Friday, September 21, 2012

Suicides In The Military Reduction Program - working draft outline

Suicides In The Military Reduction Program

Working draft outline


I would like to express and share some of my thoughts on the subject of alarming increase in the rate of suicide in the military. I hope that some of the ideas described in these notes might be helpful to those involved in this field and might contribute to improvement in providing adequate and efficient mental health services to those who put their lives and their wellbeing on line for us every day and to whom we owe so much.
I would like to mention one of the aspects of this problem, which has, it seems to me, a particular significance. It is one of the most difficult, most vexing and most emotionally charged issues: man and his (not "homosexuality", not "heterosexuality", not "bisexuality", but) sexuality and his relations with other men, including his fellow soldiers, his military buddies and brothers in arms, both "straight" and "gay", and women; under the strains of the buffed up macho culture and the cult of heterosexual masculinity. Looks like a hard nut to crack, but in fact it should not be and it is not. We came to deal with this when the issue confronted us upfront, in crisis; unprepared, surprised and puzzled, while it should have been foreseen.
It seems to me that the broadly based joint workgroup with the participation of the best and most experienced minds from the military, intelligence communities and academia would be best equipped to handle the problems of suicide, self-injurious and other abnormal psychosocial behaviors in the military service.
All possible causal relationships should be explored without any cognitive or other biases, but at this point the hypothesis of the leading role of intrapsychic conflict due to changes in the environment and attitudes after the implementation of the latest policies seems to be the most likely cause, simply because there is nothing else that could account for this relatively recent and rather significant increase in the rate of suicides in the peacetime.
The work on analysis of cases and determination of causes should proceed simultaneously with the implementation of regular, monthly or quarterly computerised psychological testing and counselling, and refining the policies and rules on personnel behavior and conduct, on eclectic basis, regardless of working hypotheses and assumptions which might or might not be confirmed in the process of collection and analysis of data.
If the sufficient data is accumulated to refute this hypothesis and come up with the different or additional set of explanations, it can always be done; no one is married to his ideas or chained to them.

Statistics (including lies and damn lies)


The following psychometric instruments should be developed and implemented.

  • SISTER: Suicidal Ideation Screening Tests - Electronic Reports
All available psychometric instruments for screening for suicide risk should be reviewed and the most reliable items should be selected and organised into a new self-report test, geared to the specifics of the given situation and subjects. This test should include the following sets of items, 3-4 or more for each set:
  • Overt suicidal ideation
  • Suicidal ideation on projective tests
  • Depression, the same; overt and on projective tests
  • Latent psychoticism
  • Signs of intrapsychic conflict
  • Impulsivity
  • Symptoms and signs of social withdrawal and isolation
  • Etc.

  • Objective structured interviews or assessments, mirroring the items of suicidal ideation self-report test should also be developed and implemented.

  • Self-injurious - suicidal behavior assessment scale
These behaviors should be viewed on a continuum:
Self-injurious behavior of various severity (mild - moderate - severe) - partial or uncompleted suicides - completed suicides.

  • Sexual Awareness Scale
Assessment of degree of intrapsychic conflict about sexual urges and impulses and the impact of this conflict on general functioning.

(Latent Homosexuality Scale): - overt sexual preference self-identification, penile tumescence platismography score, sexual preference self-report and projective tests, the degree of latency and its correlation with the depth of conflict, correlations with personality characteristics and demographic data/background, etc. Two versions: for men and women.


It is a well known phenomenon, that an abstract love for the country is transformed into a concrete emotional attachment to your fellow soldier, your military buddy. Sometimes and under certain circumstances this emotional attachment can be sexualised (sexualisation can be viewed as a complex psychological "defense mechanism", apparently employed by psyche to reduce, modulate, channel and socialise the intense emotions, sometimes with "secondary gains", and sometimes to reduce hostility), "physicalised", transformed into sexual longing, since sexuality and emotional life in humans are inseparable. Sexualisation might also serve to diminish the intensity of emotional longing or attachment if they are felt as excessive, threatening to person's autonomy and independence. It defends against these threats by depreciating and degrading the object and by turning it into a simplified dehumanised sexual object, possibly and sometimes with violent and aggressive overtones, which might create the additional confusion, tension and panic due to incomprehensibility and unacceptability of these complex, contradictory and overwhelming emotions.

"Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument (object) towards one's sexual pleasure, and a sex object is a person who is regarded simply as an object of sexual gratification or who is sexually attractive. Objectification more broadly is an attitude that regards a person as a commodity or as an object for use, with little or no regard for a person's personality or sentience.[1][2] Objectification is most commonly examined at a societal level, but can also arise at an individual level."

This leads to the so called "intrapsychic conflict": a person who identifies himself as "heterosexual" and maintains overtly heterosexual lifestyle might feel very disturbed, alarmed and panicked by these feelings, especially if he experiences some preexisting latent homosexual impulses, and especially when he sees some of his comrades living an open and now "legitimised" "gay" lifestyle. This situation is further compounded by the utmost privacy of the issues involved: he cannot talk and share his feelings and his emotional state with anyone and, just opposite, is forced to hide and to mask them. This creates an intense psychic tension, pain, the feelings of guilt, shame and self-blame; depression and, eventually suicidal thoughts.
It is very unlikely that these psychodynamics will lead to overt suicidal behavior in and by themselves, since the healthy psyche, guided by a healthy and naturally strong self-preservation instinct has an enormous capacity for compensation and dealing with the most difficult and trying conflicts; but in combination with the preexisting psychopathology and other noxious factors and stressors, however, they might produce quite a significant disturbance and persistent suicidal ideation.

The similar patterns might apply, in somewhat milder and less intense form to women also, although I think it would be fair to say that the female sexual behavior still is a much uderresearched and almost ignored area and is in need of greater attention than it receives now; especially considering the fact that the role and the presence of women in the military and other forces will increase inevitably, which might gradually change the very structure, character and inner working psychodynamics of these organisations.


Aggression Turned Inward

Paradoxically, "The Killing Machine" (to use this somewhat awkward but exact metaphor), designed to kill, which is its sole raison d'etre, turns against itself when in inaction, producing little self-destructive explosive discharges in its tiny, almost invisible parts. Aggression, when not discharged outward, turns inward. This phenomenon is present with the certainty of the law of (psycho)mechanics in both animals and animal groups and in humans and their groups, small and large. Individuals, at least some of them, who go into the military service, have a need to discharge their inner aggression, and when it is not discharged properly, might experience problems with self-aggression. One interesting thought logically follows from all of this: if these individuals can be identified, and if these intrapsychic needs of theirs are confirmed, they can be sent into small action fields which will satisfy these needs, will be therapeutic and will increase their overall chances for survival. Be it ironic, paradoxical and almost cynical as it may seem, this line of thought is not without its rational kernel.


Internalised anger, violence, aggression.

  • Internalised Aggression Scale

*  *  *

The overall psychosocial health of military communities (this concept should be theoretically elaborated) can be assessed psychometrically with the help of
  • Military Community Psychosocial Health Index
The notions and concepts of unit and task cohesion can be viewed as a part of overall Military Community Health, they can be measured psychometrically and included into this Index (MCPHI).
The concept of "goodness of fit", or Military Community (MC) - simply "cohesion" might serve as a basis for the developing the concept of Military Community Psychosocial Health.
Self-injurious - suicidal behavior and the incidents of hostility, violence and aggression towards other members of MC and outside communities (especially the incidents of "fragging" and similar behaviors, which are truly horrifying and extremely sick) should be viewed as symptoms of MC ill health; they should be investigated without any bias, preconceived notions or implications of guilt and the underlying causes should be diagnosed, assessed, evaluated and addressed and treated with both the  individual and the psychosocial interventions.


The Typology of  Military Community  Ill Health

"According to American Psychological Association empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention.[201] Sexual orientation is irrelevant to task cohesion, the only type of cohesion that critically predicts the team's military readiness and success.[202] "


  • Attitudes, Policies and Rules

  • Psychoeducation and Counselling

  • Analysis of military suicides cases
for the past ten years or longer, starting with the most recent ones; including suspicious, unexplained, suicide-like deaths (which might change the statistics significantly). Furthermore, various types and incidents of self-injurious behavior should also be counted, included in the same or separate statistics and analysed.
  • Search for clusters: more than one suicide and suspicious suicide deaths in any given military community, with the analysis of psychological environment and attitudes in these communities.
  • The art and the science of psychological autopsy 

  • Study of similar experiences in NATO countries military forces, first of all Canada and Great Britain

References and Links

5:11 PM 10/3/2012

suicide epidemiology

Showing results for military suicide epidemiology
Search instead for military suicide epidemilogy


military suicide epidemilogy


Military Psychiatry - Google Search

military psychiatrist - Google Search

Fragging - From Wikipedia

*  *  *

sexualisation as psychological defense mechanism - Google Search


Endowing an object or function with sexual significance that it did not
previously have or possessed to a smaller degree in order to ward off
anxieties associated with prohibited impulses or their derivatives.
2011 Sep;71(3):264-77. doi: 10.1057/ajp.2011.23.
Defensive sexualization: a neurobiologically informed explanatory model.

