Suicide: Will a Nasal Spray Keep Army Soldiers from Killing Themselves?

Suicide: Will a Nasal Spray Keep Army Soldiers from Killing Themselves?Suicide in our military ranks has become more common than any of us want to admit. The cause could be PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder), depression, or failure to readjust to civilian life.

The fact is that suicide among our returning soldiers is occurring at a rate that is not acceptable to those of us in the US who have a high regard for our soldiers. We view these brave young men and women who are serving our country as heroes who are willing to keep our country strong by putting their own lives on the line.

It seems, however, that these brave individuals struggle with civilian life after returning home from one of the war zones. Seeing these soldiers’ unsuccessful attempts at returning to society, the US Army is attempting to find a cure for this erratic behavior. Some of its efforts have turned to various medical drugs, including a nasal spray that might help those soldiers fight the depression that drives them to thoughts of suicide. But are drugs the answer to the problem, or will they merely mask or exacerbate the condition? Are there other solutions available to assist our troops?

How Bad is the Suicide Rate for Returning Veterans?

Let’s look at the facts:

  • In July of 2012, 38 soldiers took their own lives.
  • Suicide is the number two reason for military deaths.
  • In the first half of 2012, 116 military deaths have been attributed to suicide.
  • Veteran soldiers are more likely to kill themselves than new recruits

What We Didn’t Learn from the War in Vietnam

Given these statistics, it should not come as a shock to any of us that there is such a high suicide rate among our troops.

Let me pause here to affirm that I am not a politically motivated person, so my views are mine and mine alone. However, I believe that the reason we study history is so that we will not make the same mistakes again and again. Unfortunately, this theory has not worked well for our country since we seem to fall into the same military predicaments over and over again. In fact, I recall thinking to myself when we started to bomb Iraq that I hoped we were not getting ourselves and our troops into another Vietnam situation. Having served during that time period, I truly believe that, in Vietnam, victory eluded us and was only seen as a necessary campaign in the minds of warmongers. I know I hoped that, when we elected to bomb Iraq, we wouldn’t find ourselves in the same predicament.

Unfortunately, it seems like we are seeing the same results, even though our current military is far better trained and armed than the troops who served in Vietnam. Sadly, however, one thing that doesn’t change from one war to the next is that the people we send into battle are the boys and girls who lived on our streets. They are our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. These same sweet kids are being taught to kill. No matter what your religious, political, military, or personal beliefs are, killing is killing and has a way of undermining the human spirit. Sadly, our innocent children aren’t prepared for the ravages that this does to their souls and, as a result, their psyche can be tortured to the point that they can’t handle the nightmares that were their reality when they were stationed in one of the war zones. So again I ask: Should a high suicide among our returning troops be a shock to any of us? I personally don’t believe that it should.

Medication or Meditation?

So how can we help them? Should our troops be provided with medication to blur their memories of that horrible time in their lives, or should they be encouraged to give meditation a try? In other words: Should we rely on heavy doses of dangerous medicines to control their suicidal behavior, or should we help them find God?

I am realistic enough to know that there is a balance that must be met, and that some of our troops will need medications and therapy to overcome their depression problems. For these troops, I believe that something like a nasal spray may be warranted. But for others, maybe a good dose of counseling, with a dose of God thrown in, wouldn’t hurt and could have a more healing and lasting effect.

However, there is one thing that we can all agree upon. Our troops deserve the best care that can be provided to them, and no cost should be spared. Remember: They were willing to give us all they had to give in order to protect us and we, as a country, owe them all we can give back to them.

Comments welcome.

Source: Geekosystem

Source: USA Today

Source: The Christian Post

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by US Army

Certain Epilepsy Drugs May Increase Risk Of Suicide

There should be an image here!While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a warning of an increased risk of suicide for all epilepsy drugs, a new study shows that only certain drugs may increase the risk. The study is published in the July 27, 2010, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Newer drugs with a higher risk of causing depression than other epilepsy drugs, such as levetiracetam, topiramate and vigabatrin, were found to increase the risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior among people with epilepsy.

In contrast, newer drugs that have a low risk of causing depression and conventional epilepsy drugs did not have any increased risk of self-harm or suicidal behavior. These groups include drugs such as lamotrigine, gabapentin, carbamazepine, valproate and phenytoin.

“These results may be helpful for doctors and people with epilepsy as they decide which drugs to use,” said study author Frank Andersohn, MD, of Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany. “An earlier analysis of data by the FDA grouped all of the epilepsy drugs together and found an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, but could not address the question of whether there were differences among the various classes of epilepsy drugs.”

