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Aug-21-2011 16:28TweetFollow @OregonNews
PTSD and Aggression: Then and Now
Dr Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
PTSD can be a killer
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - The first written record of PTSD was from a physician in an Egyptian Pharaohs Army in 2500 BC who described it as “hysterical reaction to battle”. That sounds about right and PTSD continues long afterwards. Some WWII Vets still have PTSD some 65 years later. I am one of them.
Actually it appears to have started maybe millions of years earlier. Oregon Public Broadcasting had a recent program studying psychological trauma, which is PTSD, in baboons, of all things. They were studying blood changes in stress hormones in alpha males in baboon colonies compared with non-alpha males. It seems that physical prowess and breeding rights may provide a lot of prestige but maintaining the privileges of the alpha male presage an early death from the stress of defending ones throne.
They also compared the situation of the baboons with British Government workers who also have their alpha males and lesser males. They found the same results as the baboons in the British workers.
If the baboon studies have validity, and it certainly appears that they do, PTSD did NOT start in the Pharaohs army it started when we bipeds were still in the trees long ago.
It is necessary to reflect on the situation in other animal species. Herd/pack animals have alpha males also whether it is buffalos, elk, elephants, lions, or wolves. Their fierce struggle to become alpha and preserve the position is fraught with disabling danger and even death. Everybody wants to fight for the Alpha position and its benefits.
This whole discourse reminds me of what is going on in our own military for the past so many years. WE SEND OUR ALPHA MALES TO WAR. We send a few other guys to war also but only the alpha males count in this context. I think all of us rookies had the idea and expectations of getting some badge of courage and valor. When we got into battle, seeing what a miserable, frequently filthy requirements was involved we said to hell with it. It just wasn’t worth it. I know of few combat soldiers who said to themselves “I’m going to get me a Silver Star or better”. The actual costs to prove that a soldier is really an alpha male are too much. About 300,000 Combat Infantrymen got the Combat Infantry Badge and were killed. Another 700,000 or so were wounded.
About the worst feature of the discussion is the high suicide rate of those soldiers seeking to attain or maintain alpha status. The Oregonian reports August 13, 2011 of 31 Army suicides in July 2011, the highest ever recorded and coming along with one of the highest casualty rates in the Middle East Wars.
In my opinion, the horrible suicide rates especially after the Viet Nam War in which a purported 50,000 vets committed suicide is a sad reminder of the costs of being an alpha male. However, if one cannot be an alpha male, there is not much sense in just hanging around.
Dr. Phil Leveque is Salem-News.com’s Medical Expert
Dr. Leveque has a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology, with degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, working as an osteopathic physician and forensic toxicologist. He is currently a non-practicing physician in Oregon who has testified in over 400 court cases as an expert witness and continues to share his wisdom through speaking engagements and special events, as well as with readers far and wide. Phil Leveque has always been a fighter, from his days in the Army during World War Two, when he captured 26 Nazi officers in a single day -by himself - to the rigors of being a Professor while also a full-time medical student.
He spent 25 years as a Professor, teaching in 10 different colleges and universities in the U.S., and two years teaching in Africa through the University of London where he had the opportunity to help train the first physicians in Tanzania. He was also offered the position of Chief Toxicologist for Baltimore, Maryland, offered Chairman of Pharmacology in Texas and Deanship at the Osteopathic College in California.
He then settled down as a retired professor in Oregon, and continued to pursue an occupation as an osteopathic physician and forensic toxicologist.
Dr. Leveque was an integral force in the passing of Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act in 1998, and co-founder of the THC Clinic in Portland, Oregon. He was a vigilant patient activist throughout his battle with the Oregon Medical Board, earning him the moniker “Most dangerous doctor in Oregon” and continues to serve the public good as a national spokesperson. (For consult or to invite Dr. Leveque to your event, contact via email, below)
Do you have a question or comment for Dr. Leveque? Email him: Newsroom@Salem-News.com
Learn more about Phil Leveque’s true life story found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier by Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana by Dr. Phil Leveque
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HAIL TO MY ALPHA MALE BUDDIES!!!