Veteran Caught in Vicious Trap of Psychiatric Drugs

Desert Storm vet says veterans are receive too many psychiatric drugs that only make things worse and they aren't receiving enough help with learning and coping skills

As the nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm this Memorial Day, one veteran who served in that conflict speaks of the ruin psychiatric drugs have made of his life.

​As 500 veterans prepare to mark the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm by marching in this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C, a vet named Roger, who served in that campaign, is suffering.

Roger walked into the Citizens Commission on Human Rights’ Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Exhibit in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park carrying a large white plastic bag filled with psychiatric medications he’s been prescribed. He says they have only made things worse.

"I started having the idea of suicide. I had a razor I wanted to use…. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about suicide."

Desert Storm Vet

“I’m proud of my military service,” he says. But while he survived that battle, he was not prepared for what came next.

He left the army in 1994. “After I got out, I couldn’t keep a stable job. I divorced around that same time. I would fight and was depressed all the time.”

He went to the VA hospital for help and they put him on Zoloft.

“I started having sexual issues, all these different problems—I couldn’t relate to other people.” He became homeless, walked the streets. In and out of jobs.

But it wasn’t until a few years later that things hit crisis level. It was in 2011 that he sought help again and was given Abilify.

“That’s when I started having the idea of suicide,” he says. “I had a razor I wanted to use…. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about suicide. There’s not a day that I don’t think about hurting somebody.”

Roger toured the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Exhibit. “I watched two of the videos and they are spot on,” he says. “What struck me the most is how the people who are supposed to regulate the drug industry, the FDA, are getting kickbacks from the pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies are paying the government money to fast-track these medicines to get them on the market, knowing fully well nothing has been thoroughly tested.”

Before he served in Desert Storm, Roger remembers being “a very upbeat guy. I was an optimistic person.  Now I feel like I’m an outsider—like I don’t belong around people.”

He wants to be done with psychiatric drugs and find something that will help him with learning and coping skills. “I’m nobody’s junky,” he says.

The Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Exhibit is open to the public free of charge in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The exhibit is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily Memorial Day Weekend through Sunday, May 29.  

Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a nonprofit charitable mental health watchdog co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and professor of psychiatry emeritus, the late Dr. Thomas Szasz.  It is dedicated to eradicating psychiatric abuses and ensuring patient protection.