Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

Do you think that people who are not able to cope should be in the military?

Use of prescription psychotropics has skyrocketed among U.S. military personnel in recent years, according to an investigation by Military Times.

At least 17 percent of active-duty military personnel are currently taking an antidepressant, including as many as 6 percent of all deployed troops. In contrast, the rate of antidepressant use in the wider U.S. public is only 10 percent.

The numbers are probably higher than estimated, since troops are also known to share and trade prescription drugs with each other, even while in combat zones.

Data obtained from the Defense Logistics Agency show that overall use of psychiatric drugs increased by 76 percent between 2001 and 2009. More specifically, use of anti-seizure drugs increased 70 percent, use of sedatives and anxiety drugs increased 170 percent, and antipsychotic use increased 200 percent.

Answer Question

Asked by icanbeabitch at 3:30 PM on Jul. 26, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 11 (637 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • According to a 2009 study by the Veterans Affairs Administration, approximately 60 percent of psychiatric drug use by military personnel is for "off-label" uses not approved by the FDA. Thus, antipsychotic drugs intended for the treatment of schizophrenia are now being widely prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms such as anger, headaches, nervousness and nightmares.
    Further compounding concern over side effects, many troops regularly mix two or more drugs together into untested cocktails. The effects of multiple drugs acting in unison have rarely been tested. When both drugs act on the same organ -- in this case, the brain -- the chance of unforeseen interactions is even greater.

    "In the case of poly-drug use -- the 'cocktail' -- where you are combining an antidepressant, an anticonvulsant, an antipsychotic, and maybe a stimulant to keep this guy awake -- that has never been tested," Breggin said.


    Comment by icanbeabitch (original poster) at 3:31 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • I definitely think that there should be a lot of support and evaluation for our troops, to make sure they are not only physically cared for, but mentally and emotionally as well. Many of the soldiers that end up with serious problems didn't have them until they enlist and see and do terrible things and are traumatized.

    Answer by KTMOM at 3:32 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • Among the side effects that some health professionals worry about are impaired motor skills, reduced reaction time, increased suicide risk, irritability, aggressiveness and hostility.

    "Imagine causing that in men and women who are heavily armed and under a great deal of stress," psychiatrist Peter Breggin said.

    Some observers have suggested that the 150 percent increase in suicides in the Army since 2001 and the 50 percent increase in the Marines may be caused in part by the 76 percent increase in the use of psychiatric drugs.


    Comment by icanbeabitch (original poster) at 3:32 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • well ya i mean if you watched your freind get shot int he face or have to leave your wife who just had your baby behind and now beable to see your kids for a whole year you might be deressed too.
    and true the number of suicide have gone up but they go threw ALOT of shit. as long as there on the proper meds i dont think it should be an issue. as long as there seeking the proper treatment and a liscenced phychologist or dr signs off on it , its ok. there are lots of ppl with PTSD .its a very real and scary thing. not only for the troops but for the families to have to deal with too.

    Answer by sandraberke at 3:33 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • Oh well, military is not for everyone. If you are not made for it, you should stay home. That's what I think. I can't stand hearing 18 year olds say that they go there for the after-benefits. Stupid is who stupid says.

    Comment by icanbeabitch (original poster) at 3:36 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • Spc. Michael Kern has been prescribed a cocktail of drugs as part of his "Warrior in Transition" plan, as he deals with PTSD and other issues since his Iraq deployment.

    Comment by icanbeabitch (original poster) at 3:40 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • How many of the issues they're treating by throwing pills at them could really be handled with some counseling sessions? It's faster and cheaper to throw a pill at it. That doesn't mean they are all in bad enough shape they need to be medicated full time.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:46 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • The military can be VERY stressful for an individual, but most do not use all the resources available to them. There are numerous of programs in place to help with coping with the lifestyle, all you have to do is use them. Also, you do NOT have to accept all the medications that they prescribe.. Hell, you can even see a civilian shrink if you choose to do so. Most of those that go undiagnosed or have severe problems cause the problems for themselves.

    Answer by xxlilmomma09 at 3:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • it's also way up with the civilian population. if the so many average people think they need it to deal with their cubicle/commute/mortgage, is it really surprising that demand is up among those fighting a war? and I've heard about people who are disabled from battle injuries being sent back to duty, so it's no doubt even more frequent for mental issues.

    war is insanity, that level of violence SHOULD trouble a healthy mind. I'd be more worried about the sanity of anyone UNFAZED by it.

    Answer by autodidact at 3:47 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

  • "people who are not able to cope"

    Exactly how is it that one would know what they can or cannot cope with, until they are faced with that situation?


    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 3:50 PM on Jul. 26, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.