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 developed this resource section for veterans, service members, and their families to identify risks associated with the prescribing of antidepressants and other psychiatric medication, and to identify alternatives to the dominant drug-based model of mental health. If you have queries about this page please get in touch with Robert Whitaker at [email protected].

 

War Cry For Change

My Red October – An Army Veteran’s Crucible to Recovery

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After my VA mental health team prescribed Prozac, I began experiencing rapidly escalating behavioral changes. The drug was never considered as a potential cause.

“War Cry For Change”: Veterans Launch Campaign for Informed Consent and Safe Deprescribing at the VA

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Derek Blumke and Timothy Jensen: The Grunt Style Foundation leads a new phase in the movement to combat psychiatric drug harm.
Photo of a man, a veteran in a military uniform speaking with a therapist

Substance Use and Externalizing Behaviors Predict Suicide Attempts in Veterans, Not “Serious Mental Illness”

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Externalizing behavior and substance use disorder increased risk of severe suicide attempts far more than "serious mental illness" diagnoses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder diagnoses.
silhouette of soldiers

The Persistent, Misdirected Search for Causes of Trauma-based Suffering

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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.

Paula J. Caplan – Listen to a Veteran

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This week on MIA Radio, we chat with Paula J. Caplan, clinical and research psychologist, author of books and plays, playwright, actor, director, and activist. Paula is also a passionate and steadfast advocate for service members, veterans and their families.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

An Open Letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie: A Plan for Deprescribing Veteran Suicides

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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.

From the Archives

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.