Did Madigan Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Team Break Faith With Soldiers?

Taken from  The News Tribune  which is located    HERE.

One thing the article doesn’t bring up is the high suicide rate for those with PTSD.  Men and women are paying with their lives.  Allan

The United States has a history of losing interest in its combat veterans after they’ve lost their military usefulness. Shame on all of us if that has happened at Madigan Army Medical Center.

The Army has been investigating the practices of a psychiatric team charged with confirming diagnoses of service-related post-traumatic stress disorder among soldiers. The question is whether doctors were dispassionately looking at symptoms or trying to save the Pentagon money by minimizing disability claims.

Someone deserves credit for taking this seriously. Both the commander of Madigan and the leader of the PTSD review team have been temporarily relieved of command. Twelve soldiers who had their PTSD diagnoses reversed at Madigan have since been re-examined by Walter Reed, where doctors concluded that six of them indeed suffered from the disorder.

That 50 percent error rate looks bad, to say the least. The Army is now seeking to review the cases of all soldiers who had their PTSD diagnoses thrown out at Madigan in the last four years.

For combat veterans, the stakes are big. A severe case of PTSD is a crippling condition; the diagnosis can lead to medical retirement, an immediate pension and a lifetime of medical care.

That can cost the taxpayers upwards of $1 million per retiree – good reason to screen for soldiers who may not actually have the disorder. But the job of the team was to verify symptoms, not approach individual cases with an intention of saving government money.

Last November, an Army ombudsman reported that one doctor on the Madigan team had admonished colleagues to be “good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars” – a statement that smacks of bean-counting, not professional psychiatric judgment.

Veterans with PTSD – once called “battle fatigue” or “war neurosis” – have always been under-treated.

The condition has sometimes been dismissed by those who’ve never suffered the kind of trauma that produces it, which include explosions, attacks, sustained terror, sights of death and suffering, and other brutalities of war. But the effects – relentless nightmares, flashbacks, hair-trigger reflexes and unprovoked rages among them – can thoroughly ruin a veteran’s life if they go untreated.

PTSD is a routine byproduct of combat, yet it carries a stigma that keeps many away from treatment. Some fear the diagnosis will not be kept confidential, some doubt the therapy, some are ashamed and some don’t want to acknowledge the condition to themselves.

A Rand study released three years ago estimated that only about half of the military personnel suffering from emotional wounds sought professional help. Of that half, only half got competent therapy.

The U.S. government is already saving untold fortunes on veterans who need help but don’t get it. It has an obligation to watch for false claims, but it can afford to err on the side of the veteran who’s seen a buddy cut to pieces with shrapnel.

Music, Me, And God

If you have spent more than 30 seconds on this blog you’ll come to know I have a huge love for music that dates back to my youth.  Listening to music for me was a pretty simple and uncomplicated exercise until after I came to Christ.  Then it became very complicated! 🙂

It was then that I learned most music was evil and a tool to lead us away from God.  As I’ve shared in the past that mindset totally messed up my thinking and made me paranoid as I looked at my collection of albums that included hard rock groups that came out of the 60’s and 70’s.

I learned about backward masking mostly through TBN and was surprised I had most of the albums that when played backwards were supposedly exalting satan.  Actually I first learned about it via the Beatles and the whole ‘Paul was dead’ hoax that John Lennon had fun with.  Anyway I recall learning via TBN that rituals were conducted that somehow sent a demon to your home which was released when you opened your new album!  That cracked me up.

The point was at one time I was condemned because I was told I was listening to the wrong music.  Many people in the circles I ran in made it clear that the less you listened to secular music the closer your walk with God would be.  And of course if you listened to Christian music you would be built up in your inner man.

As I wanted to please God I decided it was time to take my faith seriously.  I concluded that I needed to get rid of all of my secular music. So I took all of my music to a record store and sold it to them dirt cheap and what they didn’t buy I simply gave to them.  I was carrying unnecessary guilt because I listened to uninformed and legalistic believers who held an extreme view of secular music.  I got rid of the music but not my love of it.

Don’t think I didn’t enjoy Christian music as I craved it.  It was all new to me and artists like Larry Norman, Keith Green, Benny Hester, and so many more were new additions to my music collection.  I had made what I thought was the mistake of mixing the holy and the profane.

