraid to die. It was one my lowest points.’

Despite a happy
childhood, Ms Camille was convinced she was fat, ugly and stupid – quickly
developing anorexia.

At 12 she was on antidepressants, seeing a child
psychologist and was educated at home.

At the age of 16 she was
prescribed  another type form of antidepressants and was scared of leaving
the safety of her home to go to college.

Combined with her BDD symptoms,
the anxiety was too much to bear and the teenager tried to kill herself with an
overdose of painkillers in September 1999.

She was found by her mother
Heather Samuels, who rushed her to hospital and saved her life.

It was
then Ms Camille was referred to another child psychologist, but the symptoms
proved too much again.

At the age of 17 , she tried to end her life again
in June 2000, but was saved and finally diagnosed with BDD.

But treatment
did not help and at 18, she tried to take an overdose in the summer of 2001 and
October 2001, each time being rescued by her now ex-partner.

For three
years Ms Camille has kept her illness at bay but in summer 2004 tried twice to
commit suicide.

It was finally at the age of 23, in 2006, that she hit
rock bottom and made what would be the final attempt to take her own
life.

Following a massive nervous breakdown, doctors tried to commit her,
but mother Heather, 69, intervened and she was allowed to stay at home under
24-hour suicide watch.

Heather’s pain, new medication and a therapist –
who suggested using her photography skills to help boost Hannah’s confidence –
proved the turning point.

It was looking back at pictures she had taken
of herself that brought on the start of recovery.

Moving on: Hannah’s
passion for photography triggered her to look at her body objectively and helped
others with a similar condition

Now Ms Camille has just completed her
first exhibition of her photographs at the Chameleon Art Gallery in Walsall to
critical acclaim.

Hannah said: ‘I looked at them and I just saw myself as
an art piece rather than me.

‘It really helped to accept myself and not
think about body and image but a person as a whole.

‘It was then I
contacted other sufferers and offered to take pictures of them.

‘I
believe that it helped them in a way as much as it did me – it was a kind of
group therapy.

‘You are never over BDD but on a good day I can say
I look okay.

‘If I can look in the mirror and say I look okay, that I can
go out and do normal things like window-shop and have a picnic, to me that is
wonderful.

‘To others it can sound mundane, but compared to what I been
though mundane is positive for me. It’s better than how I felt in the
past.

‘I looked at a picture of myself last night and I thought I looked
beautiful.

“It wasn’t because I thought I was attractive – it was because
I looked happy.’

1,121 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAINKILLERS: Soldier Dies in his Sleep: Virginia

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:

The first four paragraphs of this article reads like a classic
recipe for antidepressant adverse reactions, listing all of the most common and
then the reference to them being the signs of PTSD even though he was never in
combat. What is interesting is that the family understood enough to relate
it all to the drugs. And then to know that the drugs did kill him.
What they did not understand though is how much of a part of
the sexual assault the drugs might have played.
First of all false accusations of sexual assault is so
commonly reported by someone on antidepressants that for two decades I have
generally asked who the patient believes has sexually assaulted them if they
have been on these drugs more than a couple of years. The extremely vivid
drug-induced nightmares are often sexual in nature leading patients to believe
these attacks were real because they were so vivid and because the
patient can no longer detect dreams from reality while on these
drugs.
But the second component is the widespread use of these drugs
in the military and their potential to produce sexual compulsions which would
produce more sexual attacks as well as the potential of antidepressants to
produce homosexual reactions in those previously heterosexual.
So if this young man really was attacked and it was not a
delusion, the attacker may have been on an antidepressant and experiencing
the adverse reaction of mania – in particular, nymphomania-a pathological
compulsion for sex:
_____________________________________
“For years after the parachute accident that ended his Army
service, Cody Openshaw spiraled downward.

He entered college but couldn’t
keep up with his studies. He had trouble holding a job. He drank too much. He
had trouble sleeping, and when he did sleep, he had nightmares. He got married
and divorced in less than a year. He had flashbacks. He isolated himself from
his friends and drank more.

His anxiety level was out of this world,” his father said. “This was a young man who got straight A’s in high school, and
now he couldn’t function.”

Openshaw had the classic symptoms of
post-traumatic stress disorder, even though he had never been in combat. His
parents attributed the trauma to the accident and the heavy medications he was
taking for the continuing pain.

Paragraphs 61 through 64 read:  “He was still heavily
medicated, however –
with narcotics for the lingering
pain from his parachute accident and antidepressants for his
post-traumatic stress disorder.”

