New findings have discovered that between 8.5 and 14 percent of soldiers returning from service in Iraq are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, according to a report published in Archives of General Psychiatry.
From 2004 to 2007, a team of researchers had a total of 18,305 U.S. army personnel complete mental health surveys, and screened individuals for alcohol misuse, aggressive behaviors as well as symptoms of PTSD and depression. Participants were also asked if any of these issues resulted in conflicts at work, home or in social situations.
The investigators discovered that approximately 5.6 to 11.3 percent of participants had developed PTSD, and 5 to 8.5 percent the soldiers were diagnosed with depression. The results of the study showed that half of the individuals who had been diagnosed with either mental disorder also had problems with alcohol or aggressive behaviors.
The authors of the report concluded that if military personnel dont receive treatment for these problems, more drastic consequences would arise.
“If soldiers who are struggling with serious functional impairment as the result of a previous deployment are deployed again, there is potential that this could impair their performance in combat. This has implications for the safety of unit members and mission success,” the authors stated.
A 2010 study from the Pentagon reported that 1 in 5 soldiers who have returned from military service suffer from PTSD.