Needless to say serving on the front line can have adverse effects on servicemen and women's mental health but new research from the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health has shown the effect war can have on the wives of servicemen too. The researchers studied the medical records of 250,000 army wives between 2003-2006. Roughly a third each had husbands who were not deployed during that period, who were deployed for between one and eleven months and who were deployed for longer. Relative to the group of wives whose husbands had not been deployed there were 3,500 extra diagnoses of mental-health problems in wives whose husbands served for 1-11 months and 5,300 more diagnoses among wives whose husbands served for longer. Depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, acute stress and adjustment disorders were the most common diagnoses. As well as the natural worry over loved ones, maintaining a household, coping as a single parent and dealing with the marital strain of a prolonged separation all took their toll.
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