His first night at home,
he went to bed and never woke up.”

“The
cause of death was respiratory arrest from prescription drug
toxicity.
He was 25.”

” ‘These medications that he was on, they
build up in your bloodstream to the point of toxicity,’  his father
said.  ‘And that’s what we’re assuming happened’.”

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/10/military-men-are-silent-victims-sexual-assault

Military men are silent victims of sexual assault

By Bill
Sizemore

The Virginian-Pilot
© October 4, 2009

For years after
the parachute accident that ended his Army service, Cody Openshaw spiraled
downward.

He entered college but couldn’t keep up with his studies. He
had trouble holding a job. He drank too much. He had trouble sleeping, and when
he did sleep, he had nightmares. He got married and divorced in less than a
year. He had flashbacks. He isolated himself from his friends and drank
more.

His anxiety level was out of this world,” his father said. “This
was a young man who got straight A’s in high school, and now he couldn’t
function.”

Openshaw had the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress
disorder, even though he had never been in combat. His parents attributed the
trauma to the accident and the heavy medications he was taking for the
continuing pain.

But there was more.

Finally, he broke down and
told his father.

A few months after his accident, as he was awaiting his

medical discharge from the Army, he had been sexually assaulted.

The
attack left him physically injured and emotionally shattered. Inhibited by
shame, embarrassment, sexual confusion and fear, it took him five years to come
forward with the full story.

What truly sets this story apart, however,
is not the details of the case, horrific as they are, but the gender of the
victim.

There is a widespread presumption that most victims of sexual
assault in the military services are women. That presumption, however, is
false.

In a 2006 survey of active-duty troops, 6.8 percent of women and
1.8 percent of men said they had experienced unwanted sexual contact in the
previous 12 months. Since there are far more men than women in the services,
that translates into roughly 22,000 men and 14,000 women.

Among women,
the number of victims who report their assaults is small. Among men, it is
infinitesimal. Last year the services received 2,530 reports of sexual assault
involving female victims – and 220 involving male victims.

One of them
was Pfc. Cody Openshaw.

Now his family has made the difficult decision to
go public with his story in the hope that it will prompt the military services
to confront the reality of male sexual assault.

As Openshaw’s father put
it in an interview, “Now that they know, what are they going to do about it.”

Openshaw grew up in a large Mormon family in Utah, the fifth of
nine children. He was a mild-tempered child, an Eagle Scout who dreamed of
becoming a brain surgeon.

He was an athlete, a tireless hockey player and
a lover of the outdoors. He was prone to take off on a moment’s notice to go
hiking or camping – sometimes with a friend, often just him and his tent – among
Utah’s rugged canyons and brown scrub-covered mountains.

He had a
sensitive side, too: He was a published poet.

He looked big and menacing
but he was really a teddy bear, one of his brothers said.

When he walked
into a room, a sister said, everyone would light up.

He also had a
mischievous streak. Once after joining the Army in 2001, he went home on leave
unannounced for his mother’s birthday. He had himself wrapped up in a big
cardboard box and delivered to the front porch. When his mother opened the box,
he popped out.

Openshaw volunteered for the 82nd Airborne Division, based
at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he excelled as a paralegal and paratrooper. But his

military career came to an untimely end shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks.

As his unit was training to invade Afghanistan, a
parachute malfunction sent Openshaw plummeting 60 feet to the ground, causing
severe stress fractures in his spine and both legs.

For months as he
awaited his medical discharge, he was plagued by chronic pain. The medications
prescribed by the Army doctors only helped so much, and alcohol became a kind of
self-medication.

After a night on the town with a fellow soldier, his

father learned later, Openshaw returned to the barracks and encountered a
solicitous platoon sergeant.

His legs were hurting, and the sergeant
said, “Let me rub your legs.” Then the contact became violently sexual. Openshaw
– drunk, disabled and outranked – was in no position to resist.

The next
day the sergeant told him, “Just remember, accidents happen. They can happen to
you and to your family. You know, people show up missing.”

The story came
out in tortured bits and pieces.

Openshaw confided in his older sister
the next day in an agonized phone call but swore her to secrecy. He took his

assailant’s warning as a death threat.

“He was worried about me and the
rest of the family,” his sister said. “He said ‘We need to keep it quiet.’

Because of the reported threat to Openshaw’s family, their names and
locations have been omitted from this story.

He finally told his
therapist at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Salt Lake City, who
referred him to a VA sexual assault treatment center in Bay Pines, Fla. As part
of his therapy there, Openshaw shared more of the traumatic episode in a letter
to his father.

