PTSD, depression afflict 300,000 Iraq, Afghan war vets:

PTSD, depression afflict 300,000 Iraq, Afghan war vets: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) - About 300,000 US military veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan currently suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, an independent study released Thursday estimates.

The study by a team at the RAND Corporation also concludes that about 320,000 veterans of those conflicts experienced a "probable" traumatic brain injury (TBI) during deployment, but the long-term impact on mental health is unclear.

The findings were extrapolated from a survey of 1,926 recently returned servicemembers from across the military services. The sample was designed to represent the 1.6 million troops who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.

"Among those who met diagnostic criteria for PTSD or major depression, only 53 percent had seen a physician or mental health provider to seek help for a mental health problem in the past 12 months," the study said.
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Ha, so PTSD is now due to TBI's caused by the shock from bombs, according to this. This is a complete regression to mid WW1 when people though "shell shock" was caused by the force from exploding gases from shells, an idea that was emphatically disproved then. PTSD is not something we can assign to a physiological cause, the majority of cases are psychological and should be treated that way. We already know of good techniques to help ease the symptoms and any misdiagnosis will place a blight on these peoples lives.
We had a presentation on this by the neurosurgeon in Bastion last year. It basically means that (if it were to be adopted) anyone remotely close to a blast (who was entirely asymptomatic) would need a screening assessment later on for PTSD symptoms. Which means a huge increase in workload for the already busy FMHTs and DCMHs and the possible labelling of soldiers who are entirely asymptomatic. It's great if it shows up real cases of PTSD earlier, but I'm not at all convinced it will.

Some people at the presentation also raised the possibility of TBI being the source of many compensation claims.

Extrapolative data needs to be treated with some caution, especially if you're making bold claims about numbers of cases 150 times higher than your sample size.

Unfortunately the last statistic will be equally valid in the UK military as well, which is something we need to address with some urgency.

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