Thursday, September 19, 2019

In the past decade, suicide has become an epidemic plaguing the military and veteran community, with upwards of 20 suicides a day by veterans, service members, Guard Members and Reservists. To play a role in combatting this crisis, Mad in America has launched the Veterans, Service Members & Military Families Initiative, under the editorship of Derek Blumke,  to help the community become better educated and to assist service members, veterans and their families to identify alternatives to the dominant drug-based model of mental health. If you have queries about this page please get in touch with Derek.

Editor's Corner

Derek Blumke

Welcome home to every service member, veteran, family member or supporter who has ever felt not listened to. Welcome home to every person who has felt their prescriber heard only a series of symptoms, and not a person having real responses to real experiences and real challenges. This page is meant to be a place where you can learn more about yourself through the stories of others, and where you can help others, simply by sharing your story. 

A person is not defined by the aggregate of their symptoms. Instead a person is a reflection of the communities they are a part of; their openness to see good in humanity; and their hope for all of us to become better through the connectedness to others. Welcome home.

Antidepressant Use Associated With More Violent Suicide Attempts

A new study found that taking an antidepressant medication was associated with a heightened risk of suicide using violent means.

Antidepressant Use Does Not Prevent Suicide, Study Finds

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.

Dan Hurd – One Pedal at a Time

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.
military

Broken Is Not All I’ll Ever Be: Military Veterans and Psychiatric Drugs

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.

Derek Blumke – The Mad in America Veterans Initiative

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.

Suicide in the Age of Prozac

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.

From the Archives

Support This Initiative

Mad in America Foundation needs your support to sustain this resource and critical psychiatry forum for veterans, military members, and their families. Please donate here, and check off the veterans box to support this initiative. — Derek Blumke

Get Involved

If you have a personal story to tell, or are involved in psychiatric care in some way, please send an inquiry to us.

On Suicide

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion have begun to seek answers as to the role of antidepressant medications in causing suicides of service members, veterans and their families. Check back soon to learn more about what they are working on to save the lives of those within this community.

For more info on suicide and antidepressants, see MIA report on Suicide in the Age of Prozac.

Resources

There are multiple resources on Mad in America for researching the effects of psychiatric drugs, alternative non-drug therapies, and withdrawal from such medications. These various resources are listed in the menu bar under drugs and parents. Specifically:

In-depth reviews of antipsychotics and antidepressants; non-drug therapies for anxiety, depression and PTSD; and withdrawal resources, includes a directory of providers who will support people who want to taper from psychiatric medications. The Parents section provides similar reviews of treatments for children and adolescents.

In addition, you can access our archival reports of findings about psychiatric drugs that have been published in peer-reviewed journals.