Association of Counselling Psychologists, Australia.
Sexualization is a defense mechanism frequently referred to in clinical psychoanalytic literature. Despite this, there is no research linking the theoretical nature of this observed phenomenon to social or neurobiological theory. This discussion paper proposes an interaction between social learning and neural maturation in the development of sexualized tendencies. When anxiety within peer interactions is alleviated repeatedly through sexualized behavior, learned associations develop. This explanation allows understanding and empathy for individuals demonstrating a broad spectrum of sexualized responses since such learning is argued to be functional within their historic social climate.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

*  *  *

homosexuality - GS

sexuality continuum - Google Search


"The concept of the heterosexual–homosexual continuum (also referred to as the sexual orientation continuum) is a psychological and philosophical understanding of human sexuality that places sexual orientation on a continuous spectrum from heterosexuality to homosexuality. This concept stems from Alfred Kinsey's 1940s surveys of sexuality; significant numbers of Kinsey's subjects reported bisexuality of varying degrees, rather than the strict heterosexual/homosexual division that had been previously assumed."
"Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality."

"...individuals or members of a community might engage in homosexual behaviors but identify as heterosexual otherwise, such as some people in prison, the military, single sex boarding schools, or other sex-segregated communities."

latent homosexuality - GS


understanding latent homosexuality - GS


latent homosexuality test - GS

latent homosexuality us - GS


homosexuality us - GS


homosexuality us military - GS


latent homosexuality us military - GS


latent homosexuality us military suicides - GS

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us military suicides - GS

  1. News for us military suicides

  2. ABC News
    1. Military leaders must help stem suicides, Panetta says
    USA TODAY‎ - 4 days ago
    Panetta says leaders should be held accountable for success in stemming suicide.

    Military leaders must help stem suicides, Panetta says

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says military leaders should be held accountable for whether they succeed in helping desperate troops avoid choosing suicide -- which he has described as an epidemic in the military and now averaging more than one a day.
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta greets enlisted soldiers during a visit to Camp Victory in Baghdad in July 2011. 
    "What I've tried to do, very frankly, is to make sure that not only the secretary (of Defense), but all of the military leadership kick ass on this issue," Panetta told USA TODAY in an interview. "Leaders ought to be judged by how they lead on this issue."
    He also said that the last decade of fighting two wars holds "lots of lessons" to be learned about "the human side of this prolonged warfare and how do we get a handle" on problems such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
    The Pentagon is facing a record year of suicides among active-duty troops, averaging 33 deaths per month so far this year, according to Pentagon data through Sept. 2.
    "I want to make sure that we are aware of how tragic this problem is and how urgent it is for us to try and address it," Panetta said. "We're talking about men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect this country. We have to do everything possible to try to make sure we protect them."
    Panetta spoke on the issue Saturday in part because September is national suicide prevention month.
    The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are all reporting potentially record increases this year in suicides. The Marine Corps has averaged about two suicides a week in recent months.
    But the Army has suffered the highest numbers, tripling its suicide rate from 9.7 cases-per-100,000 in 2004 to 29.1-per-100,000 last month. In July, a record 38 soldiers killed themselves, according to service data.
    Among a demographically similar civilian U.S. population, the suicide rate increased from 22-per-100,000 in 2005 to 24-per-100,000 in 2009, the latest data available.
    Panetta said the military is still searching for answers to what's happening.
    "Part of it, I think, is due to a nation that's been at war for over a decade," he said. "You have repeated deployments and sustained combat exposure to enormous stresses and strains on our troops and on their families that produced a lot of seen and unseen wounds that contribute to the suicide risk."
    He said he also believes the military population is sensitive to issues that plague society at large -- substance abuse, financial distress and relationship problems.
    Last week, Panetta said, he informed a gathering of top commanders that the problems of suicide and sexual assault are two top priorities.
    "Leaders have to be sensitive and got to be aware," he says. "They've got to be open to the signs of stress and they've got to be aggressive in encouraging those that need help to seek that help and be able to receive it. It's important to point out that seeking help is a sign of strength and courage, not weakness."
    Gen. Lloyd Austin III, who became the Army's No. 2 officer as vice chief of staff in January, assuming oversight of suicide issues, said Friday that the service culture must change to where soldiers are more comfortable seeking counseling.
    "We have to make sure that our troops understand that by taking care of yourself, it's going to help your team and it's also going to enhance your performance," he said.
    In an interview with USA TODAY, Austin said the Army is committed to caring for those in need and investing in scientific research that will unlock the causes and prevention of suicide.
    But he emphasized that "95% of our population is doing fine. It's operating extremely well. Which is the part we don't talk about on a daily basis."
    The veteran combat commander, who served three tours in Iraq and a fourth in Afghanistan, equated suicide with periods of heavy casualties in those wars.
    "When you're in a fight like that, I think it's very difficult to figure out, from time to time, exactly where you are," he said.. "But if you stay focused on the right things, eventually you'll see some pretty good results. This (suicide) is kind of like that."