In an editorial accompanying the article, Josemir Sander, MD, PhD, of the University College London in the United Kingdom and the Epilepsy Institute of the Netherlands Foundation and Marco Mula, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital Maggiore della Carità in Novara, Italy, noted that some researchers have been concerned that the risks of people stopping taking their epilepsy drugs or not starting to take a drug due to worries about the risk of suicide would be greater than the risk of suicidal behavior.

The study looked at all of the people in the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database who had epilepsy and had at least one prescription for an epilepsy drug from 1989 through 2005. The participants were followed for an average of five and a half years. Of the 44,300 people, 453 had harmed themselves or attempted suicide; 78 people died at the time or within four weeks of the initial attempt. The 453 people were compared to 8,962 in the larger group who had not harmed themselves or attempted suicide.

People who were currently using the newer drugs with a higher risk of depression, such as levetiracetam, topiramate and vigabatrin, were three times more likely to harm themselves or attempt suicide than those who were not currently taking any epilepsy drugs. A total of six of the 453 people, or 1.3 percent, who harmed themselves or attempted suicide were taking the newer drugs with the higher risk of depression, compared to 45 of the 8,962 people, or 0.5 percent, of those who did not harm themselves.

According to the authors, the number of people taking some of the drugs was small, so the results need to be confirmed by additional studies. People should not abruptly stop or change their epilepsy medication based on the findings of this study but should discuss this issue with their physician, Andersohn noted.

Angela Babb @ American Academy of Neurology

[Photo above by D Sharon Pruitt / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:holistic depression]

Buy Your Apple iPhone or iPad Soon – Supplies Could Shrink In Coming Months

Foxconn, the company that produces the Apple iPhone and iPad, as well as other electronic products, could be moving its plants out of China. In what appears to be a twofold problem, higher wages for Chinese workers and suicides at its plant in Shenzhen, the company may idle some 800,000 workers if it closes the plant. In addition, the company indicates that the price difference of producing electronics in China vs. Taiwan shrank when the company offered wage increases of 30% or more to the Chinese plant workers.

A recent article also states:

Foxconn’s facilities in Taiwan tend to be highly automated, whereas on the mainland they are much more labour intensive.

This intensive labour model, with long working hours and rigid systems, is one of the reasons given for worker unhappiness in southern China.

Taiwan is also trying to woo companies back. Last month it cut business income tax from 25 per cent to 17 per cent, and it is planning to set up several free trade zones for tariff-free imports.

The fallout from the Foxconn crisis continues to mount. There are fears of a domino effect causing serious production disruption in Shenzhen, one of the most heavily industrialised cities in China.

If Foxconn does move its operations back to Taiwan and closes its plant in China, this could cause a disruption in the supply chain. Apple could be facing a short supply of its popular iPhones and iPads down the road. Exactly when this could happen is unknown.

Comments welcome.


Earlier Bedtimes May Help Protect Adolescents Against Depression And Suicidal Thoughts

There should be an image here!A study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Sleep found that adolescents with bedtimes that were set earlier by parents were significantly less likely to suffer from depression and to think about committing suicide, suggesting that earlier bedtimes could have a protective effect by lengthening sleep duration and increasing the likelihood of getting enough sleep.

Results show that adolescents with parental set bedtimes of midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to suffer from depression (odds ratio = 1.24) and 20 percent more likely to have suicidal ideation (OR=1.20) than adolescents with parental set bedtimes of 10 p.m. or earlier. This association was appreciably attenuated by self-reported sleep duration and the perception of getting enough sleep. Adolescents who reported that they usually sleep for five or fewer hours per night were 71 percent more likely to suffer from depression (OR=1.71) and 48 percent more likely to think about committing suicide (OR=1.48) than those who reported getting eight hours of nightly sleep. Participants who reported that they “usually get enough sleep” were significantly less likely to suffer from depression (OR=0.35) and suicidal ideation (OR=0.71).

Lead author James E. Gangwisch, PhD, assistant professor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, N.Y., said that the results strengthen the argument that short sleep duration could play a role in the etiology of depression.

“Our results are consistent with the theory that inadequate sleep is a risk factor for depression, working with other risk and protective factors through multiple possible causal pathways to the development of this mood disorder,” said Gangwisch. “Adequate quality sleep could therefore be a preventative measure against depression and a treatment for depression.”

Data were collected from 15,659 adolescents and their parents who had participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a school-based, nationally representative, probability-based sample of U.S. students in grades seven to 12 in 1994 to 1996. Seven percent of participants (1,050) were found to have depression using the Centers for Epidemiologic Study-Depression Scale, and 13 percent (2,038) reported that they seriously thought about committing suicide during the past 12 months. Depression and suicidal ideation were associated with later parental set bedtime, shorter sleep duration, self-perception of not getting enough sleep, female sex, older age and lower self-perception of how much parents care.

Fifty-four percent of parents reported that their adolescent had to go to bed by 10 p.m. or earlier on weeknights, 21 percent reported setting a bedtime of 11 p.m., and 25 percent reported setting a bedtime of midnight or later. Caucasians were more likely than adolescents of other racial/ethnic groups to have a parental set bedtime of 11 p.m. Nearly 70 percent of adolescents reported going to bed at a time that complied with the weeknight bedtime that was set by their parents. Adolescents reported going to bed only about five minutes later on average than their parental set bedtime.

The average adolescent-reported sleep duration was seven hours and 53 minutes, which contrasted sharply with the nine or more hours of nightly sleep that the AASM recommends for adolescents. Participants with a parental set bedtime of 10 p.m. or earlier reported that they usually slept for an average of eight hours and 10 minutes, which was 33 minutes more than adolescents with a bedtime of 11 p.m. (seven hours, 37 minutes) and 40 minutes more than those with a bedtime of midnight or later (seven hours, 30 minutes). With the exception of sleep durations of 10 hours or more per night, higher average self-reported sleep durations were associated with progressively earlier average bedtimes.

The authors reported that there are a number of potential mechanisms by which chronic partial sleep deprivation could contribute to depression and suicidal ideation. A lack of sleep may affect the modulation of emotional brain responses to aversive stimuli; produce moodiness that hinders the ability to cope with daily stresses and impairs relationships with peers and adults; and affect judgment, concentration and impulse control.

They also suggested that behavioral interventions that involve educating adolescents and their parents about healthier sleep hygiene practices and helping them modify maladaptive sleep habits could sever as primary preventative measures against depression and suicidal ideation.

Kelly Wagner @ American Academy of Sleep Medicine

[Photo above by Xtream_I / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:coping with depression]

‘Spam King’ Escapes From Federal Prison – Kills Self & Family

Edward “Eddie” Davidson, 35, the man better known as the ‘Spam King’ ,walked away from a federal prison in Colorado. Davidson had been previously convicted of sending thousands of unsolicited emails that attempted to solicit people to invest in questionable stocks.

According to the Rocky Mountain News the article states:

According to Lakewood police Tuesday, Davidson apparently escaped when his wife came to visit him Sunday in Florence. “He jumped in the car with his wife,” said Will Cochenour of the Lakewood police Tuesday. “When they were leaving, he forced her in the car, brought them home and left after a change in clothing. He’s still at large.”

It was not clear Tuesday whether Davidson or his wife was driving the vehicle from Florence to Lakewood.

Davidson was last seen leaving the home on South Fig Street on Sunday afternoon in his wife’s 2006 silver Toyota Sequoia.

This story has ended in tragedy.

Comments welcome.

Update: This morning it was announced that Davidson, his wife and 3 year old daughter were found dead in what authorities describe as a murder-suicide.  Source. Please say a prayer for the two surviving children, one who was shot in the neck.


Live Better by Living Life Every Day as if it Were Your Last Day on Earth

For most of us life is a gift that we tend to take for granted not realizing just how suddenly it can end. Given that as a basis for this article I suppose I should explain what has motivated me to write it.

A few years ago my then teen age daughters had a dear friend who at 16 years of age had everything going for him. Todd was bright, funny, and good looking. He was the kind of kid that even adults fell in love with for his giving and sweet attitude and joy for life. Then tragically one night he died when he attempted to help an older woman on a deadly highway grade. True, God must have missed Todd very much because the giving away of the mountain side could have never been predicted but when it gave it pushed Todd’s car off a 75 foot embankment into a swirling cesspool of water at the bottom.

That same month a 45-year-old friend of mine died of a massive heart attack. Again, Louie was a kind, good-hearted loving man who was working hard to raise the daughter he loved and support the wife he adored. Louie, like Todd, worked hard and drew people to him like a magnet and then all of a sudden his flame was extinguished and we were all the worse for it.

