Troops in Afghanistan nine times more likely to suffer stres

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Nov 4, 2008.

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  1. From Times OnlineNovember 4, 2008

    Troops in Afghanistan nine times more likely to suffer stress disorder
    Michael Evans, Defence Editor
    Troops sent to fight in Afghanistan are nine times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder than members of the Armed Forces who stay at home, the Ministry of Defence has admitted.

    Women in the Forces are also suffering from a higher rate of mental disorder, proportionately, than their male counterparts: 700 servicewomen, some of whom will have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, were assessed last year as having a form of mental health problem.

    The potential for suffering from PTSD among soldiers sent to Iraq and Afghanistan and the cases of mental illness among women was highlighted in new MoD figures released today.

    Surgeon Commander Neil Greenberg said the numbers of PTSD sufferers was relatively low, although there had been “a marked increase”.
    More on the link
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5081936.ece
     
  2. Not exactly news that a soldier is more likely to suffer PTSD when deployed to somewhere like Afgan than someone who is not. What really pisses me off is that there are currently CBT training techniques available that will significantly reduce the impact of stress of an event and therefore soldiers would have less chance of developing PTSD. These techniques have proven successful in the lab and I would love to see them tested in the field because if they prove to be as successful it may well be a step forward in the prevention of chronic PTSD. Shame nobody likes to mention the word PTSD until its too late.
     
  3. There are good evidence based treatments for PTSD, specifically Trauma Focussed CBT and EMDR. I'm not sure if I'm misreading what you've written, but I am not aware of any good quality research that suggests PTSD is preventable. It is true however that people need to recognise the condition in order for treatment to begin. TRIM will possibily help in this.
     
  4. Tytus_Barnowl

    Tytus_Barnowl On ROPs

    I applaud the MODs intelligent observation. The question that is begging is "WHAT THE FUKC ARE THEY GOING TO DO TO HELP WITH THE AFTERMATH:"
     
  5. That depends on what your service status is.

    If you are in Iraq or Afghanistan then there are Field Mental Health Teams permanently based in both Theatres.

    If you are a regular in the UK or Germany then you should see your Medical Centre about referral to your nearest Department of Community Mental Health. There are also mental health assets in Gibraltar and Cyprus.

    If you are a non-mobilised reservist you should contact the Mental Health Team at Chilwell.

    Veterans are probably the worst served at the moment, but there is a cross department Veterans Mental Health Programme being rolled out at the moment. Bit of a post code lottery at present, as not all areas are set up. The Veterans Agency may be able to advise on local schemes.

    Outside the MOD, the Legion can help with general and financial issues, and Combat Stress for specific MH ones.

    If you need any more details, please let me know.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. "Troops In Afghanistan nine times more likely to suffer stress than their UK based counter parts"

    Brought to you by the same study group that brought you:

    Excercise Is good for you
    and Not eating fatty foods will help you loose weight

    :roll:

    Neuroleptic - Thanks for that last post, It seems the facilities are In place to deal with this atleast compared to a few years ago.

    W-60
     
  7. Gentlemen,

    The numbers actually registered as having PTSD were report last week (sorry no link) as 38 last year. Pretty bad but not the epidemic you are lead to expect by the headlines. It is an important issue but not one that needs the press to exhagerate.

    Having just come form TELIC 11 I nknow that the TRIM support is good and that Stress management and observation is something that my unit has been carrying out religiously.

    An interesting comparrison might between the Fire Service and Police , who have to visit lots of horrific incidents and the lads coming back of ops.

    SF
     
  8. The saga of the Mental Health Team at Chilwell is a classic example of policy planning by media.
     
  9. I'm not saying there is anything out there as yet for prevention of PTSD, only that there are techniques that can help lessen the effect of symptoms of anxiety and therefore could decrease the level of impact chronic PTSD may have. To clarify, while some would still develop PTSD they would be able to manage the symptoms so that they have little impact on the sufferers life. It can has also be shown to work when given before exposure to a stressful event. Surely such research is, at the very least, a tentative step in the right direction.
     
  10. If you can direct me to any new research on such techniques, I would be grateful to you. I'd have to stick with my original point however, that there are good evidence based treatments for PTSD (EMDR, TFCBT and SSRIs). Generic stress managment interventions aren't of much use. The caveat is of course that even the best treatments are not always successful as PTSD varies in severity and sufferers may have co-morbid problems e.g. alcoholism or personality problems.

    On the other hand, PTSD is one of the rarer diagnoses even for people who suffer psychologically following trauma. Anxiety states (including phobias), depression or a mix of them are far more common and should again be treated with the best evidence based interventions for those conditions.
     
  11. Neuro thanks for your input - re the EMDR treatments and good evidence...

    How quickly should those suffering be able to get access to the treatments themselves?
     
  12. I really couldn't say for the NHS overall. I've heard of quite short waiting times for treatment in some areas and very long ones in others. The classic postcode lottery I suppose. There is a Veterans conference later this month where this topic may come up. Unfortunately I can't make it, but maybe some of the other ARRSE posters are going and will be able to report back.

    In the military context, the DCMHs have a target of seeing all referrals within 20 working days (although urgent ones will be seen quicker). The last figures I heard were that approximately 90% were being seen within that time frame. That doesn't mean that treatment is started straight away- it doesn't work like that- but it is a generally speedy service.
     
  13. NL, just to back you up on this I know of NO research that says CBT techniques are useful in preventing PTSD, and neither can I find anything on this on Google.
     
  14. Thanks again Neuro - appreciate the comments re DCMH's seeing referrals within 20 days and that 90% of referrals are seen within this kind of timeframe - Good on 'em, I can't imagine that they're swamped in resources for what appears to be (Daily Mail headlines to one side), an increasing workload. Outside of this, the postcode lottery appears alive and well as far as the NHS systems are concerned.

    On this basis, perhaps one of the outputs of the upcoming conference, should be a map indicating where the best place to live in the country is, if you suffer from PTSD and a plot of what's available in the patient's area?

    Although tongue in cheek, this is at the core of this. Outside of the DCMH's, many GPs appear to have little knowledge of what is available in their' area, in the way of therapies, treatments, etc. and given the flash to bang, between a GP recognising symptons, onward appointments with consultants and then availability of treatments, the 20 days DCMH timeframe is often eclipsed by the NHS mechanisms.