Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Psychological costs of Iraq and Afghanistan

A survey of 1,965 U.S. servicemen who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan aimed to assess their exposure to traumatic events and possible brain injury while deployed, evaluate current symptoms of psychological illness and gauge whether they had received care for combat-related problems. Servicemen reported exposure to a wide range of traumatic events while deployed. Half said they had had a friend who was seriously wounded or killed, 45% said they had seen dead or seriously-injured non-combatants and over 10% said they were injured themeselves and required hospitalization. Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were highest among army soldiers and marines and among service members who were no longer on active duty. Women, Hispanics and enlisted personnel were all more likely to report symptoms of PTSD and major depression although the single best predictor of depression and PTSD was exposure to combat trauma while deployed. Just 53% of the servicemen with PTSD or depression had sought help over the past year and of those who sought care only half got 'minimally adequate treatment'.

You can find out more about this research at

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