During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.
I had been an excellent combat medic — I had deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan totaling over 28 months of combat in Infantry and Cavalry units. Yet, after over six years on these psychiatric drugs, I felt reduced to a helpless being who would require assistance for the simplest of menial tasks.
I’m alive. More than 30,000 veterans in the past decade alone are not. I was not warned of the risks of this drug. I was not told that once on it, I might never be able to get off it, or the nightmare that would ensue when I tried. I know millions of others were not told either.
For the past 15 years, the VA's suicide prevention efforts have focused on getting veterans screened and treated for psychiatric disorders, with antidepressants a first-line therapy. This effort has caused veteran suicide rates to steadily rise.
I was a victim of racial and criminal profiling on campus. I worried whether, as an introvert and someone who also identified as mentally ill, people thought I was a potential shooter.
Veterans struggling with a diagnosis of PTSD, or depression and other difficulties find that learning to perform Shakespearean monologues, and developing their own dramatic monologues, can help them "unwire" from the traumas of war.
Had I known what I know now, I never would have taken any of these drugs, and I absolutely would not have taken a role in which my outreach efforts to get veterans into mental health treatment might place thousands of lives at risk.
An interview with Amanda Burrill, who, after a successful career as a Surface Warfare Officer and Rescue Swimmer in the US Navy, was on track to continue her career as a professional triathlete and marathon runner. Around the time of her discharge, she was prescribed a cocktail of psychiatric medications that caused physical injuries, leading to an early end to her rapidly accelerating career.
Through my research and experiences, I've found that what the Veterans Administration has been doing to fight the veteran suicide epidemic isn't working and appears to be unintentionally exacerbating it. These problems are fixable. But I need your help.
Today I’ve recovered a semblance of my old life, and I, like millions of others, deserve answers. What have these drugs actually done to us? Everything I’ve learned thus far shows that antidepressants were poorly researched, and society, especially our military service members and veterans, were used as test subjects.
In the United States and other countries that have a military, there is often a great deal of talk about supporting veterans, but way too often, research aimed at learning what will be helpful is misguided and can even be harmful. The same applies to nonveterans who have been through traumatic experiences. Two new studies exemplify such wrongheaded approaches.
An interview with U.S. Navy Veteran Dan Hurd, founder of Ride With Dan USA and The One Pedal at a Time Movement. After surviving his third suicide attempt, Dan became inspired to bicycle to all 48 States in the continental U.S. to help raise awareness and make connections.
A new study has found that antidepressants are ineffective for reducing suicide attempts. Researchers report that the risk of suicide is particularly high in the first month after starting an antidepressant.
A new study found that taking an antidepressant medication was associated with a heightened risk of suicide using violent means.
On MIA Radio we interview Derek Blumke, who tells of his time serving in the military, his experiences taking and coming off psychiatric drugs and his role as editor of MIA's new Veterans Initiative.