However, it was the combination of these two events that awoke in me a desire to live my life to its fullest since none of us can know when we will no longer have the opportunity to do the things we need or want to do. For me, it meant taking several measures that I would have put off for years and which I am so thankful that I took. The first of these was to divorce my husband of 20 years. While emotionally terrifying and physically exhausting this move has changed me, over the last 15 years, for the better,

While I would never suggest that a marriage end in divorce in my case my first marriage had nothing going for it. I can’t say it was a mistake since God gave me two wonderful daughters that I will forever be grateful for but other than that my first husband and I were just plain miserable. For me, God allowed me to meet my current husband almost immediately and we have been married for over 14 years. Ron is my best friend. He is loving, kind, responsible, and truly my soul mate. Additionally, my girls, despite the fact that the youngest was already 14 when we married, now love him as much as I do and consider then to be their Dad.

This is never so evident as it is with my youngest daughter, a single mom, who came home to live us again, at 20 when she found herself expecting a child. Ron opened his arms to her and she stayed with us until our grandson was a year old and Ron gave her the down payment for a little house of her own. That grandson still spends everyday with us, while mom works, and is the sparkle in his Papa’s eye.

Ron also gave me the opportunity to return to college and get not just one degree but 2, as well as, a CA teaching credential. Then he opened a successful business and the two of us began teaching at the local college.

Despite all of his success in CA, however, he is such an open person, that he willingly picked up and moved us 1900 miles to Missouri to enable me to live close to the sister and brother-in-law that raised me. How would I have known 15 years ago that God would have blessed me so richly?

Taking chances is risky, be it sky diving, skiing, mountain climbing, having a child, getting a divorce, or remarrying but if you don’t live everyday as if there may never be another you can never experience the joy that may be out there for you.

For some they consider suicide when events seem overwhelming. My answer to them is that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and a better alternative is live as if this were to be your last day on earth, take the bull by the horns so to speak, and make those difficult choices that can change your life forever.

 [tags]Life, Life changes, Last Day, suicide, suicide alternative, divorce, children in divorce, emotional duress, death, God’s blessing,[/tags]

You Can't Hide by Karen Rose

Karen Rose’s You Can’t Hide is an exceptional book of pulse pounding suspense, intrigue and tantalizing romance – a first rate romantic suspense, filled with plenty of potential suspects and a few plot surprises. In this thriller, the real intrigue is in guessing the motive behind why the culprit seemingly wants to destroy the psychiatrist by taking out her patients, leaving clues pointing at the doctor’s failures. For some the fact that the story line is filled with several grisly suicides may be a turn off but fans of Karen Rose will not care because as always, Rose delivers a masterful, story of suspense.

The book is entertaining as well, since the author gives us welcome glimpses into the lives of Abe, Kristen, and the rest of the Reagan family who were featured in previous books thus rounding out an awesome story.

The protagonist is Dr. Tess Ciccotelli, a successful young psychiatrist, who has successfully treated a number of suicidal patients until someone begins encouraging her patients to commit suicide, and all clues lead police to the doctor herself plunging Tess into a seemingly never-ending nightmare. As a result, Tess who is already estranged from her family and considered a pariah by police ends up, not only stripped of her job, but also her freedom. It is fortunate for Tess, however, that Detective Aidan Reagan is objective because even though he has disliked Tess since her professional testimony kept a child murderer and cop killer from standing trial, he is willing to look at other possibilities. Eventually, Aidan starts to suspect that Tess is only a pawn in a sadistic killer’s game of vengeance and he vows to protect the woman that on one hand he dislikes, and on the other he desires. To complicate matters their budding relationship is threatened when it becomes more than obvious that Tess is the focus of the sadistic serial killer, and Aidan must protect her from the madman who seems determined to destroy her. However, as the two unite to solve the crimes Tess finds herself caught up in an even deadlier game when the killer suddenly targets friends and acquaintances.

Suspense-wise, Rose’s You Can’t Hide goes at a breakneck speed and will grab you from page one and not let go till you finish it. Even then, it lingers in your heart and soul. The need to know why this is happening to Tess will compel you to read late into the night to get the answers you need. The suspense is all-consuming and bone chilling. The personal relationship between Aiden and Tess is intensely sensual and filled with love of family and friends.

Rose does a good job of keeping her characters well defined and not letting them control the story, so if it’s crazy, maniacal, outrageous suspense you want, look no further than this one. You won’t guess who all the players are or why they are helping our deranged killer and although at times there is a bit too much chaos and the plot becomes a little far-fetched, Rose manages to deliver the best of everything from great characters, to thrills and chills with a dose of hot sex. This is a one of a kind book that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you can  uncover the motive behind the heinous murders.

[tags]You Can’t Hide, Karen Rose, fiction, thriller, murders, suicide, sex, romance, romantic suspense,[/tags]