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Jan-25-2011 23:39printcomments

Stress, PTSD, Drug Dangers, Alcohol, Tobacco and Death - the Reality

Most people (Baboons included) are subject to various levels or severity of stress.

Baboon being chased by a lion

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - For those who read my postings on this continuum of reality, you know what I am writing about. For any new readers let me put this together starting at square one. I got my inspiration from a documentary on OPB called KILLER STRESS which is a very important and suitable name. Their story was about the stress of being an underclass baboon (a very vicious animal) compared with the stress of being a British Civil Service employee.

Both of these cultures have their multi-strata of type A personalities or top of the pack individuals down to the lowest gofer. The higher you are, usually the least stress you will suffer. This goes along with combat stress of privates about which I mostly write but stress of various intensities from top to bottom.

Most people (Baboons included) are subject to various levels or severity of stress. To me combat stress is about the worst. This is from a front line Combat Infantryman. Bomber crews had similar stress but if they survived a mission they could go “home” nights to all amenities. Child abuse, marital abuse and rape come in about the same package. I hear you!

All of these cause stress and PTSD. A friend said it should be called PERMENANT Traumatic Stress Disorder. I agree but the real and pseudoshrinkologists will probably disagree. Go ahead, I’ve been there, done that and seen that.

Counseling therapy of a wide variety, including religion, seems to help some patients of low level PTSD. O.K. For more severe cases it might aggravate the PTSD. Victims can’t talk about their stressors. The drugs given for PTSD are a double edged sword. They do help some but the medically used drugs, Opiates like Morphine, Benzos like Valium, anti-depressants like Prozac, anti-psychotics like Gabapentin, anti-epileptics like Tegrotol all cause addiction-like syndromes and also death from accidental overdose and/or suicide. For Combat Veterans they cause many suicides. According to VA Mental Health Officer Dr. Ira Katz it is about 6000 per year which is more than Combat in Iraq et cetera.

Combat Veterans and other victims frequently give up on the above mentioned therapies and resort to alcohol and/or tobacco or worse, truly illegal heavy drugs. To them this is a crisis situation.

Death by accidental overdose or by purposeful suicide is unfortunately common and is common even among Doctor Surgeons. I posted an article Doctor Suicides vs Military Suicides on January 20, 2011 in Surgery itself is stressful enough but even a slight mistake can be career ending by a medical malpractice case.

As a PTSD victim from my own combat experience, seeing others in battle falling apart psychologically or physical wounding and taking medical care of many PTSD victims, I’m in favor of anything that works with minimal hazard. The treatment should be less hazardous than actual combat or any of the other causations.

Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist. Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him:

More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

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Anonymous January 26, 2011 11:15 am (Pacific time)

THank you Dr. Phil for your efforts in regards to veterans, PTSD, marijuana truth and so forth. I know it must be a tiresome job, and you probably want to give up sometimes. Thanks for keeping the truth going. More people are listening, you are not alone. Thanks.

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