Its no secret that war is hell, and since the war in Iraq began over 8 years ago thousands of families have suffered. What many seem to forget, or perhaps just fail to talk about are the effects of war on those soldiers lucky enough to come home with their lives intact, and subsequently their families. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects thousands of those who have seen combat, or even been close to it and because of it the suffering goes far beyond the front lines. Last year alone, there were actually more suicides or attempted suicides among US soldiers than lives lost in combat. Typically, those who return home with PTSD are treated with antidepressants, and a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that these treatments as well as advanced treatments with antipsychotic drugs are completely ineffective.
Earlier this year JAMA published research that showed those who had PTSD also experienced multiple other long term health issues like depression, headaches, and memory problems than those who were not diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD is the most common of the psychiatric disorders noted among soldiers who have been in combat, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that nearly 90% of those who are diagnosed with it are prescribed antidepressants. According to the most recent JAMA study, antidepressant use in veterans with PTSD had negative results, so they moved on to prescribing antipsychotic drugs even without any evidence to support the idea that they actually work.
A 6 month trial with more than 350 patients on antipsychotic drugs that are used to help treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia that was randomized and placebo controlled found absolutely no difference between the drugs and placebos. Not only were there no differences in results regarding PTSD, but the drugs showed no improvement in overall quality of life, paranoia, anxiety, or reduction of depression symptoms. The real message to take away from this is that these powerful drugs have no beneficial qualities in helping our veterans, but instead come with a host of side effects that include confusion, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, vision problems, and seizures among many others.
Journal of the American Medical Association