Higher levels of PTSD among veterans

According to the findings of a recent study, the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among active-duty soldiers and veterans of the armed forces has grown over the past decade.

The majority of victims were veterans who had been in active combat, and 17% exhibited symptoms consistent with probable PTSD.

The experts agreed that the most likely factors were the delayed development of the sickness and the loss of assistance once the individual left the military.

As a result of growing awareness of PTSD, an increasing number of veterans are seeking treatment for the condition.

The research conducted by King’s College London on almost 9,000 members of the armed forces was just published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. According to the findings, the prevalence of PTSD among service members rose from 4% in 2004–2005 to 6% in 2014–2016.

17% of veterans who served in a combat position in Iraq or Afghanistan had symptoms consistent with probable PTSD. This number is significantly higher than the 6% of veterans who served in support roles such as doctors or pilots.

Dr. Sharon Stevelink, who served as the study’s lead author and is affiliated with the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College, stated: “We have found, for the first time, that the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for veterans who have served in conflicts is significantly higher than the risk for those who are still serving.

Although the rise in the number of veterans is cause for concern, it should be noted that not all veterans have served overseas, and of those who have, only roughly one in three did so in a combat role.

The findings come from the third phase of a significant study that began in 2003 and has been ongoing ever since.

The most recent section of the study consisted of questionnaires filled out by participants between 2014 and 2016. The average age of the group was 40 years old, and 62% of them had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The prevalence of prevalent mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, was found to have stayed virtually unchanged at 22% during the course of the study.

Abuse of alcoholic beverages remained a widespread problem, but its prevalence decreased from 15% to 10%.

There is a correlation between exposure to active conflict and an increased risk for mental disorder in soldiers.
Prof. Nicola Fear from the IoPPN pointed out that people with mental health disorders are more likely to quit the Army, which is one explanation for why the figures are so high among veterans. It is also possible for certain conditions to be triggered by the act of leaving, which results in a loss of social support.

“It is well knowledge that members of the military forces who struggle with their mental health are more inclined to resign their positions.

“In addition, we are aware that the process of transitioning out of the military forces might bring about pressures. It’s possible that you’ll need to find a job and a place to live as soon as possible.”

Many veterans now feel more at ease discussing their condition because there is a much better knowledge of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health difficulties in general. This awareness was popularized by shows such as Bodyguard on BBC Television.

There are between 4% and 5% of people in the UK who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the highest proportion being among women between the ages of 16 and 24 (12%). The highest incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are found among victims of sexual assault.

Describe the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

A person may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being exposed to a traumatic incident that is overpowering, terrifying, and life-threatening.
After a traumatic occurrence, people may feel grief-stricken, depressed, worried, guilty, and angry. The symptoms typically begin within a few weeks of the event, but they might begin later.
People could experience flashbacks as well as nightmares.
People could be “on guard,” which means they are remaining vigilant at all times.
Physical symptoms can include aches and pains, diarrhea, irregular heartbeats, headaches, feelings of panic and dread, and despair. Psychological symptoms can include emotions of helplessness and hopelessness.
People could start abusing substances or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol (including painkillers).

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