Wounded Minds: Understanding and Solving the Growing Menace of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Recognizing and solving the PTSD epidemic, for our soldiers and our society.
Suicide rates among Army soldiers increased 80 percent between 2004 and 2008, according to a recent report published in Injury Prevention. In the last several years, the number of soldiers returning from the Middle East with mental and physical wounds has continued to climb. According to Dr. Simon Rego, a supervising psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center, "Unlike any other time in history, U.S. military suicide rates now appear to have surpassed those among comparable civilian populations. It is therefore critical that we address this emerging public-health problem."
In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Liebert, a psychiatrist who has examined hundreds of violent offenders with combat experience, and bestselling author Dr. William Birnes uncover the disturbing truths of why post-traumatic stress injury is on the rise, how it's threatening society, and how the military is failing to properly address this serious issue. In addition, they describe the most recent research and methods that have been developed to help soldiers heal their mental and emotional wounds.
Wounded Minds dissects several high profile cases of suicide and massacre, including Staff Sergeant Robert Bales's murder of sixteen Afghan citizens and Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who opened fire on a room full of defenseless American troops. Through these stories the authors paint a clear picture of the very real threat PTSD poses to individuals and society. They then go on to explain how to diagnose and understand the brain abnormalities associated with PTSD, the diagnostic problems confronting military medicine today, and both immediate and ongoing medical solutions.
Taylor & Francis/CRC Press
"Unity in Healthcare The Toyota Way: Can Lean Engineering Fix North American Health Care?"
"Emergency Psychiatry for Emergency and Family Medicine" EMPsych
"Prevention of Stress Disorders in Military & Police Organizations "Proceedings of Critical Incident Conference
"Contributions of Psychiatric Consultation in the Investigation of Serial Murder"
Congressional Testimony of Dr John Liebert on Prevention of Stress Disorders in Police and Military Organizations.
Viewpoints on Veterans Affairs and related issues: hearing before ...
Veterans Affairs Committee, Dr Jonathan Shay and Dr John Liebert & Critical Incidents in Policing, 1991
Epidemic of Mass Murder/Suicide
Hearts of Darkness
John Liebert, MD and William Birnes, JD
In follow-up study to their professionally acclaimed Suicidal Mass Murders - http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781420076783 - and Wounded Minds - - http://inceptionradionetwork.com/future-theater-does-ptsd-special/- authors enlarge upon the epidemic of mass murder/suicides that have swept through modern society since the late twentieth century and the surge in noncombat military suicides, Neuropsychiatric disability and non-combat assaults. The authors analyze the real causes of this epidemic, explain how this epidemic might be spreading, and lay out a preventive course of action for professionals and general readers alike. Hearts of Darkness is a groundbreaking study of an ongoing series of crimes that cross all national boundaries, defy public safety efforts to prevent them, and threaten to overwhelm the capacity of the police and the courts to deal with them, especially as millions of combat vets return from the Afghanistan War. In the wake of our war on terror, the authors detailed in their second book, Wounded Minds the case of Josh Eisenhauer's tragic shootout with local with local police and firemen in a totally avoidable confrontation near Fort Bragg - http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10606387/
In Hearts of Darkness, Drs. Liebert and Birnes demonstrate that although mass murder/suicides have plagued the workplace and schoolyard for decades, certainly from the late 1990s, these crimes have spread in a near-epidemic fashion. After 2005, newspapers were reporting almost weekly occurrences of mass murders with suicidal intent. In workplaces, shopping malls, school buildings in the United States, in sleepy villages in Afghanistan, and even on a secluded island for teenage campers in Norway. Spree shootings have taken hundreds of innocent lives and shocked the public consciousness. What is behind this worldwide spread of mass murder/suicide events?
Medical specialists know that epidemics need not be huge numbers of new cases within a limited timeframe, but a steep curve of acceleration in new cases with serious medical consequences. In this case, the consequences are lethal. Because perpetrators of these massacres are primarily from the seriously mentally ill cohort of our general population rather than from the "criminal element,” authorities are unable to take any preemptive measures to prevent resultant disasters. How, for example, could a small city police department be prepared for the bizarre zoological suicidal mass murder that just occurred in Zanesville, Ohio, when a recently paroled convict released his wolves, lions, and tigers on to a defenseless community before killing himself? This wasn’t a case of a lone shooter taking aim at students from a tower, but a mentally ill individual employing a novel and, heretofore, unknown method of wreaking mass violence on the general population he was targeting.