“He wanted to get better,” his brother said. ” He decided,
‘I’m going to beat this. I’m tired of five years of depression. I want to feel
alive again.’ ”

A longtime friend thinks guilt was a factor in Openshaw’s
reluctance to come forward with his story.

“I think he blamed himself
because he was drinking,” the friend said. “When the assault happened, he said
he remembered laying there and he was so drunk that he couldn’t do anything
about it.

“It really affected him. He struggled even with asking a girl
out on a date. He felt unworthy.”

Trauma from sexual assault has
become so commonplace in the military that it now has its own designation: MST,
for military sexual trauma.

The VA was first authorized to provide sexual
assault outreach and counseling to female veterans after a series of
congressional hearings in 1992. As the realization dawned that this was not just
a women’s issue, those services were extended to male veterans.

According
to a 2007 study by a team of VA researchers, a nationwide screening of veterans
seeking VA services turned up more than 60,000 with sexual trauma. More than
half of those – nearly 32,000 – were men.

Those numbers almost certainly
understate the problem, the researchers wrote, concluding that the population of
sexually traumatized men and women under the treatment of the VA is “alarmingly
large.”

Sexual trauma, the researchers found, poses a risk for developing
post-traumatic stress disorder “as high as or higher than combat
exposure.”

Among active-duty personnel, the Defense Department has
embarked on what it says is an unprecedented effort to wipe out sexual assault

in the ranks.

Key to that effort, the department says, is encouraging a
climate in which victims feel free to report the crime without fear of
retribution, stigma or harm to their careers.

In 2005, Congress
authorized the creation of the Defense Task Force on Sexual Assault in the
Military Services to examine how well the services are carrying out that
mission. Its final report is being prepared now.

The task force fanned
out across the world, hearing stories from dozens of service members who had
been victimized by sexual predators. In April, at a public meeting in Norfolk,
the group saw a slide presentation prepared by Cody Openshaw’s father.

As
the story unfolded, the hotel conference room fell silent. By the end, the
staffer who presented it – a crusty retired general – was close to
tears.

It was a rare event: Of 58 stories collected by the task force
over a year of meetings and interviews, only seven involved male
victims.

If the crime is seldom reported, it follows that it is seldom
prosecuted. According to Army court-martial records, 65 sexual assault cases
involving male victims have been prosecuted worldwide in the past five years.
There were almost 10 times that many cases, 621, involving female
victims.

The Air Force, Navy and Marines were unable to provide a
breakdown of sexual assault cases by gender.

Jim Hopper, a psychology
instructor at Harvard Medical School who has studied male sexual abuse, said
victims’ reluctance to come forward is rooted in biology and gender
socialization.

Males are biologically wired to be more emotionally
reactive and expressive than females, Hopper said, but they are socialized to
suppress their emotions.

“Boys are not supposed to be vulnerable, sad,
helpless, ashamed, afraid, submissive – anything like that is totally taboo for
boys,” he said. “The messages come from everywhere. Right from the start, a
fundamental aspect of their being is labeled as not OK.”

Military
training reinforces that socialization, Hopper said. “It conditions men to
accept physical wounds, death and killing while leaving them unprepared for
emotional wounds that assault their male identity.

“When they get
assaulted, they’re unprepared to deal with their vulnerable emotions. They
resist seeking help. They believe that their hard-earned soldier-based
masculinity has been shattered. They’re going to feel betrayed, alienated,
isolated, unworthy. They feel like they’re a fake, a fraud, not a real man,”
Hopper said.

Openshaw’s father, a marriage and family therapist, fears
that the plight of male victims will continue to get short shrift.

“The
military should take a more proactive role in understanding male sexual
assault,” he said. “They need to set up some way that these young men can get
some services without feeling so humiliated. They don ‘t have to be so macho.”

When Openshaw returned home from treatment in Florida in April
2008, his family and friends were buoyed by hope that he had turned a
corner.

The two months of treatment “did a world of good,” one friend
said.

“He texted me and said, ‘I’ve learned so many things. I’ve learned
that bad things can happen to good people, and it’s not their fault.’

“He was so excited to come home,” a sister said. “He was planning a big
party. He wanted everybody to see he was better.”

He was still heavily
medicated, however – with narcotics for the lingering pain from his parachute
accident and antidepressants for his post-traumatic stress disorder.

His

first night at home, he went to bed and never woke up.

The cause of death
was respiratory arrest from prescription drug toxicity. He was 25.

