When We Honor US Vets, Let Us Also Honor Their Brains!
Today is the Fourth of July, 2015, a day to celebrate the USA ideals of liberty, revolution and freedom! We put aside political divisions, and thank our Veterans for their service and sacrifice. Many Vets are returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with serious mental and emotional problems. A popular doctor in the media is Dr. Daniel Amen, and he warns that many of these Vets will be given psychiatric drugs in a haphazard way, or as he puts it, like throwing “darts in the dark.”
You can see Dr. Amen’s Ted Talk, less than 15 minutes long, from a couple of years ago, entitled “The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans,” here:
While I learned a lot about how head injury tends to be ignored by much of psychiatry, this talk by Dr. Amen should also address how many of the psychiatric drugs, such as the neuroleptics which are also known as antipsychotics, can cause severe damage to higher level brain functions. Too often we focus on the fight between those who hate and those who take psychiatric drugs. But the real struggle is getting out the best information about the way non-drug alternatives have been shown to be more effective especially in the long run.
The website Mad in America has a lot of info about that topic.
As this 2011 US government article explains, current mainstream medical research has confirmed that the main psychiatric drugs used for people, including Vets, who are labeled schizophrenic can decrease the volume of their brains:
Images from the scans of brains can be seen below: