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Post by Victor on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:32 pm

By Stephen Beardwood VGR

April 10, 2018

Growing concern in and out of the medical community is mounting on the effectiveness of PTSD treatment. Yet despite numerous studies (and dollars) the research that is available is often marginalized or ignored for example; McMaster University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences did a study on civilian PTSD back in 2010. Shifting through all the data and presentation’s information a few very glaring facts started becoming clear which support Veteran Dave Bona’s comments here in Spartan Wellness’s video.

According to this study (which is a peer reviewed and fact based study) 50% of all PTSD studied is chronic, of that 50% effective reduction of symptoms only occurs in 11-36% of those studied, a combination of prescription medication and therapies producing the higher percentage numbers of improvement amongst those studied. Also noted is that of this 11-36%, 50% of them are non compliant with taking prescription medication and or therapies within 2-3 years due to drug interactions and side effects. That leaves roughly 15-18% finding any significant relief from medical treatment of PTSD long term. Or more simply put 82-85% of PTSD sufferers are found to not have any significant reduction of symptoms for any significant length of time through medical treatment. Not very encouraging is it? Imagine my shock when at the end of the presentation it was suggest that the most productive solution offered was to find better measures to keep patients in therapy and on their medications longer.
I was also involved with a in a meeting two years ago with then serving Surgeon General BGen Colin MacKay. A stark admission from this meeting was that medical practitioners see the McMaster study as problematic. All the medical professionals at the table were in full knowledge of the study and although none would call the study flawed, they did refer to it as problematic. In fact it is problematic, as its conclusions shows rather clearly those practitioners who have invested hundreds and thousands of dollars into treatment modalities are so invested in the modality itself that they fail to recognize that it does not serve the best interest of their PTSD client. Rather than admitting that and seeking a better solution, they conclude that better efforts be made to keep patients in a treatment protocol that is relatively ineffective. This is often justified by the position that any reduction in the symptoms of PTSD is improvement.

Back in the summer of 1998, I sat down with the then Surgeon General of Canada (not MacKay and I can’t remember the name) along with Psychiatrist Dr Robert Oxlade, my roll was as a patient advocate. I had had severe reactions to improper medication which cost me my family and career. Dr Oxlade wanted a longer in-patient program to properly evaluate PTSD patients without medication prior to treatment for evaluation. He rightly felt that medicating at the family practitioners level before clinical diagnosis was problematic because once medicated the initial symptoms had been altered and any diagnosis is based on a medicated and altered state of mind. He also felt that SSRI anti depressants were contra indicated for PTSD (one of these is what I reacted to). In addition to this he was responsible for introducing me to the now hot topic of Mefloquin Toxicity and how it mimics PTSD (another story). Following our presentation we were thanked and left with the clear impression that the Surgeon General at the time (who had just receive 3 million dollars in funding for an outpatient treatment program) felt that the military then was on the right track for PTSD treatment. Fast forward almost 20 years and little has changed and even more money has been allocated to these outpatient treatment centers; the last right here in Kingston.

What is clear is that in the present environment of treatment and diagnosis, there is very little attempt to separate PTSD from other traumas and conditions that mimic or are similar to the symptoms of PTSD. Even with evidence that PTSD can be identified separately from injuries like TBI and Quinism (Mefloquin Toxicity) by a brain scan. This simple diagnostic tool is not used in virtually any level for the diagnosis and treatment of any of the brain injuries. It is much easier to lump these ailments together under PTSD or mental illness and then use the ineffective prescribe treatment of drugs and modalities.

I’ll leave this commentary with supporting Quotes on the role of Mefloquin with regard to behavior from the Somalia inquiry and ask you to weigh in with your own opinions.

If mefloquine did in fact cause or contribute to some of the misbehaviour that is the subject of this Inquiry, CF personnel who were influenced by the drug might be partly or totally excused for their behaviour. However, for reasons described more fully in Chapter 41, we are not able to reach a final conclusion on this issue. We can offer only general observations about the decision to prescribe mefloquine for personnel deployed to Somalia:

Although this is a small amount of what is in the chapter, I encourage you to read it all for yourself, Chapter 41 states;

We cannot say, however, whether DND took adequate precautions to ensure that persons susceptible to severe psychiatric disorders did not receive mefloquine, since even in 1992 it was known that mefloquine should not be prescribed to such individuals.

3. More recent medical information suggests that severe adverse effects from mefloquine used as a prophylactic are not as rare as first thought, but views on this point conflict, and further investigation may be necessary.

4. Mefloquine use could have been a factor in the abnormal behaviour of some troops in Somalia. However, one cannot begin to determine whether mefloquine contributed to the behaviour of the individuals in question without answers to the following questions:

A list of questions then continues that I did not include due to space, but you should read them yourself as this list of questions conclude with;

It is evident that further investigation is warranted before any firm conclusions about the role of mefloquine can be drawn.

I believe this sums it up best

However, we must also record with regret that on many occasions the testimony of witnesses was characterized by inconsistency, improbability, implausibility, evasiveness, selective recollection, half- truths, and plain lies. Indeed, on some issues we encountered what can only be described as a wall of silence. When several witnesses behave in this manner, the wall of silence is evidently a strategy of calculated deception. Perhaps more troubling is the fact that many of the witnesses who displayed these shortcomings were officers, non-commissioned officers, and senior civil servants - individuals sworn to respect and promote the values of leadership, courage, integrity, and accountability.

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