Category: Health


Grim Record: Soldier Suicides Reach New High

By Mark Thompson | @MarkThompson_DC | August 16, 2012 | 13

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

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A record number of soldiers – 38 – are suspected of killing themselves in July, the Pentagon said Thursday. It marks a startling jump in the suicide epidemic that has been frustrating Army leaders for years.

The total included 26 active-duty soldiers – under the Army’s control 24/7 — also an apparent record, and a 117% jump from June’s count of 12 active-duty suicides.

(MORE: This Isn’t Funny…)

The Army has been fighting suicides when they were occurring at the rate of nearly one a day – in fact, that was the cover line on a Time story last month into the vexing problem of soldiers killing themselves after a decade of war. But July’s 38 likely suicides spread over the month’s 31 days works out to almost 1.25 suicides a day.

The toll was 58% higher than June’s 24 suspected suicides, and is roughly 50% more than the average monthly suicide count experienced over the past 18 months.

Military suicide data has only been kept diligently in recent years; non-active duty suicides have only been tracked for about five years. So that makes historical comparisons difficult. But the numbers are the highest since 9/11, and several experts believe they mark an all-time high. “The number 26 [of active-duty suicides] is the highest single month we’ve had since 2001,” Bruce Shahbaz, a medical analyst on the Army’s Suicide Prevention Task Force, told Time Thursday morning. “The combined total [38] of both active and reserve is the highest we’ve had since 2001.”

Army experts come up empty-handed when trying to account for the surge, although they are noting a shift among suicide victims. “This is the first time since 2001 where we’ve seen non-commissioned officer deaths outnumbering junior enlisted deaths,” Shahbaz says. He and other Army suicide experts have what he concedes is a  “very counter-intuitive” explanation.

While the number of Army suicides each month makes for a jagged line, the trend is clearly upward.

They suggest this is happening as the NCOs — more likely to be married, and in the Army for the long haul, than younger troops — begin spending more time at home between deployments. “If you’re on the constant 12-month treadmill of deploy, reset, get ready to redeploy, deploy, soldiers and families don’t work hard to try to reintegrate, because they know that their soldier is going to be gone again,” Shahbaz says. “Issues like minor depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances – those things that are kind of related to post-traumatic stress – begin to surface after a service member has been home for more than a year, and start to reintegrate with their family…I liken it to a pot that’s on simmer – having that person stay back home and reintegrate with their family sometimes allows that pot to boil over.”

Retired Army colonel Elspeth Ritchie, once the service’s top psychiatrist and a key warrior fighting Army suicides, fears the toll won’t abate any time soon. “One of the risk factors for suicide is getting in trouble at work,” says Ritchie, now a Battleland contributor. “As the Army downsizes, the getting in trouble may translate into more soldiers facing discharge and possible unemployment,” she says. “Another risk factor is trouble with relationships. After a decade of war, going from having a spouse away most of the time — to being at home all the time — actually may make things worse. Especially if the spouse is underemployed.”

(COVER STORY: The War on Suicide?)

Those fighting the battle from outside the Army remain dissatisfied in light of the latest suicide count. “Soldiers and their families are falling apart under the pressures, expectations, injuries and illnesses of years of war,” says Kim Ruocoo, who runs the suicide outreach program at the non-profit Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. “We should expect our troops to need psychological care after all we have asked of them, yet there is still a sense that asking for help is a weak thing and should be avoided. As a result soldiers are waiting until they are very sick before they go for help and very often the response is not quick enough or comprehensive enough.”

Retired general Peter Chiarelli, who until January was the Army’s No. officer and top suicide fighter, remained frustrated in a recent interview. “Our suicide rate has doubled since 2001, and it’s obvious that deployments and stress on the force plays a role in this –- there’s no doubt about it,” he says. “The doubling of our suicide rate coincided with our fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s got to be a contributor.”

But it’s bigger than that, he believes. Mental-health problems have never gotten the study – and the resulting research funding – given to cancer and heart disease, he says. “We’ve under-invested in this area for so goddam long, and one of the reasons is because of the stigma associated with it,” Chiarelli says. “No one wants to admit that Uncle Al killed himself.”

MORE: Why Are There So Many Military Suicides?

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/08/16/grim-record-soldier-suicides-reach-new-high/#ixzz23keEkp1k

LadyRomp

Migraines — those painful, throbbing headaches — are known to be more common in women. But why?

A new study in the journal Brain shows it may have something to do with sex differences in brain structure.

Harvard Medical School researchers conducted their study in 44 men and women, some of whom suffered from migraines.

They found that women’s brains had thicker gray matter in the posterior insula (key in processing pain) and the precuneus brain regions (which gives the feeling of a sense of self), ScienceNow reported. The researchers also observed that migraineintensity seemed to be equal for both men and women. But for women, the intensity was more unpleasant than it was for the men, according to ScienceNow.

Researchers also conducted an experiment where they subjected the study participants to heat, and found that the brains of women who have migrainesresponded differently to the pain…

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I love yoga however sometimes when I see a Groupon or coupon for a certain type I generally have to Google to figure out what it’s all about. Here is a helpful list that I found from www.mindbodygreen.com. I hope you find it as helpful as I did! Enjoy!

Types of YogaThere are many different types of yoga to practice, so it’s important to find out which type of yoga is right for you. Here’s a quick introduction to some of the most common and popular types of yoga:

Bikram Yoga – Get ready to practice yoga in 105 degree heat and in 40% humidity — hot! Though Bikram only has 26 poses and there’s lots of alignment work so it might be a good fit for beginners. More>>

Hatha Yoga –  Class is also likely to be focused on slow and gentle movements so it’s a great type of yoga to wind down with at night. More>>

Vinyasa Yoga – Commonly called “Vinyasa flow” or just “flow”, you’ll definitely be moving, flowing from one pose to the next. Other than starting with a sun salutation, no two classes will be alike. It’s the most popular style of yoga in America. More>>

Kundalini Yoga – “Kundalini” refers to the energy of the Root Chakra, which surrounds the area around your lower spine. Expect lots of work in your “core” area and classes are known to be pretty intense.  More>>

Ashtanga Yoga – Commonly called Power yoga, Ashtanga is definitely physically demanding. It’s probably best suited for an ex-athlete or someone looking to really push their body. More>>

Iyengar Yoga – Expect lots of props with this type of yoga such as blocks, harnesses, straps, and even cushions. There’s also a lot of focus on alignment so Iyengar can be great for physical therapy. More>>

Anusara Yoga – Founded in 1997 by John Friend, Anusara is epitomized by “the celebration of the heart. Expect many “heart-opening” poses like backbends and more talking by the instructor in class. More>>

Restorative Yoga – Looking to wind down after a long day of work? Or perhaps you want to quiet your mind? Restorative yoga might be the answer as it’s focused on relaxation. More>>

Jivamukti Yoga – Jivamukti is mostly practiced in NYC as it was founded there in 1984 by Sharon Gannon and David Life. It’s a mix of vinyasa flow sequencing infused with chanting and a vegetarian twist. More>>

Prenatal Yoga – If you’re an expectant mother then Prenatal yoga is probably for you. (Sorry, guys!) Some say that Prenatal is one of the best types of exercise for moms-to-be as there’s a lot of core work and a focus on breathing. More>>

Have you found a type of yoga that might be a fit for you? Before you head to class, check out our Yoga Poses for Beginners library to become familiar with some of the most common poses.

*If you have a question or would like to submit a topic please email me at honestgoodadvice@gmail.com

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