After I sold my music I still had a huge problem. I still enjoyed the Beatles, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkle, Cat Stevens, and tons of other music I had given up.  So with the advent of the cassette tape I slowly started re-buying my old music!  And with time I made my peace with my musical likes and dislikes and have moved on into what I believe is a realistic approach to what I listen to.

I listen to music for a few different reasons.  When I used to be into my distance running I always carried a cassette player with me.  If I ran a 10K I always had my music there with me.  Typically it was all rock and roll as it helped energize me as I ran.  As I became more serious in my running I learned to place a few slower songs at the beginning of the tape so I wouldn’t start my races too fast and end up walking by mile three!

Another reason I listen to music is it brings a calmness to me that’s a bit hard to explain.  There are certain albums from my past that accomplish this.  A few are “Harvest” by Neil Young, “Tea For The Tillerman’ by Cat Stevens and anything by Simon & Garfunkle.  The lyrics have a lot to say and they played a key part in my coming to Christ.

I listen to Christian music for a few reasons.  The first is I like how it sounds and appreciate the message the artist is seeking to share.  The music in my view is excellent and worth my time as I listen.  If I am honest I would classify it with stuff from Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkle and some other ‘secualr’ artists.

Finally I listen to Christian music because it allows me to sense the presence of God.  The songs are usually softer and slower than most others and the lyrics always resonate with me on a personal level.  I imagine you could say the song is expressing my heart for me.  They also elicit emotions within me that are difficult for me to experience outside of the music.

In my journey with panic attacks and agoraphobia God has allowed these songs to bring a semblance of peace to my soul when peace was the last thing I was experiencing.  At times I wonder if artists realize the profound impact their music can and does have on their listeners.  I suspect they will never know this side of eternity.

It’s an exciting thing for me when I discover an artist or a song that reaches me in the deepest levels of my being.  That’s why I set aside one day a week to share music with whoever happens by.  I want them to experience what I have and if they’re discouraged and losing hope just maybe God might touch them.  I’ll close by sharing two of my favorites with you.  God bless.  Allan

Emotional Abuse: The Abuse Beneath Abuse


This is a very frank article concerning emotional abuse towards women.  Sadly this is a reality that is all too common in our nation today.  Allan

Abuse in the context of an intimate relationship involves a persistent pattern of behaviors. It is not simply a mistake, an isolated incident or a sudden loss of control. The husband, who engages in this style of relating, misuses his wife for selfish ends and violates her dignity and self-determination. While he may not intend to be abusive, he does intend to achieve the goal that motivates all forms of abuse: to exercise power and to control.
Physical abuse can leave bruises, break bones and cause various permanent, structurally based impairments, like hearing and memory loss. These observable signs of impact signal the need for healing, assistance, protection, and safety. In contrast, emotional abuse is characterized by invisibility and great subtlety. It leaves no obvious mark that would call attention to injury, danger or the need for intervention. Its impact, however, is insidious and Barbara W. Shaffer pervasive as it perception, cognition, identity, and the woman’s very soul. Although abuse comes in varied shapes, sizes and intensities, every form, as we will see, has an emotional component.


