1 in 8 Returning Soldiers Suffers From PTSD
But less than half with problems seek help, report finds

1 in 8 returning soldiers suffers from PTSD

The Army’s first study of the mental health of troops who fought in Iraq found that about one in eight reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Once called shell shock or combat fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder can develop after experiencing a traumatic event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of detachment, irritability, trouble concentrating and sleeplessness. Symptoms of major depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder were reported by 16 percent to 17 percent of those who served in Iraq, 11 percent of those who were in Afghanistan and 9 percent questioned before they left.

The survey showed that less than half of those with problems sought help, mostly out of fear of being stigmatized or hurting their careers. Full Text at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5334479/ns/health-mental_health/t/returning-soldiers-suffers-ptsd/  

John Cartmell comments:

Post traumatic stress is a disorder that affects many of our military's finest, sometimes to the extent that they are unemployable or no longer fit for military service. The two main methods of treatment, psychological counseling and prescription medications, are often ineffective in adequately reducing symptoms. One of the more common medications prescribed are antidepressant drugs. The FDA has issued 4 warnings in 3 years that all antidepressant drugs have the potential to cause suicidal depression in some individuals who are uniquely sensitive to these medications. The common prescription of these medications may be a factor in increased rates of suicide among those who have served in combat missions. This may be another reason why those with PTSD do not seek treatment.

Any disease symptom can be made worse and sometimes caused outright by inadequate nutrition; including symptoms of irritability, trouble concentrating, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms can be improved and sometimes cured with nutritional interventions. People with PTSD should therefore be assessed to rule out the possibility of nutritional inadequacies before medications are prescribed because medications cannot correct for nutritional deficiencies and long term use of medications increases the risk of side effects which are commonly treated with more drugs.

People who are well nourished often make faster progress in psychological counseling or therapy because they are better able to concentrate and process information needed for their recovery.

John W. Cartmell, MS

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