The Psychological Toll of 12 Years of War

Posted April 10, 2014 at 6:00am

“Twelve consecutive years of war have turned soldiers into the subjects of an unintended experiment in the impact of prolonged conflict on the human psyche,” National Journal reports.  

Said Army Surgeon General Patricia Horoho: “I worry about the long-term repercussions of these wars on our veterans,” Horoho told the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. “We’re in an era where I don’t think we know what the impact of 12 years of war has on an individual.”  

“One in five American soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq report symptoms of PTSD or major depression, according to a 2008 Rand Corporation study. Only half of those individuals seek treatment. But even those who do seek help don’t always find solutions—including the Fort Hood shooter, who was reportedly being treated for anxiety and depression… Nearly one in five soldiers had a mental disorder prior to enlistment, according to a recently published study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Approximately one-third of post-enlistment suicide attempts are associated with pre-enlistment disorders, another JAMA Psychiatry study found.”