The American Triangle of Depression

Stock Market

Stock Market

Ten months ago (January 18th, 2008) Henry Paulson, the American Secretary of the Treasury, announced that in the long run the economical structure of America is solid and that he believes that the economy will grow. Official members of George W. Bush’s government, for instance the Chair of the Federal Reserve, did not say anything about the downfall of the American economy. Two months later (March 16th, 2008) the Secretary of the Treasury repeated his reliance on the American economy and emphasized that he has complete trust of the American financial institutions and that the American marketplace can resist difficulty.

Four weeks before the American economic sun set, people woke up from their slumber and heard that huge and old American banks, American financial institutions, and American insurance agencies went bankrupt. The news of America’s financial crisis and bank crises hit like a bomb and shook the world’s financial system for a few minutes. The American stock market fell 40 percent and the stocks of large stock markets in the world fell dramatically. The week that world leaders, for instance Dr. Ahmadinejad, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, were in New York attending the annual session of the United Nations, the American Secretary of the Treasury, who was the managing director of a huge American financial institute – Goldman Sachs on Wall Street – put forth tireless effort to confirm George Bush’s 700 billion dollar plan in the congress in order to prevent the complete fall of the American banking system which the American economy has not seen since the time of the previous president Franklin Rosevelt, in the 1930s.

This financial crisis and bankruptcy of United States banks was not astonishing for people who read the analyses regarding America and the events of the world in the Kayhan Newspaper. Exactly ten months ago (January 31st, 2008) when Henry Paulson, the Secretary of the Treasury reported about a healthy American economy, the Kayhan Newspaper predicted an American financial crisis in an article titled Depression in America. I wrote there that this country is practically in an economic crisis. The first paragraph of that article was started with: “The depression has started in America, but the government and treasury department have yet to announce it. There is has always been a three to six month gap between an economical event and its official announcement in the history of the American economy. The depression of 2008, which we are still in, is not an exception to this rule. News regarding the depression must be given gradually and slowly because the modern economy has a direct connection with people’s imagination and trust. America has the largest economy in the world and in the age of internationalizing capital, work, and technology any change in the financial and banking areas of America will have a large effect on the international economy.” This has happened.

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U.S. veterans struggle with war stress

The latest and most comprehensive study of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has concluded that nearly 1 in every 5 veterans is suffering from depression or stress disorders and that
many are not getting adequate care.

war veteran

The study shows that mental disorders are more prevalent and lasting than previously known, surfacing belatedly and lingering after troops have been discharged.

Rand Study: Nearly one in five of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer depression or stress

An estimated 300,000 veterans among the nearly 1.7 million who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are battling depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. More than half of these people,
according to the study conducted by the Rand Corp., are slipping through the cracks in the bureaucratic system, going without necessary treatment.

The Rand study underscores one of the lessons of modern counterinsurgency conflicts: Such wars may kill fewer troops than traditional fighting but can leave deeper psychological scars.

Screening techniques for stress disorders are vastly improved from previous wars, making comparisons with Vietnam, Korea or World War II difficult. But a chief difference is that in Iraq and Afghanistan all service members, not just combat infantry, are exposed to roadside bombs and civilian deaths. That distinction subjects a much wider swath of military personnel to the stresses of war.

“We call it ‘360-365’ combat,” said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense. “What that means is veterans are completely surrounded by combat for one year. Nearly all of our
soldiers are under fire, or being subjected to mortar rounds or roadside bombs, or witnessing the deaths of civilians or fellow soldiers.”

Military officials praised the Rand study, saying that its findings were consistent with their own studies, and said it would reinforce efforts to try to improve mental health care. Veterans Affairs
officials, while questioning the study’s methodology, said their department had intensified efforts to find discharged service members suffering from mental disorders.

The Rand Study was undertaken for the California Community Foundation, which also has funded other programs for returning veterans. Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, the Army surgeon general, said the study would help draw the nation’s attention.

“They are making this a national debate,” Schoomaker said.

The Army previously has said that an estimated 1 in 6 service members suffered from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a slightly lower rate than the Rand study found. In addition to current PTSD rates, the Rand study found that 19.5% of people who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury during their combat tour, a number similar to Army estimates.

Taken together, the study shows that 31% of those who have served in combat have suffered from brain injury, stress disorder, or both.

Combat-related mental ailments and stress can lead to suicide, homelessness and physical health problems. But more mundane disorders can have long-term social consequences.

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