  1. U.S. Army suicides reached record monthly high in July | Reuters

    17 Aug 2012 – (Reuters) - Twenty-six active-duty soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in July, more than double the number reported for June and ...

    U.S. Army suicides reached record monthly high in July

    Fri, Aug 17 2012
    By Colleen Jenkins
    (Reuters) - Twenty-six active-duty soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in July, more than double the number reported for June and the most suicides ever recorded in a month since the U.S. Army began tracking detailed statistics on such deaths.
    During the first seven months of this year, there were 116 suspected suicides among active-duty soldiers, compared to 165 suicides for all of last year, the Army said. The military branch reported 12 likely suicides during June.
    The monthly totals for 2012 include confirmed suicides and cases still under investigation, the Army said.
    Twelve reserve soldiers who were not on active duty also appear to have killed themselves in July, bringing the yearly total for that group to 71 suicides.
    The Army, which has collected in-depth monthly suicide data since January 2009, confirmed 118 suicides among members of the branch's National Guard and Reserve components in 2011.
    "Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army," General Lloyd J. Austin III, vice chief of staff of the Army, said in the report released on Thursday.
    "To combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills," he said.
    The uptick in the number of service members and veterans taking their own lives continues to trouble military leaders.
    Testifying before the House of Representatives Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month described suicide as "one of the most frustrating problems" he had come across in his role.
    The Defense Department says it has made suicide prevention a top priority. More behavioral health care providers have been added to front-line units and primary care settings, and leaders are seeking to reduce the stigma associated with mental health treatment.
    In a separate report, the Marine Corps recorded eight suspected suicides in July, up from six in June. That brought the number of suicide deaths to 32 for the first seven month of 2012, equal to the 32 total such deaths in 2011 but so far fewer than the 52 suicides recorded in all of 2009.
    (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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  5. Suicides at 10-year high in US military | World news |
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    8 Jun 2012 – Suicide is on the rise in the US military, averaging almost one every day, according to statistics.

  7. US military suicides rising, even as combat eases - New York Daily ...

    7 Jun 2012 – WASHINGTON — Suicides are surging among America's troops, averaging nearly one a day this year — the fastest pace in the nation's decade ...
  9. BBC News - US military suicides on the rise

    12 Jul 2012 - 3 min
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  10. U.S. military suicide rate doubles for July - CBS News

    16 Aug 2012
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  12. Army suicides hit terrifying peak — RT

    17 Aug 2012 – The suicide rate among U.S. military personnel is reaching a new high, according to official statistics.

  14. Suicides Eclipse War Deaths for U.S. Troops -

    8 Jun 2012 – Suicides have increased even as the United States military has withdrawn from Iraq and stepped up efforts to provide mental health, drug and ...

