[THS] Number of US Troops Discharged for Mental Illness Rises by 64 Percent
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ths at psalience.org
Sat Jul 24 11:12:09 CEST 2010
Number of US Troops Discharged for Mental Illness Rises by 64 Percent
Updated: 2 hours 25 minutes ago
Katie Drummond Contributor
AOL News Surge Desk
(July 23) -- The sorry state of psychological health among today's military means
more troops being discharged for mental illness.
Newly released Army statistics reveal that discharges due to psychological problems
are up 64 percent from 2005, and are now the culprit for one in nine medical
Discharges among soldiers with a physical and a mental impairment also increased,
up 174 percent since 2005.
Mental health discharges include those related to post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), now estimated to afflict 20 to 30 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Experts have been warning for years that years of redeployment could take a serious
psychological toll on troops. A 2007 Army-funded survey warned that rates of post-
traumatic stress disorder and depression surged from 12 percent among troops
deployed once or twice to 27 percent among troops deployed three or more times.
And Army officials continue to acknowledge a rising risk of mental illness with repeat
rounds of service.
"[There is] a clear relationship between multiple deployments and increased
symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD," Army Lt. Col. Rebecca Porter, an Army
health official, told USA Today.
As the military struggles to catch up with the burgeoning crisis, it's also coping with
turbulent leadership changes among key officials. Just last month, the director of the
military's treatment center for PTSD, Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, stepped down amid
ongoing criticism of the Pentagon's mental health management.
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