What exactly is emotional abuse? Emotional abuse is, foundationally, an attitude of entitlement and profound disrespect that discounts at every turn the inherent right of the other person to dignity, separateness and autonomy. The other person is seen, therefore, as only a contemptible object. Out of entitlement and disrespect spring the various overt behaviors that use anger, violence and/ or contempt to induce fear, guilt and shame. The other person is thereby controlled, punished, or demeaned.1 For example, one husband defended his history of spraying his anger all over his wife in various ways because of “marital privilege,” (i.e. – that’s what she was for and he had the right to do it). In addition to the blatant manifestations of emotionally abusive behaviors, there are those that are more covert and subtle, such as oppositionalism, irritability, unwillingness to be pleased by anything, indifference and refusal to engage in the relationship with good will. All of these exert power and control by negatively impacting the atmosphere of the relationship. There are no prevailing feelings of acceptance, peacefulness and safety.
The effects of emotional abuse are cumulative and increase over time. The main attack is on her sense of self—who she is and what she can do. Self-esteem and self-confidence are typically worn down. She is confused about what is real and true. Is she who he says she is? Is she stupid, lazy, a failure as a wife? Can she make good decisions? Are her perceptions correct? She also engages in self-blame and turns her anger inward. There is often depression and the accompanying lack of concentration and motivation. She feels helpless, hopeless, worthless, unlovable, and very anxious. Sometimes she is angry about the injustices anddisplaces her anger onto others or onto God.
If the relentless barrage of negative messages from the abuser takes root, one of the fruits produced is increased dependency on the abuser because she believes she is an inadequate, incompetent person. Blaming herself and her deficiencies, she will tend to minimize the abuse, excuse the abuser, and even accept her suffering as what she deserves. What is real and true has faded away, and lies have taken root.
Every type of abuse has an emotional component. For example, physical abuse, whether it is in the form of pushing, slapping, punching, restraining or barring her exit from a room, obviously creates fear and shame, even terror. Behaviors that carry the atmosphere of violence, such as punching the wall, throwing things or driving recklessly to scare her, also generate fear, anxiety and dread, as they may be the precursors of physical abuse inflicted on her. Emotional abuse is inherent in physical abuse.
*Marital sexual abuse* demeans and corrupts the most physically, emotionally and spiritually intimate relational experience a husband and wife can have. She is treated like a sex object who is there for his convenience. She may be awakened roughly for sex; sexual parts of her body may be physically attacked; unwanted objects may be inserted into her vagina; or her breasts may be brutally squeezed until she says or does what he wants.
Forcing sex is emotionally, as well as physically, abusive! Instead of growing out of the spiritual, emotional and relational unity of the couple, sex that is forced represents the selfish, entitled exercise of power and control. If she is also forced to perform sexual acts that she believes are immoral or that are disgusting to her, that humiliating violation of her principles has the effect of breaking her psychologically and demoralizing her at her core.2 The shame that results permeates her view of herself and her value like a relentless cancer.
*Verbal abuse*, or using words as weapons, is another major means of exercising power and control and creating fear, guilt and shame. Like brainwashing, words that are demeaning, blaming, harsh and attacking wear down the mind and spirit. Criticizing, name-calling or “joking,” especially in front of others, create shame and embarrassment. Particularly heinous is “gas lighting”—the effort to manipulate situations and then deny the manipulation.
For example, a woman could not find something she had carefully put in her jewelry box. Her husband told her that she had never had that object in her possession. She later found it in a box of nails on a shelf in the back of the garage. A similar tactic is history revision—the denial that certain events took place or the insistence that certain events did take place. These latter two types of verbal abuse create intense feelings of confusion, along with the fear that she is losing her mind.
Emotional abuse is inherent in verbal abuse. Moreover, since words usually precede and accompany physical abuse, words can become an emotional substitute for battering. So if criticism used to signal the onslaught of a physical attack, critical words generate fear of an attack and thereby alter her behavior and emotional state as though she had been hit. Though he may have stopped hitting her, his words have an immediate, controlling impact on the emotional level.
*Financial abuse* is another form of maltreatment that has an emotional component. What usually happens is that money is tightly controlled and financial decisions are made unilaterally, by decree, without meaningful communication. For example, if a woman is required to “turn in” all the money she earns or “turn in” money given to her as a gift or inheritance, and then she is given an “allowance” or she must ask for any money she wants to spend, she is being treated as though she were a child. Or she may have to account for every penny (literally) she spends at the grocery store every week. She may also be kept in the dark about financial matters that concern her and her future (investments, retirement plans, savings), or her name may be kept off the deed to the house or other assets. Decisions concerning how much is spent on what and when are typically made without her input.
*Time control* is a final area where there can be a pattern of emotional abuse. Time is similar to money. Must she account for every minute of her time? Does she have minutes or hours “given” to her to run errands or attend Bible study or do the grocery shopping? Are there complaints, whether subtle or overt, about how much time she spent or how she spent her time? Is she criticized for wasting time by having to go out to pick up the dry cleaning today because she forgot to do it while she was out yesterday? If she has no choices and must give an accounting for the minutes of her day, then her dignity, autonomy and separateness are dismissed. Instead of feelings of support, empowerment and competence, there is only fear, guilt, humiliation and shame.
In all of these situations her dignity and autonomy are dismissed and replaced with demeaning control. Instead of feelings of security and safety, there is only fear, guilt, humiliation and shame.
Like all sin, abuse in the home, in all its varieties and subtleties, is an equal opportunity destroyer. Some of the costly impact on wives has been clearly shown. Husbands reap alarming consequences as well. If, as Peter said, a husband’s fellowship with God is hindered when he is not understanding toward his wife, how great must the spiritual impact be when he is abusive with her? Every time a husband chooses to use his strength, power and authority against his wife, instead of for her benefit, his heart is further hardened against the Holy Spirit, and sinful attitudes are further solidified in his character.
Children who live in the tension-laden atmosphere of an unsafe home, witnessing and experiencing abusive attitudes and behaviors, are impacted in many ways—fearfulness, low self-esteem, post traumatic stress, etc. It is not unusual for female children to become involved with abusive men as teens and adults and for male children to become abusive men themselves. Spiritual confusion is another troubling effect that is created when children routinely see a parent exhibit pagan relational behavior at home, and then switch to pious behavior at church. Only an evil tree can produce such fruit. When Jesus said that causing a child to sin was an offense worthy of death, was He merely being dramatic or does such a drastic punishment reveal how grave the offense is in the eyes of our Lord?
The Body of Christ is also greatly wounded by the private sin of such abuse. When there is any kind of infection anywhere in the body, the whole body is weakened systemically. Abusive behaviors, and the damaging emotional abuse that underlies all of them, are such an infection. Harboring those who should be counted among the oppressors withholds the medicine, and sometimes surgery, that would free the Body from the insidious, debilitating effects of this evil. To practice, ignore, minimize or privatize the sickness of abuse is to weaken the heart, hands, feet and glory of Christ in this world.