    June 8, 2012

    Suicides Outpacing War Deaths for Troops

    The suicide rate among the nation’s active-duty military personnel has spiked this year, eclipsing the number of troops dying in battle and on pace to set a record annual high since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago, the Pentagon said Friday.
    Suicides have increased even as the United States military has withdrawn from Iraq and stepped up efforts to provide mental health, drug and alcohol, and financial counseling services.
    The military said Friday that there had been 154 suicides among active-duty troops through Thursday, a rate of nearly one each day this year. The figures were first reported this week by The Associated Press.
    That number represents an 18 percent increase over the 130 active-duty military suicides for the same period in 2011. There were 123 suicides from January to early June in 2010, and 133 during that period in 2009, the Pentagon said.
    By contrast, there were 124 American military fatalities in Afghanistan as of June 1 this year, according to the Pentagon.
    Suicide rates of military personnel and combat veterans have risen sharply since 2005, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan intensified. Recently, the Pentagon established a Defense Suicide Prevention Office.
    On Friday, Cynthia Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said the Pentagon had sought to remind commanders that those who seek counseling should not be stigmatized.
    “This is a troubling issue, and we are committed to getting our service members the help they need,” she said. “I want to emphasize that getting help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength.”
    In a letter to military commanders last month, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said that “suicide prevention is a leadership responsibility,” and added, “Commanders and supervisors cannot tolerate any actions that belittle, haze, humiliate or ostracize any individual, especially those who require or are responsibly seeking professional services.”
    But veterans’ groups said Friday that the Pentagon had not done enough to moderate the tremendous stress under which combat troops live, including coping with multiple deployments.
    “It is clear that the military, at the level of the platoon, the company and the battalion, that these things are not being addressed on a compassionate and understanding basis,” said Bruce Parry, chairman of the Coalition of Veterans Organizations, a group based in Illinois. “They need to understand on a much deeper level the trauma the troops are facing.”
    Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, called suicides among active-duty military personnel “the tip of the iceberg.” He cited a survey the group conducted this year among its 160,000 members that found that 37 percent knew someone who had committed suicide.
    Mr. Rieckhoff attributed the rise in military suicides to too few qualified mental health professionals, aggravated by the stigma of receiving counseling and further compounded by family stresses and financial problems. The unemployment rate among military families is a particular problem, he said.
    “They are thinking about combat, yeah, but they are also thinking about their wives and kids back home,” he said.

    Thom Shanker contributed reporting.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

On average, one active duty soldier is committing suicide each day

DSM5 in Distress

The DSM's impact on mental health practice and research
Ten suggested interventions
With understandable urgency, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made suicide one of his top priorities, instructing commanders at all levels to feel acutely accountable for it. The numbers are startling. On average, one active duty soldier is committing suicide each day, twice the number of combat deaths and twice the civilian rate. Suicides have jumped dramatically since 2005 and increased by 18 percent in just the last year. The DOD and VA are groping for explanations and plans of action—clearly, just commanding the commanders to prevent suicide can't possibly do very much. And sadly, psychiatry has no ready or certain answers, no sure way to predict or prevent suicide. Research in this area has huge methodological problems and is unlikely to bear any low-hanging fruit. So we may have to rely on obvious, common sense suggestions...


My Comments:
This is unconscionable! How do we care for people who defend us? Thank you again, Dr. Frances.

Fighting the Wrong War On Drugs 

Taming the pharmaceutical companies, undercutting the cartels
Since Richard Nixon was President, we have been fighting a drug war we can't possibly win. Meanwhile, we have barely begun to fight a different drug war we couldn't possibly lose.
The losing battle is against illegal drugs. Interdiction has been as big a bust as Prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s. Occasionally arresting a drug kingpin or confiscating a few million of dollars worth of contraband heroin or cocaine makes for a nice headline, but doesn't stop the flow.
The beneficiaries of our war on drugs have been the cartels and the narco-terrorists; the casualties are the failing states they can buy or bully. The Mexican government is fighting what amounts to an undeclared civil war against cartels armed to the teeth and flowing with money -- both from north of the border. We have unwittingly created a terrific business model for the drug dealers and a disaster for the states where they deal.

The three jailed members of Pussy Riot are getting death threats in prison

via prisons - Google News on 9/20/12

Pussy Riot Facing Death Threats In Prison
The Daily Beast reports that the three jailed members of Pussy Riot are getting death threats in prison and want to move to Moscow instead of a remote area hundreds of miles away. They were sentenced to two years in August for charges of hooliganism.

and more »

Professor Thomas Szasz, iconic champion for liberty, pioneer in the fight against coercive psychiatry and co-founder of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has passed away at the age of 92

In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas Szasz, Iconic Champion for Liberty & Co-Founder of CCHR


