Friday, June 06, 2008

Well Done (If there is any truth to this) and more Anti-Meds Talk (this time about the troops)

If this is true somebody deserves a medal for this one. Meaning, someone in Iranian intel.
Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that Iranian exiles who provided dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran to a small group of Pentagon officials might have "been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service ... to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government," a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday.
The revelation raises questions about whether Iran may have used a small cabal of officials in the Pentagon and in Vice President Dick Cheney's office to feed bogus intelligence on Iraq and Iran to senior policymakers in the Bush administration who were eager to oust the Iraqi dictator.

and if you are into conspiracies theories like the nutcase that comes on AM 820 after Rachel Maddow (who is actually quite good).
According to the report, Ledeen, however, persisted, presenting then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith with a new 100-day plan to provide, among other things, evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that supposedly had been moved to Iran — Saddam Hussein's archenemy. This time, the report said, Ledeen solicited support from former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and from three then-GOP senators, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jon Kyl of Arizona and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Yeah, this Malloy character was talking was how shocked it was that 11% of troops in Iraq (17% in Afghanistan) were taking antidepressants (not sure about the stats, but from the Time article).

In 1994 then Major E. Cameron Ritchie, an Army psychiatrist, was among the first to suggest that SSRIs should deploy with Army combat units. In a paper written and published after she returned from a combat deployment to Somalia, Ritchie noted that the sick-call chests used by military doctors "contain either outdated or no psychiatric medications." She concluded, "If depressive symptoms are moderate and manageable, medication may be preferable to medical evacuation."

I would have expected much higher and it would be curious to see how those rates compare with comparably stressful occupations or with the population at large. But its frightening to think about the troops when they come back trying to get psychiatric care for even "mild" mental health issues such depression or PTSD or even given limitations of emergency hospitalization with top notch health insurance. "Just go the emergency rooom..." (if you didn't read my blog entry from last November during more stressful times).

And if Magellan is such joke, what must it be like to try to get treatment from the VA? But Sertaline is relatively cheap, so there is some hope.

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