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February 2007
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April 2007

Military using personality disorder diagnoses to deny veterans benefits

Support the troops has become a cynical rallying cry when the Bush Administration has chosen to run the "war on terror" expensively abroad fattening the pockets of the military contractors like Brown and Kellogg, and the weapons manufacturers who put him in office, and on the cheap at home cheating veterans out of their benefits by using psychiatric diagnoses of "personality disorder" to refuse them benefits.

Joshua Kors has written a great article entitled "How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits" in the April , 2007 issue of The Nation. Every American who really supports the troops should read this article. You can access it by clicking on the link below.

In the Army's separations manual it's called Regulation 635-200, Chapter 5-13: "Separation Because of Personality Disorder." It's an alluring choice for a cash-strapped military because enacting it is quick and cheap. The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn't have to provide medical care to soldiers dismissed with personality disorder. That's because under Chapter 5-13, personality disorder is a pre-existing condition. The VA is only required to treat wounds sustained during service. Soldiers discharged under 5-13 can't collect disability pay either. To receive those benefits, a soldier must be evaluated by a medical board, which must confirm that he is wounded and that his wounds stem from combat. The process takes several months, in contrast with a 5-13 discharge, which can be wrapped up in a few days. If a soldier dismissed under 5-13 hasn't served out his contract, he has to give back a slice of his re-enlistment bonus as well. That amount is often larger than the soldier's final paycheck. As a result, on the day of their discharge, many injured vets learn that they owe the Army several thousand dollars.

Kors points out that over the last six years 22,5000 soldiers have been dismissed from the military due to personality disorders. This has saved the military over 8 billion dollars in disability pay and another 4.5 billion in medical care for those disabled vets.

Link: How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits.

Morning meditation - Slow down

Sometimes we just need to rest. We get so busy for so long that we get our second wind and don't even notice our exhaustion until symptoms appear. The doctors will most likely diagnose depression or anxiety disorder, but the underlying condition is often burnout. We are just tired having pushed ourselves until we function purely on nervous energy.

When we are burned out, the best remedy is to stop what we are doing and rest. However, when we first stop there is an implosion. Often times the symptoms will initially become worse, so we panic and think we have erred in stopping and want to pick right up where we left off and get busy again. This is a mistake. We need to wait out the initial aggravation of symptoms for, if we do, they will quickly subside and deep rest will ensue.

Deep rest also frightens people. How long will this state last? Will I ever feel like reengaging with life again? Of course you will when your rest is complete.Rest, however, takes time. It can't be rushed. We must learn to respect the inner, organic, time clock of life.

In our modern life, often out of sync with the circadian rhythyms, the seasonal changes, the flow of time of the natural world, we push the river and then wonder why we get sick, why we have psychiatric problems. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, "Easy Does It."

Morning meditation - Living life one day at a time

Some people believe in fate, that certain things are meant to be, or were meant to be. In its extreme form this has led to the belief in pre-destination. Nothing is pre-ordained from the human perspective, that humans in their own minds haven't conjured up, and then created self fulfilling prophecies. The slogan says, "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it." Another slogan says, "You made your bed, now lie in it." and people sometimes cynically, bitterly, and self righteously say, "I told you so!" or "What did you expect?"

Human behavior does have consequences both positive and negative, and "what goes around comes around", and yet humans create their own predicaments, and they often create "accidents waiting to happen" as well was "blessings which were bound to occur."

The person who is leading the spiritual life strives to live with responsibility, response - ability, and awareness. The spiritual person understands that thoughts, feelings, and behavior have consequences for oneself as well as for others and the world, and knowing this, strives to live with impeccability meaning that the person living the spiritual life does so with as few strings attached as possible, completing each act to fulfill any obligation, and freeing oneself then to live each day fully and completely.

The person living the spiritual life is free, aware, and creative and in these qualities there is great joy living life large, one day at a time, and worrying about tomorrow when tomorrow becomes today.

John McCain out right lies about state of affairs in Baghdad

Cnnmccainbaghdad This is the stuff that makes Americans crazy. They are bald facedly lied to by people like John McCain. Watch John Roberts confront McCain on two patently false statements he made about the safety in Iraq on CNN.

This blog is a mental health blog, and I try to limit the political stuff, but politics has created a mentally toxic environment in the United States over the last 7 years with the lies that have lead to war, torture, loss of civil liberties, corruption, and heightened level of incivility in public discourse. People are mystified much of time and wonder who is crazy them or their government. Listen to John McCain and you decide.

Click on the link below to go to Crooks and Liars to watch the CNN clip.

Link: Crooks and Liars » John Roberts Debunks McCain’s Rosy Baghdad Scenario.

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson: "Impeach Bush"

WBUR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook had a very interesting show on Monday, March 26, 2007, during which Tom interviewed Salt Lake City, Utah's mayor, Rocky Anderson, about why he has called for Bush's impeachment. Every America should listen to this show and consider the issues raised.

Randerson Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson is a making a big noise against the Iraq War and President George Bush from the heart of one of the conservative states in America.

Utah is Republican and strongly Mormon. Salt Lake City's mayor is lapsed Mormon and fiery Democrat. Now, from the deep Mountain West, he's calling for an impeachment in Washington and attacking a national "culture of obedience."

Bill O'Reilly calls him a kook. Fans call him a hero.

Here are a couple of quotes:

"I think this president has so badly abused his power, breached his trust in remarkable ways with our Congress, with the American people, has violated so many of our international treaty obligations, our Constitution, our domestic statutory laws, and has been responsible for ordering and condoning heinous human rights violations. We need to draw the line." - Rocky Anderson, (D) Mayor of Salt Lake City.

"If there is ever a time that impeachment would be appropriate, this is certainly the time." - Rocky Anderson, (D) Mayor of Salt Lake City.

Link: On Point : Mayor Rocky Anderson - Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Morning meditation - Facing the truth about oneself requires overcoming fear of shame

The hardest thing to face in life is ourselves, our mistakes, our failures, our deficits, our weaknesses, our foibles, our sins. Shame is one of the most primitive of all emotions and according to the origin story in Genesis, the first thing Adam and Eve do when God evicts them from the Garden Of Eden is to cover themselves because they feel shame.

If we want to know who our enemy is, what we hate, our greatest fear, all we have to do is look in the mirror. Look deep, and we will find all the things we have repressed, supressed, and not expressed because they are too embarassing, too humiliating, too repugnant, and we are afraid of loosing face in the eyes of others, and in our own eyes as well so we avoid, we deny, we put our best feet forward, put up our fascade, pretend that things are not as we fear deep down that they are, whistle in the dark, and move forward pretending that things are one way when they really are another.

What a way to live hiding from ourselves, living in fear of shame, only a matter of time before being exposed, being found out, and our egos crumbling under the crush of exposure, truth, accountability.

People living a spiritual life face up to things. They take the bull by the horns, and promptly admit their failures, their short comings, their weaknesses, their inadequacies, their deficits. There is an effort in the spiritual life to be honest and to manage oneself, and one's life with honesty, integrity, and impeccability. The person living the spiritual life knows that she/he is imperfect and has no need to be right, is willing to admit mistakes and to acknowledge his/her character defects. The person living the spiritual life is able to say and honestly understand that "I'm not OK, and you're not OK, but that's OK."