Three from the internets:
Archive for July, 2008
The Army Times fronts a story about group therapy.
Three new studies looking at combat stress have found group exposure therapy seems to work, that troops with traumatic brain injuries are more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder, and that stress debriefings held after traumatic events don’t appear to prevent PTSD.
The research comes as the Department of Veterans Affairs works to find the best treatment methods for combat veterans. It follows a report by Rand Corp. that showed only one treatment method — exposure therapy — has been proven to help PTSD in studies by objective researchers.
I remember a few months back, DOD researches were trying a “stress pill” to blunt traumatic memories.
“Some memories can be very disruptive. They come back to you when you don’t want to have them – in a daydream or nightmare or flashbacks – and are usually accompanied by very painful emotions,” said Roger Pitman, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who is studying the approach. “This could relieve a lot of that suffering.”
Skeptics, however, argue that tinkering with memories treads into dangerous territory because memories are part of the very essence of a person’s identity, as well as crucial threads in the fabric of society that help humanity avoid the mistakes of the past.
When I was a young lad I worked for a mental health clinic. Drug reps came all the time. They would advertise their wares and then ask for data on how effective their drugs were. We never gave them specific data on patients, but a general idea about how our people were doing. One patient did a 180 on a new anti-psychotic. He went from ranting and not bathing to clean and calm. He later started to backslide but he was no longer as bad as before.
However, we still had to manage him. By that I mean help him take his meds, teach him some basic lifeskills and such. A casemanager still had to visit him every week to make sure he was ok. Several times drug reps would admit, to our faces, that group therapy (in combination with their drugs) was the best. We saw it time and again. Our psychiatrist could prescribe drugs, but group was where we made the money, so to speak. in that light, the Rand study does not surprise me.
PTSD is no different. I hate to say it, but the “stress pill” sounds like wish full thinking on the part of hospitals and DOD accountants who want to cut budgets for therapy. Therapy costs time and money. Mostly money when dealing with service members who are in the psych fields. I hope this gets more counselors in uniform and more vets the help they need. Maybe some day a pill will come, but I doubt it.
p.s. one time the Pfizer reps left us some clocks and watches. We almost sent them back. The watches were in the shape of the viagra pill (they said “pfizer” but the shape was recognized by my boss). The clocks? They had a blue plastic decal. It was about 3-4 hours long on the clock. The same lenght was one dose of, you guessed it, viagra. Plus if and “VIAGRA” in nice flowing, big script. We gave those away to friends and family except for one that was mounted HIGH above the reception desk. The lunch was good though. You could feed a small village with the food the reps would bring. One brought a 7′ long sub, and 6 gallons of soda. mmmmmmm….
Analysis: U.S. winning war that seemed lost
By Robert Burns and Robert H. Reid – The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jul 28, 2008 11:09:26 EDT
BAGHDAD — The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.
Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.
via the Army Times.com
Other sources had a different take:
From across the pond, Julie Burchill has quite a few things to say about modern life: (source ThisisLondon.co.uk
When Oscar Wilde said that being natural is surely the biggest pose of all, he must have foreseen the current crop of big-screen luvvies, those po-faced, ‘fiercely private’ paparazzi-haters who have chosen to expose themselves on screens the size of churches – often naked – in return for vast amounts of money from paying strangers.
- Wired fronts a story about a research into a new rifle. It burns hydrogen and is based on a toy (I’m not making this up):
Quoting New Scientist.
“Lund and Company Invention, L.L.C., a toy design studio based near Chicago, makes toy rockets that are powered by burning hydrogen obtained by electrolyzing water. Now the company is being funded by the US army to adapt the technology to fire bullets instead.
The US Army are interested in arming soldiers with weapons that can be switched between lethal and non-lethal modes. They asked the company to make a rifle that can fire projectiles at various speeds.”
- Members of Congress wants the Navy’s new destroyers, that the Navy said that it no longer wants. Navy leadership has shifted priorities, building more of the cheaper Arleigh Burke class.
Leading the charge is Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who has several contractors in his home state. They hate the military until jobs in their district are on the line.
Bring the troops home! End the Occupation! That’s been the mantra for years. Obama’s been on a tour promoting
himself his candidacy and his plans across the middle east and europe.
This begs the question:
What would happen if we were to pull out much faster, on a 16-month timetable? Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, says that would be “very dangerous” — the same words used by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Of course, if the Iraqi government tells us to leave, we will have to leave. But, the prime minister’s ambiguous comments notwithstanding, the Iraqi government is saying no such thing, because most Iraqis realize that the gains of the surge are fragile and could be undone by a too-rapid departure of U.S. forces.
Souce: Max Boot at the WashingtonPost.
Spook86 at In From the Cold points out that the Democrats (esp. the chosen one) hated Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki. Hated until he tried to make friends with their candidate. Spook also points out that Maliki may have simply been trying to make firends simply because it Obama looks like a presidential contender.
While on tour, many pundits started to take apart the Obama halo. Vague promises, stirring speeches and photo ops do not a president make. Neither does blowing off wounded U.S. troops because you cannot campaign at a U.S. military base.
Meanwhile we keep winning the Iraq war.
Change we can believe in.