Sep 202012

Dr. Thomas Szasz
Professor Thomas Szasz, iconic champion for liberty, pioneer in the fight against coercive psychiatry and co-founder of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has passed away at the age of 92. Considered by many scholars and academics to be psychiatry’s most authoritative critic, Dr. Szasz authored hundreds of articles and more than 35 books on the subject, the first being The Myth of Mental Illness, a book which rocked the very foundations of psychiatry when published more than 50 years ago. Szasz was Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the International Academy of Forensic Psychology, whose life long list of educational accomplishments, credentials, honors, biographical listings and awards speak for themselves.
To the world, he was the foremost critic on psychiatry and its abusive practices, a brilliant debater and orator. To those who had the privilege of working alongside him, he was witty, charming, charismatic and fearless. But above all else, he was a defender of personal liberty. As Professor Richard E. Vatz of Towson University stated, “Thomas S. Szasz has steadfastly defended the values of humanism and personal autonomy against all who would constrain human freedom with shackles formed out of conceptual confusion, error, and willful deception.”


via prison psychiatry - Google Blog Search by Andrew Sullivan on 9/19/12
Jacob Sullum celebrates the life of Thomas Szasz, "the great libertarian critic of coercive psychiatry, the 'therapeutic state,' and the war on drugs," who passed away recently: Szasz, a Reason ... [T]he anti-treatment movement Szasz intellectually inspired facilitated the release of tens of thousands of seriously ill mental patients who, when they relapsed, had nowhere to go and no one to help them, and often ended up in prison or living life on the streets. Many mental ...

Dr. Thomas Szasz, Psychiatrist Who Led Movement Against His Field, Dies at 92

Thomas Szasz, a psychiatrist whose 1961 book “The Myth of Mental Illness” questioned the legitimacy of his field and provided the intellectual grounding for generations of critics, patient advocates and antipsychiatry activists, making enemies of many fellow doctors, died Saturday at his home in Manlius, N.Y. He was 92.
Susan Kahn
Dr. Thomas Szasz in 2001.
He died after a fall, his daughter Dr. Margot Szasz Peters said.
Dr. Szasz (pronounced sahz) published his critique at a particularly vulnerable moment for psychiatry. With Freudian theorizing just beginning to fall out of favor, the field was trying to become more medically oriented and empirically based. Fresh from Freudian training himself, Dr. Szasz saw psychiatry’s medical foundation as shaky at best, and his book hammered away, placing the discipline “in the company of alchemy and astrology.”
The book became a sensation in mental health circles, as well as a bible for those who felt misused by the mental health system.
Dr. Szasz argued against coercive treatments, like involuntary confinement, and the use of psychiatric diagnoses in the courts, calling both practices unscientific and unethical. He was soon placed in the company of other prominent critics of psychiatry, including the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman and the French philosopher Michel Foucault.
Edward Shorter, the author of “A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac” (1997), called Dr. Szasz “the biggest of the antipsychiatry intellectuals.”
“Together,” he added, “they tried their hardest to keep people away from psychiatric treatment on the grounds that if patients did not have actual brain disease, their only real difficulties were ‘problems in living.’ ”
This attack had some merit in the 1950s, Dr. Shorter said, but not later on, when the field began developing more scientific approaches.
To those skeptical of modern psychiatry, however, Dr. Szasz was a foundational figure.
“We did not agree on everything, like his view that there is no such thing as mental illness,” said Vera Hassner Sharav, president and founder of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a patient advocacy group, and a longtime critic of the field. “But his message that people get designated as ill, labeled and then shafted out of society and preyed on by an industry dominated by drugs — that’s where he was very valuable.”
After making his name, Dr. Szasz only turned up the heat. From his base in the psychiatry department of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, he wrote hundreds of articles and more than 30 books, including “Ideology and Insanity: Essays on the Psychiatric Dehumanization of Man” (1970) and “Psychiatric Slavery: When Confinement and Coercion Masquerade as Cure” (1977).
In 1969, in a move that damaged his credibility even among allies, he joined with the Church of Scientology to found the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which portrays the field as abusive and regularly pickets psychiatric meetings.
Dr. Szasz was not a Scientologist himself, and he later distanced himself from the church, but he shared the religion’s critical view of psychiatry. His provocations were not without cost. In the 1960s, New York mental health officials, outraged at his attacks on the state system, blocked Dr. Szasz from teaching at a state hospital where residents trained, according to two former colleagues. Dr. Szasz bristled but had little recourse, and his teaching was curtailed.
Dr. Szasz opposed the American Psychiatric Association’s broadening of its diagnoses in its new manual.
“For the record, I will say that I admired him, even though I think he was dead wrong about the nature of schizophrenia,” said Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, Va., which supports stronger laws to ensure treatment of people with severe mental disorders. “But he made a major contribution to the issue of the misuse of psychiatry. His message is important today.”
Thomas Stephen Szasz was born in Budapest on April 15, 1920, the second child of Julius Szasz, a lawyer, and the former Lily Wellisch. The family moved to Cincinnati in 1938, where the boy became a star student. He earned a degree in physics from the University of Cincinnati and graduated from the university’s medical school in 1944.
After an internship and residency, he enrolled at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, earning his diploma in 1950. He worked at the Chicago institute and served in the United States Naval Reserve before joining the faculty of SUNY Upstate.
He wife, Rosine, died in 1971. Beside his daughter Dr. Peters, he is survived by another daughter, Suzy Szasz Palmer; a brother, George; and a grandson.
Dr. Szasz was widely sought after as a speaker and presented with dozens of national and international awards. Until the end of his life he continued to discuss psychotherapy, the practice he was trained to perform and of which he became so skeptical.
“The goal is to assume more responsibility and therefore gain more liberty and more control over one’s own life,” he said of talk therapy in an interview in 2000 with the Web site “The issues or questions for the patient become to what extent is he willing to recognize his evasions of responsibility, often expressed as ‘symptoms.’ ”

