-- Less than 25 percent of those with depression are getting help for their disease, simply because of negative perception / poor branding / stigma, and only 6.25 percent are getting adequate detection, diagnoses, and treatment. -- 35 million Americans (more than 16 percent of the population), and 121 million across the globe, experience depression. (National Institute of Health, 2003 National Comorbidity Study). -- Our most brilliant thinkers have made major contributions to society while receiving support; as we move from a labor intensive to technology driven society, we must harness this brilliance for innovation.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Veteran with PTSD, jailed on attempted murder charges, sues D.A.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer, with his mother Dawn Erickson, was diagnosed with severe PTSD from two combat tours in Afghanistan. Charged with attempted murder after opening fire on emergency workers, he said he believed police and firemen were insurgents attacking his position. (Courtesy of Dawn Erickson)
By David Zucchino
July 31, 20121:19 p.m.
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A North Carolina soldier diagnosed with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder has filed a civil lawsuit against a local district attorney for allegedly failing to allow access to specialized PTSD treatment while the soldier is imprisoned on attempted-murder charges.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer, 30, has asked that his case be transferred from civilian courts to the military justice system so that he can receive specialized PTSD treatment mandated by the military. The soldier's civil suit, filed last week, alleges that his right to comprehensive mental health treatment has been violated by the Cumberland County, N.C., district attorney's refusal to transfer jurisdiction.
Eisenhauer was charged in January with 15 counts of attempted murder and assault for firing on firefighters and police responding to a minor fire in Eisenhauer’s apartment complex in Fayetteville. Eisenhauer and his attorney say the soldier was experiencing PTSD-related flashbacks and believed that police were Afghan insurgents attacking his position.
No police or firefighters were injured. Eisenhauer is recovering from gunshot wounds to his face, chest, thigh and scalp.
The lawsuit said that when Eisenhauer regained consciousness at a hospital after the incident he asked a nurse: "Who’s got the roof?’’ adding that he'd been fighting insurgents.
Eisenhauer’s lawyer, Mark L. Waple, said state prison officials have told him they aren't equipped to provide the PTSD treatment Eisenhauer needs. Eisenhauer is being held at Central Prison in Raleigh, N.C., while awaiting trial.
The Cumberland County district attorney, Billy West, has declined to surrender jurisdiction of the case.
Military authorities at Ft. Bragg, where Eisenhauer was based, said in a letter attached to the lawsuit that they will not take jurisdiction as long as Eisenhauer is being prosecuted by civilian authorities. The two-star general who wrote the letter said he asked Army medical officials at Ft. Bragg to determine the extent of any assistance they might offer Eisenhauer.
Waple said West has not responded to three complaints filed with the district attorney's office. West did not respond to telephone requests for comment for this report; he said in the Fayetteville Observer that military prosecutors told him they don’t want the case.
"They specifically told me they had no desire to exercise jurisdiction to prosecute the case and it was properly located in the state system,’’ he told the newspaper.
A Ft. Bragg spokesman reiterated that the military would not accept jurisdiction while state authorities were actively pursuing the case.
Waple said he filed the suit because of "our concern for the deteriorating mental health of SSG Eisenhauer.’’
Because Eisenhauer has not been convicted of a crime, Waple said, he is still on active duty and eligible for all PTSD treatment provided to active-duty soldiers. The only way he can get that care is to be transferred to the military justice system, he said.
In a letter attached to the lawsuit, a psychiatrist at Central Prison wrote that no one in the state prison system is "familiar with or trained in" the type of PTSD treatment mandated by the Army surgeon general. In addition, he wrote, the prison’s supply of drugs for PTSD treatment is limited.
"Without appropriate treatment, there’s a likelihood [Eisenhauer’s] condition will deteriorate significantly," wrote Dr. Michael J. Larson, the prison's chief of inpatient services.
Eisenhauer also suffers from a traumatic brain injury caused by exposure to explosions while serving in Afghanistan, Waple said.
The district attorney has 20 days to respond to the suit but can request an extension.
Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
Japan Supreme Court rules that PTSD equal to injury under Penal Code
On Wednesday, the Japanese Supreme Court made a ruling for the first time that recognizes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as an injury under the country’s Penal Code. This ruling came as part of the decision to uphold a lower court’s 14-year prison sentence given to a man who illegally held four women against their will, resulting in their suffering from the mental affliction.