Police, of course, are entirely befuddled by this type of crime. What can they do to prevent it? The authors site these unexpected scenarios as also played out in aviation with the psychotic Jet Blue Pilot intent on crashing a commercial airliner in flight: http://abcnews.go.com/US/jetblue-pilot-berserk-suffered-psychotic-episode-hospital/story?id=16967151 ; an intoxicated driver intent on suicidal mass murder, waiting for a commercial plane to land and then breaching security for high speed head on crash - http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Rogue-Jeep-Drives-on-to-Philly-International-Runway-141051513.html - or the suicidal mass murder, avenging perceived injustice by IRS - http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,586581,00.html
Police are, by law, reactive, not proactive, and can usually only move once a crime is underway or has been completed. Unfortunately, as well, the public health system is inadequate to prevent these crimes. What we need is a new medical-legal approach to understanding and addressing mass murder/suicide before cases such as the wanna-be zoologist in Zanesville, Jared Loughner in Tucson, Sergeant Robert Bales in Afghanistan, Anders Breivik in Norway, or Cho Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech become even more rampant than the weekly suicidal mass murders that we are witnessing today.
The authors call this series of mass murder/suicides an epidemic. Biological epidemics spread virally, the authors demonstrate, because the pathogens that cause the illness are transmitted from host to host by any number of different carriers. The Bubonic and Pneumonic plagues of the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries in Europe, for example, were spread by fleas on the bodies of infected rats that bred in the filth-infested streets of medieval and Renaissance cities. Pneumonic plague, as its name implies, was spread by airborne bacteria. What might be the carrier of the epidemic of mass murder with suicidal intent?
The authors argue that in an at-risk population, the seething pathological anger that suicidal perpetrators exhibit might be triggered into action by the mass media itself, stories of anger feeding upon anger and stimulating forms of copycat crimes. Violent video games, in particular, as Norway’s mass murderer Anders Breivik, told a stunned courtroom, predispose psychopathically at-risk individuals to perpetrate violence by reducing their inhibitions and, in effect, making it OK to kill. - http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Hearts-Darkness-Are-there-any-2301255.S.108128592 - Accordingly, this book presents documented scientific evidence to indicate that media itself may actually facilitate the spread of violence by disseminating the critical pathogens.
Gang killings; terrorist killings, such as suicide bombings; apocalyptic statements of perceived abuse in the workplace and in school, all of which are traumatic, stimulate other perpetrators into action. But the authors also show that theses media-borne quasi pathogens can only take root and infect an at-risk psyche. The root causes of that risk stem from what is nothing less than a neurobiological game of catch up and pre-conditioning based on a societal mindset of violence or a wartime experience of violence. In other words, the more violence in the media, both in passive media and video games, the more that violence is stimulated in at-risk individuals. It’s a vicious cycle, which, because it defies standard medical and social services intervention, is a growing menace that threatens to engulf thousands, if not tens of thousands, of innocent victims.
The basis of the author arguments in Hearts of Darkness is not only psychological, but neurological and socio-anthropological as well. The authors write that human beings, at least in American society, have not caught up to the evolution of that society from a multi-generation farm family household to an urban-based single-parent household. The single-parent or small two-parent household is a setting in which the developing child’s personality has no buffer between itself and the anger, sometimes pathological violent anger, of the parent. Fed and aggravated by violence on television – society’s new primary caregiver -- and video games, the child learns by neurological mirroring that violence, even self-inflicted violence, is a first resort to stress. The nature of the criminological approach to this dynamic and its implications for society in general and public administration in particular are the subjects of the authors’ recommendations for early detection, diagnosis and preventive interventions by criminal justice and clinical professions within the public health prevention model of identifying and eliminating the pathogens, early identification of those at risk for violence and suicide and best practices for intervention to reduce risk of catastrophic consequences. Dr Liebert lays out the model for prevention from his peer-reviewed writings on Unity in Health Care - http://www.johnliebert.com/johnliebert/pdfs/ToyotaWay_BulletinFeb2008.pdfand Prevention of Stress Disorders in Police and Military Personnel - http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/united-states-congress-house-committee-on-veter/viewpoints-on-veterans-affairs-and-related-issues--hearing-before-the-subcommit-tin/page-11-viewpoints-on-veterans-affairs-and-related-issues--hearing-before-the-subcommit-tin.shtml- while Dr Birnes, JD, lays out the needs and legal technicalities for judicial review when interventions require involuntary preventive detention with prescribed treatments.
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