Behavioral Styles

Behavioral Styles - working draft outline

Norm | Psychopathology



Ideational - Perceptual


Intrapersonal and Interpersonal



Predatory behavioral styles

as precursors of criminal and paracriminal behaviors

  • Self-violence and Self-aggression

  • Violence and aggression against individuals - manifestation of disturbance in interpersonal relations

  • Violence and aggression against groups - manifestation of disturbance in social relations


Scholarly articles for predatory behavior in humans

Search Results

Predation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Similar
Jump to Mobbing behavior‎: For example, nesting gull colonies are widely seen to attack intruders, including humans. Costs of mobbing behavior include ...


Criteria for assessment:
Severity, Frequency, Degree of functional impairment

Subjective self-report, interviews, etc;
Objective: assessments by others


The Behavioral Genetics of Predatory Criminal Behavior
File Format: Microsoft Powerpoint - Quick View
Predatory offending, about the fundamentals of human genetics, about the methods used by behavioral genetics, and about how this information is used to ...


The Biological Basis of Human Behavior
The three main elements biology contributes to human behavior are: 1) ... like foxes, the one that is particularly good as a predator, through cunning or speed or ...


Self-management of anger, rage, violence and aggression as a part and as a dimension of behavioral styles


Other References and Links

Behavioral Styles - Google Search



Mothering (parenting) styles

Mothering (parenting) styles - working draft outline

Secure mothering (parenting)

Insecure mothering (parenting)

Psychotherapy and psychoeducation for mothers (parents) to be and in variations of mothering (parenting) styles


Why Fathers Really Matter

Paul Blow
MOTHERHOOD begins as a tempestuously physical experience but quickly becomes a political one. Once a woman’s pregnancy goes public, the storm moves outside. Don’t pile on the pounds! Your child will be obese. Don’t eat too little, or your baby will be born too small. For heaven’s sake, don’t drink alcohol. Oh, please: you can sip some wine now and again. And no matter how many contradictory things the experts say, don’t panic. Stress hormones wreak havoc on a baby’s budding nervous system.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Offences against Religion", Socrates' trial and Pussy Riot case

"Offences against Religion", Socrates' trial and Pussy Riot case

Unresolved mourning as psychopathology and underlying cause of some criminal and paracriminal behaviors

Unresolved mourning as psychopathology and underlying cause of some criminal and paracriminal behaviors


Various individual "stalking behaviors" can and should be viewed as manifestations of the disorders of attachment and separation (e.g. "unrequited love", or "obsessive love", which is, however, in want of some clarifications: what "true love" is not obsessive, and what is "love" anyway?)

Can the various officially sanctioned or private "surveillance behaviors" be viewed as "stalking" also? In principle, there is no difference between theses two types of behaviors, and, if anything, the "officially sanctioned stalking" is even much more intrusive, pervasive, powerful and potentially intimidating.
But the main features are the same: excessive and most of the time unwanted attention, warrantied or not.

It would be only logical and consistent with the values of modern Western cultures to classify these both types of behaviors (individual and group), regardless of their origins and directions as the offenses against privacy, if they exceed certain social and legal limits; the issue is to define these limits in both sufficiently stringent and sufficiently flexible ways.