“These
medications that he was on, they build up in your bloodstream to the point of
toxicity,” his father said. “And that’s what we’re assuming happened.”

He
does not think his son committed suicide.

“I have nine children,
including Cody, and 15 grandchildren,” he said. “Cody had made arrangements for
them all to come over the next day. There was absolutely nothing in his affect
or demeanor that would suggest that he would kill himself.”

He is buried
beside a pine tree on a flat, grassy hilltop in the shadow of his beloved
mountains. His gravestone is adorned by U.S. flags, flowers and cartoon bird
figures recalling his whimsical streak.

A year later, his death remains
an open wound for the family. One younger brother is “very angry with God,” his

father said. He refuses to visit the grave.

Openshaw’s young nieces and
nephews still talk about him and ask when he’s coming over to play.

“Kids
loved him to pieces,” his mother said. “He affected everybody he
met.”

She, like her husband, hopes her son’s story will prompt the
military services to take male sexual assault more seriously: “Something needs
to be done so other service members and their families don’t have to go through
this.”

The Army Criminal Investigation Command investigated the case, but
with the victim dead and no eyewitnesses, the initial conclusion was that there
was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

The suspect has been questioned
but remains on active duty. He has been recently deployed in Iraq.

If the
case is not prosecuted, the suspect may be subject to administrative
sanctions.

Louis Iasiello, a retired rear admiral and chief of Navy
chaplains who co-chairs the sexual assault task force, said that when commanding
officers take the crime seriously, victims – whether male or female – are more
likely to come forward.

“The command really does set the tone,” he said.
In places where the command set a positive tone and also set a zero tolerance
toward this crime, it was very obvious that people felt more comfortable coming
forward and reporting an incident and getting the help they needed to begin the
healing process.”

In the Openshaw case, that clearly didn’t happen, said
Thomas Cuthbert, the task force staffer who presented the story in

Norfolk.

At the time of his attack, Openshaw was in a holding unit at
Fort Bragg for soldiers awaiting medical discharge.

“Instead of
protecting him while he was being treated, he was left alone and subject to a
predator,” said Cuthbert, a retired brigadier general.

“The kid was not
in a position where he was fully capable of defending himself, and he got hurt
by some hoodlum wearing a uniform. Any Army officer worth his salt, looking at
those facts, would get angry.

“He needed help, and instead he received
abuse of the worst kind. Leadership can’t prevent all crime. But when someone in

authority takes advantage of a subordinate, leadership should be held
accountable.”

If the services are serious about coming to grips with male
sexual assault, Cuthbert said, there is still much work to be done.

If it
can happen to a talented, promising soldier in the 82nd Airborne, he said,
plenty of others who aren’t as independent or as capable of taking care of
themselves also are at risk.

“Nobody in uniform is very happy talking
about this issue. They don’t want to publicly admit it’s there, although we all
know it’s there.”

Bill Sizemore, (757) 446-2276,
bill.sizemore@pilotonline.com

1,328 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAIN MEDS: Death: Former Woman Soldier: England

Paragraphs two and three read:  “Chanice Ward, 29, died in April after taking a cocktail of painkillers andantidepressants in her Barford caravan, but yesterday greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said he could not be certain she committed suicide.”

“Her father maintains a belief that Miss Ward took her own life because she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder bought on by her years in the army, and has now vowed to continue with the fight for recognition she began before she died.”

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED27%20Aug%202009%2007%3A35%3A01%3A210

Uncertainty over overdose death

Chanice Ward.
REBECCA GOUGH
27 August 2009 07:35

A coroner has ruled that a young woman who was discharged from the army against her will and who died of an overdose earlier this year may not have deliberately taken her own life.

Chanice Ward, 29, died in April after taking a cocktail of painkillers and antidepressants in her Barford caravan, but yesterday greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said he could not be certain she committed suicide.

Her father maintains a belief that Miss Ward took her own life because she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder bought on by her years in the army, and has now vowed to continue with the fight for recognition she began before she died.

The inquest heard how Miss Ward, who was pursuing a case for compensation with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, had a history of depression and died as a result of a “self-administered overdose”.

Mr Ward, 57, who served 22 years in the army, said: “I know this inquest could not appoint blame but I’m certainly of the opinion that her time in the military and in active service worsened her state of mind. We have a case going on with the MoD and will be continuing her cause.”

For the last five years Miss Ward, of Barford, near Hethersett, had been working at Norwich Union in Surrey Street, Norwich and was a PA in the pensions department.

