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US Army troops initially suffer from mental illnesses: 25% Even before enlisting…

A series of papers published in a major medical journal shed light on the prevalence of mental health issues in the U.S. Army.

Nearly 25% of U.S. Army soldiers had a common mental illness, including ADHD and depression, and nearly half were diagnosed before enlisting.

The findings stem from three papers published March 3 in JAMA Psychiatry based on interviews with 5,428 soldiers at Army installations across the country.

Circa News posted this MARCH 4, 2014

Studies find many US Army troops have mental illness

2  The most common condition identified by the researchers was intermittent explosive disorder, characterized by bouts of rage. More than 8% of soldiers joined the Army with the disorder — six times the rate among the civilian population. Other mental illnesses also outpaced the general population.
3 “The kind of people who join the Army are not typical people. They have a lot more acting-out kind of mental disorders. They get into fights more. They’re more aggressive.” RONALD KESSLER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY SOCIOLOGIST AND STUDY AUTHOR

The research is part of a project launched in 2009 by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Army in response to a surge in suicides.

4. Researchers found 2.4% of soldiers had attempted suicide, 5.3% had made plans to take their own life and about 14% had considered killing themselves.
Other studies have shown a rise in suicide rates for both active-duty troops and military veterans in recent years.
5. “The people at highest risk of making an attempt struggled with depression and anxiety, or post-traumatic stress, in combination with impulsiveness and aggression… The former gets people thinking about suicide, and the latter gets them to act on those thoughts.” MATTHEW NOCK, HARVARD UNIVERSITY PSYCHOLOGIST AND STUDY AUTHOR

The rates of several psychiatric disorders climbed well beyond civilian rates during soldiers’ military service. Researchers said the Army should enhance its screening of recruits in order to provide treatment for those with a history of mental illness.

RELATED STORYLINES ON CIRCA


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