*God Heals*

May the God who hates evil find the Church faithful in practicing and promoting a deep, abiding commitment to live in a way that reflects and honors the character of Christ. Let us submit to His scrutiny and lordship in not only our overt and public behavior, but also our private behavior and attitudes. And let us diligently seek from Him the courage and compassion to cross the sacred threshold of marriage and family to stand for the oppressed, intervene on their behalf and bind up their wounds.
_Barbara W. Shaffer, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist who has a special interest in trauma and abuse issues. In addition to her private practice, she also works with Diane Langberg and Associates. Endnotes 1 B everly Engel. (2002). The Emotionally Abusive Relationship. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2 Judith Herman. (1997). Trauma and Recovery. New York: Basic Books._

Mental Health Matters As Much As Physical Health


Taken from the  Iowa State Daily  which is located   HERE.

While most people think of eating right or getting into shape when someone mentions a healthy lifestyle, good mental health is also a key.

“Mental health is important because it affects your performance in class, your relationships, work, even your weight,” said Dr. Carver Nebbe, staff psychiatrist at Thielen Student Health. “Ultimately it can impact your grades, whether you graduate and getting a job.”

The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates up to 25 percent of homeless people have an untreated mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a psychological disorder. Yet mental health care was not even covered by most insurance plans until a few years ago.

The most common mental illnesses are anxiety disorders, which affect 28.8 percent of people at some point in life, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Mood disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder, affect about 20.8 percent of people. Many more struggle with substance abuse or eating disorders.

The actual estimates for college students are much higher than for the general population — around 50 percent, according to Thielen Student Health’s website. Of the 28,000 students currently attending Iowa State, about 14,000 will experience a diagnosable mental illness at some point.

Because mental illness is often taboo, some people who have disorders might suffer in silence for years.

“College students sometimes feel there is something wrong with them or feel ‘weak’ or shameful about asking for help,” says Cariann Bergner, graduate student in counseling psychology. “But seeking out help is a really brave thing to do. College can definitely be a time of adjustment and stress, and having resources to assist with the journey through it can help ease some of that difficulty.”

Symptoms which are persistent, pervasive and distressing constitute a diagnosable disorder.

“Certainly for some issues, such as ADHD, medication has been shown to be the most effective form of treatment,” Nebbe said. “For other disorders like adjustment issues, therapy is the way to go. What is best depends a lot on the individual’s personality, situation and diagnosis. In general, it’s not a good idea to close off one or the other treatment modality completely.”

Some medications can take several months to produce noticeable effects, but for someone who is really struggling, that breathing room can make all the difference. Sometimes multiple treatments are needed to produce a lessening of symptoms, but mental health is too important to give up on.

The Thielen Student Health Center’s website advises calling 911 if someone you know poses an immediate risk to themselves or others. If you personally are considering suicide, you can call 1-800-830-7009 to reach a 24/7 crisis hotline.

For those seeking long-term treatment, or even just feeling over-stressed, Iowa State offers psychological counseling free to every student. It offers individual, group, and couples’ therapy. Iowa State also has a biofeedback center which is also available free of change after one short training session. Details and contact information can be found at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~stdtcouns/.

Thielen Student Health is also a great place to go to talk to doctors who have experience caring for psychological disorders in a college setting. You can also check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Iowa branch at http://namiiowa.com/.

