Sunday, October 5, 2008

John McCain's suicide attempt and his resulting PTSD

The issue of John McCain's PTSD has been kicking around for quite a while, and always seems to skim along just beneath the surface of an outright media story. There is so much evidence of his erratic (to be polite) behavior, given the hours of video on him, not to mention articles such as the one that follows, we must make sure this is an issue that is just too important to ignore. There must be a hew and cry to release all his medical and psychological records immediately. Do we want Dr. Strangelove to come to life?

This is from an article by Ted Sampley for the
U.S. Veteran Dispatch/December 23, 2007:

"McCain says because he survived 5½ years of brutal torture, while a prisoner of the communist Vietnamese, he is better qualified to be president of the United States than any other candidate. McCain claims his POW sufferings included three years in solitary confinement where he was tortured so badly that he "broke," causing him to attempt suicide.

What McCain's promoters have carefully edited out of their McCain-for-president equation is his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Department of Defense psychiatrists have evaluated McCain for PTSD several times, the results of which remain locked by privacy laws.

PTSD can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which physical harm occurred or was threatened. U.S. government studies have concluded that former POWs "may remain embroiled in a harsh psychological battle with themselves for decades after returning home."

An outcome of PTSD is a subtle web of personal problems including difficulty in controlling intense emotions such as anger and an inability to function well under stress.

Psychologist Patricia B. Sutker of the New Orleans Veterans Administration Medical Center and her colleagues reported in a 1991 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry that as many as nine of 10 surviving U.S. servicemen taken captive during the Korean War may suffer from PTSD and other mental disorders more than 35 years after their release."

For the full article:

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