References and Links

Unresolved mourning - Google Search

stalking - Google Search

The difficulties associated with precisely defining this term (or defining it at all) are well documented.[2]
Gender studies of stalkers
According to one study, women often target other women, whereas men generally stalk women only.[10][11] However, a January 2009 report from the Department of Justice in the United States reports that "Males were as likely to report being stalked by a male as a female offender. 43% of male stalking victims stated that the offender was female, while 41% of male victims stated that the offender was another male. Female victims of stalking were significantly more likely to be stalked by a male (67%) rather than a female (24%) offender." This report provides considerable data by gender and race about both stalking and harassment.[12] The data for this report were obtained via the 2006 Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of Justice.[13]
Types of stalkers
Psychologists often group individuals who stalk into two categories: psychotic and nonpsychotic.[14] Stalkers may have pre-existing psychotic disorders such as delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or schizophrenia. Most stalkers are nonpsychotic and may exhibit disorders or neuroses such as major depression, adjustment disorder, or substance dependence, as well as a variety of Axis II personality disorders (such as antisocial, borderline, dependent, narcissistic, or paranoid). Some of the symptoms of "obsessing" over a person is part of obsessive compulsive personality disorder. The nonpsychotic stalkers' pursuit of victims can be influenced by various psychological factors, including anger, hostility, projection of blame, obsession, dependency, minimization, denial, and jealousy. Conversely, as is more commonly the case, the stalker has no antipathic feelings towards the victim, but simply a longing that cannot be fulfilled due to deficiencies either in their personality or their society's norms.[15]
One of the uncertainties in understanding the origins of stalking is that the concept is now widely understood in terms of specific behaviors[18] which are found to be offensive and/or illegal. As discussed above, these specific (apparently stalking) behaviors may have multiple motivations.

In addition, the personality characteristics that are often discussed as antecedent to stalking may also produce behavior that is not stalking as conventionally defined. Some research suggests there is a spectrum of what might be called "obsessed following behavior." People who complain obsessively and for years, about a perceived wrong or wrong-doer, when no one else can perceive the injury—and people who cannot or will not "let go" of a person or a place or an idea—comprise a wider group of persons that may be problematic in ways that seem similar to stalking. Some of these people get extruded from their organizations—they may get hospitalized or fired or let go if their behavior is defined in terms of illegal stalking, but many others do good or even excellent work in their organizations and appear to have just one focus of tenacious obsession.[19] 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grant Proposal for establishment of the Puerto Rico Institute for Behavioral Criminology and Behavioral Forensic Sciences

Grant Proposal for establishment of the Puerto Rico Institute for Behavioral Criminology and Behavioral Forensic Sciences

AP (Psychiatric) A
US Department of Justice: FBI and Department of Corrections
US Department of Health and Human Services
The Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico

Dear madams and sirs:

I propose to establish the Puerto Rico Institute for Behavioral Criminology and Behavioral Forensic Sciences with the following purposes:

A. Theoretical:
  • To explore the associations between mental illnesses and criminality and to develop the efficient strategies for prevention and treatment of criminal behaviors.
  • To develop empirically based classification of mental disorders from criminological perspectives, geared towards better understanding of this association.
  • To summarize and monitor all available literature in the field (on the interdisciplinary basis), to digest and translate it into human languages (bilingually: English and Spanish) and to publish these digests with selected original articles on the web, free of any charges, for professionals and public. Unimpeded access to scientific information should be viewed as one of the "inalienable rights" rather than commodity; the benefits of free access to this information immeasurably outweigh the costs which should be bared by the government, along the lines of the Pubmed model. Scientific activity and public education cannot exist without the free flow of information.
  • To train the young professionals in the field on interdisciplinary basis and to develop the curricula and efficient strategies for their training.
  • To develop models for combined general mental health, crime prevention and prison health services.
  • To organize scientific meetings and conferences in the field on the national and international basis. Puerto Rico is the ideal location for it.
B. Practical
  • To develop the series of diagnostic and therapeutic video games for children and adults, including the prison populations; utilising individualised psychophysiological and psychotherapetic approaches.
  • To explore the use of blogging services for prisoners with diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
  • To develop strategies for prison personnel training and participation in prisons mental health services.
Puerto Rico can become an ideal natural laboratory for development and testing of described above services, with their further implementation on a national basis.