Since the age of 18 she had served six years in the Royal Medical Corps as a combat medic and ambulance technician, from 1997 to 2003, and won award medals from Bosnia and Kosovo.

She was found dead in the caravan she rented in Barford on April 3, but speaking at her inquest, her family and friends said they were shocked she had taken an overdose.

Her mother, Donna Holder, said her daughter was diagnosed with depression when she was a teenager but had appeared much happier in recent months.

Ms Holder said: “It was a very great shock because she was so well and had so many future plans and so much to look forward to.”

Mr Ward added that he had taken a phone call from his daughter a few weeks before she died, and said: “She said to me ‘I don’t think I’ve got long left to live’, and I said she was being silly but I knew deep down that she knew it.

“In the last six months she appeared tremendously upbeat but there was something underlying. She always appeared on the surface to be putting on a front but you never knew underneath what was going on.”

Her close friend Stanley Woodhouse was with her the weekend before she died and said: “I think I probably spent more time with her in the last few months of her life than anybody did.

“She thought the medication she was on had solved a lot of her problems but, as her father has said, we didn’t really know what was going on deep down. The feeling she gave to me was that she was upbeat about life.”

In an interview with our sister paper the Evening News earlier this year Ms Ward claimed she twice tried to kill herself but that her bosses would not accept she was suffering from an illness.

A MoD spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Chanice Ward at this difficult time.

“We take the welfare of all our service personnel and veterans seriously.

“We have made great progress both in the treatment of mental health problems and in reducing the stigma associated with seeking help.

“Treatment for mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress, is also available for veterans through six community-based mental health pilot schemes the MoD has created with the NHS.”

1,295 total views, no views today

Effects of Paxil on Behaviour

“One day Paxil will have to be banned or withdrawn from sale.”

Dear ICFDA reader,

Here it is:

I was prescribed Paxil, (known in Australia as ‘Aropax’), by a doctor who suggested I start using it at 20 mg and increase to 40 after a month then to 60. This was so that I could be weaned off Xanax. I was also taking painkillers for back pain. The doctor stated that it was a drug that very few people liked because of the side effects. 3 weeks after beginning the Paxil regime I went to another state where I was not under any medical supervision. Before I left though I was already exhibiting what one could term ‘uninhibited’ behaviour. For example, I had been sold a guitar about a year earlier that was a dud and about a week after starting Paxil I decided to go and complain to the shop keeper. When I walked in I looked around and saw that there was virtually no one in the shop so I walked up to the guitar rack and picked up a $2500 dollar guitar and walked out again. This was an unusual action for me.

Whilst away from my home state I began chronically shop-lifting as though it was some kind of exciting new challenge and when I returned, now armed with a bottle of morphine, I moved in with a houseful of punks and started trafficking in and smoking marijuana. I informed my doctor during a moment of clarity that I thought I might be a kleptomaniac but he disagreed and informed me that I’d get caught. I don’t think he’d read the patient information leaflet which states that any uncontrolled/uninhibited behaviour is a side effect which should signal the doctor advising immediate steps toward discontinuing use of the drug.

The shop-lifting reached epic proportions where I could not leave the house without returning with at least a minimum of $1000 worth of items per day. I kept a list and had an aim of reaching the target of $1000000 worth of stolen goods. I invited street kids to come into my home, initiated a relationship with a prostitute, offended all of my friends and family in a manner that in my not-really-lily-white-past had ever been managed and had the police through the house about once a month for a year or so. Eventually, I was charged with stealing and drug possession and convicted. This downward spiral presented itself to my mind as a challenging game to be survived.

I just stopped taking Paxil one day about 2 years later and withdrew also from painkillers so I don’t recall any specific side effects of the Paxil withdrawal. It took a lot of prayers to and help from God to get off all drugs.

In retrospect, I can only assume that these SRI drugs have side effects which effect each individual user differently. Side effect patterns seem to vary so much from user to user that it suggests the drug emphasizes psychotic behaviour. The problem is that when on Paxil the patient is oblivious to some or all of these side effects. This would explain why children, who are less aware of the functioning of their own minds, are likely to commit suicide whilst on them. They don’t understand that the drug is interfering with the mechanism of their identity that is self preserving and in an uninhibited moment happily succumb to the depressed desire to die. If they’re thinking self destructively and they’re on a drug which makes them feel comfortably uninhibited there is this danger. It’s logical that one day Paxil will have to be banned or withdrawn from sale.

brett
bhernan@dodo.com

1,253 total views, no views today