Reuters via Yahoo 'reports' below.
Failed to note that not one of our
"patriotic" 'news' reporters
January 4 1:30 PM ET
Fighting Wars Ups Risk of Psychological Problems
By Suzanne Rostler
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -
The study, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health, journal of the American Public Health Association, found that men who were exposed to combat were more than six times as likely to be diagnosed with PTSD, a condition that affects combat veterans and survivors of natural disasters, violent crimes and serious accidents.
Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks to the trauma, nightmares and emotional withdrawal. The researchers estimate that about 28% of cases of PTSD are attributable to combat exposure.
What's more, exposure to combat was found to account for more than 7% of major depressive disorders and 8% of substance abuse problems lasting 12 months, as well as many job losses, cases of divorce and separation, and partner abuse.
The findings show that fighting wars can directly affect a man's risk of developing a range of psychiatric problems, and have important implications for the thousands of Americans now involved in military strikes against Afghanistan, according to Dr. Holly G. Prigerson of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Haven, Connecticut, and her colleagues.
``Current generations that have grown up in peaceful times might not have a realistic appreciation for the risks this study shows they assume when sent off to engage in the fight against terrorism,'' Prigerson told Reuters Health in an interview.
``Given these demonstrated high costs (individuals) assume when fighting for their country...and the consequences of letting these psychic wounds go untreated, there exists a public health interest in providing quality mental healthcare to these veterans, and social services such as marriage and occupational counseling to assist them in transitioning back to life as a civilian,'' she added.
In the study, Prigerson's team conducted psychiatric interviews with more than 2,500 men aged 18 to 54. About 7% had been involved in military combat, mostly during the Vietnam War.
According to Prigerson, exposure to combat can leave men vulnerable to a host of problems.
``Although additional research is needed to confirm this, it would appear that the combat exposure leaves psychic scars that remain with war veterans and continue to disturb them. The behavioral problems would appear a reflection of this disturbance,'' she said.
SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health 2002;92:59-63