Shut Up To Faith: Streams In The Desert, February 25th, 2012

“Shut up to faith” Galatians 3:23

God, in olden time suffered man to be kept in ward by the law that he might learn the more excellent way of faith. For by the law he would see God’s holy standard and by the law he would see his own utter helplessness; then he would be glad to learn God’s way of faith.

God still shuts us up to faith. Our natures, our circumstances, trials, disappointments, all serve to shut us up and keep us in ward till we see that the only way out is God’s way of faith. Moses tried by self-effort, by personal influence, even by violence, to bring about the deliverance of his people. God had to shut him up forty years in the wilderness before he was prepared for God’s work.

Paul and Silas were bidden of God to preach the Gospel in Europe. They landed and proceeded to Philippi. They were flogged, they were shut up in prison, their feet were put fast in the stocks. They were shut up to faith. They trusted God. They sang praises to Him in the darkest hour, and God wrought deliverance and salvation.

John was banished to the Isle of Patmos. He was shut up to faith. Had he not been so shut up, he would never have seen such glorious visions of God.

Dear reader, are you in some great trouble? Have you had some great disappointment, have you met some sorrow, some unspeakable loss? Are you in a hard place? Cheer up! You are shut up to faith. Take your trouble the right way. Commit it to God. Praise Him that He maketh “all things work together for good,” and that “God worketh for him that waiteth for him.” There will be blessings, help and revelations of God that will come to you that never could otherwise have come; and many besides yourself will receive great light and blessing because you were shut up to faith.
–C. H. P

Praise & Worship: February 24th, 2012

Song List

1.  All Your Anxiety-  Anne MacCallum

2.  Here With Me-  MercyMe

3.  The Lord Is Gracious And Compassionate-  Kathryn Scott/Vineyard

4.  Here Is Love, Vast As The Ocean-  Robin Mark

5.  Put Your Heart In Me-  Misty Edwards

6.  Perfect Peace-  Laura Story

7.  My Redeemer Lives-  Bob Bennett

8.  Let The Waters Rise-  Mikeschair

9.  Redeeming Love-  Amy Stroup

10.  He Knows My Name-  Maranatha Singers

11.  The Basin And The Towel-  Michael Card

Study: Migraines May Raise The Risk Of Depression Of Depression In Women

Taken from  Time  which is located   HERE.

As if having migraine headaches weren’t enough of a burden, a new study finds that women with migraines are also more likely to develop depression — about 40% more likely than women who have no history of the headaches.

The study found that even women whose migraines had ceased in the previous year had a higher risk of becoming depressed than migraine-free women.

For the study, researchers led by Dr. Tobias Kurth, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, analyzed data on 36,154 women involved in the ongoing Women’s Health Study. None of the participants had depression at the start of the study, and 6,456 were currently experiencing migraines or had in the past.

Over an average of 14 years of follow-up, 3,971 women developed depression. Women who had ever had a migraine were 36% more likely to become depressed than women who had no migraine history. Women who had suffered migraines in the past, but in the previous year, were 41% more likely.

The risk of depression was the same whether women had migraines with aura — visual disturbances such as flashing lights, zigzag lines or a temporary loss of vision, which precedes about a quarter of migraines — or without.

The study, which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in New Orleans in April, is one of the first large studies to examine the association between migraine and the development of depression over time.

“We hope our findings will encourage doctors to speak to their migraine patients about the risk of depression and potential ways to prevent depression,” said Kurth in a statement.

MORE: A CBS Reporter’s On-Air Verbal Meltdown: It Was Migraine with Aura

Although experts have long suspected a link between migraine and depression, it’s not clear what underlies the association. It’s possible that the frequent pain of headaches lowers quality of life enough to cause depression, but some researchers think there may be underlying biological explanations. One 2010 study that surveyed 977 members of a single extended family in the Netherlands suggested that genes might be a culprit, finding that about 25% of family members with migraines were depressed compared with 12% of relatives without migraines.

Overall, women have it rough when it comes to migraines. About 29.5 million Americans experience migraines and three-quarters are women, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

Migraine treatment comes in many forms, though there is no specific cure. The goal is try to identify migraine triggers and avoid them. If you feel a headache coming on, treat it immediately: take migraine medicine as soon as possible, drink fluids and lie in a dark, quiet room.

MORE: A Genetic Link Between Migraines and Depression?