Post-traumatic stress among US troops soars
Telegragh.co.uk ~ Click here to view the entire Article
The number of troops diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder jumped by roughly 50 percent in 2007, coinciding with the most violent year so far in Afghanistan and Iraq, Pentagon records show.
In the first figures on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the two wars disclosed by the Defence Department, officials said nearly 40,000 troops have been diagnosed with the illness since 2003, and they believe many more probably are keeping their illness a secret.
"I don't think right now we ... have good numbers," said Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker.
That is partly because officials have been encouraging troops to get help even if it means they go to private civilian therapists and do not report it to the military. The 40,000 cases cover only those that the military has tracked.
Officials have estimated that roughly 50 percent of troops with mental health problems do not get treatment because they are embarrassed or fear having the condition would hurt their military careers.
An accounting of diagnosed cases released by the department shows the hardest hit last year were Marines and Army soldiers, the two ground forces bearing the brunt of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Army reported more than 10,000 new cases last year, compared to more than 6,800 the previous year. More than 28,000 soldiers altogether were diagnosed with the disorder during the past five years.
The Marine Corps had more than 2,100 cases in 2007, compared to 1,366 in 2006. They have had more than 5,000 PTSD cases diagnosed since 2003.
Dr Schoomaker attributed the big rise partly to officials having started an electronic record system in 2004 that captures more information. Also, he said, time passes the record-keepers records are more knowledgeable about the illness.
Other Articles on PTSD ~ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Gather:
By Dave McGill ~ "The Toll - 6/1/08 - The Demon of Brian Rand"
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