31 year old Yasuyoshi Ishijima had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to overturn his original sentence. The appeal was rejected by Presiding Justice Katsumi Chiba, who upheld the sentence for the injuries he caused to four women in the prefectures of Tokyo and Aomori in 2003 and 2004. Both the Tokyo District Court and Tokyo High Court unanimously decided that a mental disorder caused by assaults and threats were just as equal to injuries that could be observed on the outside of the body.
Yasuyoshi Ishijima, who was formerly Yasuyoshi Kobayashi, argued that the women were never detained against their will, and that labeling PTSD as an injury was an unjust way to expand punishment. The lower courts said that the women suffered from feelings of fear and pain after suffering repeated violence and sexual assaults, eventually believing they could never escape. Ishijima was found to have held four women between the ages of 17 and 23 in a hotel and apartments over a one-year period, threatening to kill them if they tried to escape.
The Relationship between PTSD and Medication Adherence
Understanding the Poor Physical Health Outcomes Observed among People with PTSD
By Matthew Tull, PhD, About.com Guide
Created July 27, 2012
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
Few studies have looked at post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and medication adherence. However, doing so may provide some insight into why people with PTSD often experience a number of physical health problems. For example, people with PTSD are more likely than those without PTSD to experience cardiovascular problems, obesity, chronic pain, diabetes, and awide range of other physical ailments. Taking medication as it is prescribed for a medical condition (for example, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol) is a very importanthealth behavior that can reduce the risk for physical health problems or complications associated with certain medical conditions.
The Mind Your Heart Study
A group of researchers looked at the ways in which PTSD may negatively impact medication adherence. This research was done as part of the Mind Your Heart Study, a large-scale study in military veterans looking at the connection between PTSD and health over the course of a number of years.
The researchers found that people with PTSD were almost twice as likely to not take their medications as prescribed compared to those without PTSD. In addition, people with PTSD were also more likely than those without PTSD to forget taking their medications or to skip taking their medications.
The Importance of Managing Symptoms of PTSD
The findings from this study are similar to other studies showing that PTSD negatively influences adherence to HIV medication or medication for coronary heart disease. So, what is it about PTSD that interferes with taking prescription medications?
The jury is still out when it comes to this question; however, there are some possible reasons. First, one of the symptoms of PTSD is difficulty concentrating. Some medication regimens can be difficult to follow even in the absence of PTSD symptoms. People with difficulty concentrating may easily forget to take their medication or have trouble following a regular medication schedule. Related to this, some people with PTSD also have problems remembering things, especially everyday activities. This may also influence a person's ability to regularly take their medications.
Another symptom of PTSD is a sense of a foreshortened future. People who experience this symptom feel as though their life will somehow be cut short without any real explanation why. They may also feel as though they won't be able to reach milestones in their life, such as a career, marriage or children. As a result, people with this symptom may feel as though there is no point to taking medications as prescribed, as their life is going to be cut short anyway.
Given that PTSD symptoms can interfere with medication adherence, it is important to learn healthy and effective ways of managing these symptoms. Doing so may result in an improvement in medication adherence, which can then ultimately translate into some positive health benefits. There are a number of strategies that you can use to improve your memory and concentration. In addition, there are ways of reducing a sense of a foreshortened future.
Finally, if you feel as though your PTSD symptoms are greatly interfering with your life, it may be helpful to seek out treatment for your PTSD. There are a number of effective treatments for PTSD. In addressing your PTSD through treatment, you may notice that other areas of your life (such as your physical health) are more easily managed. There are a number of search engines on the internet that can help you find a PTSD treatment provider in your area.
Boarts, J.M., Sledjeski, E.M., BOgart, L.M., & Delahanty, D.L. (2006). The differential impact of PTSD and depression on HIV disease mearkers and adherence to HAART in people living with HIV. AIDS and Behavior, 10, 253-261.
Kronish, I.M., Edmondson, D., Li, Y., & Cohen, B.E. (in press). Post-traumatic stress disorder and medication adherence: Results from the mind your heart study. Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Shemesh, E., Yehuda, R., Milo, O., Dinur, I., Rudnick, A., Vered, Z., et al. (2004). Posttraumatic stress, nonadherence, and adverse outcome in survivors of a myocardial infarction. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66, 521-526.
Zen, A.L., Whooely, M.A., Zhao, S., & Cohen, B.E. (2011). Post-traumatic stress disorder is associated with poor health behaviors: Findings from the mind your heart study. Health Psychology.