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US military falling short of treating soldiers with PTSD

A large-scale study indicates that the US government has failed to provide treatment to most of its troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

The study performed by RAND Corporation examined how the military treats the soldiers suffering from war-related stress.

After examining 40,000 cases, the Rand Corp concluded that only a third of troops with PTSD and less than a quarter, who are clinically depressed, receive the minimum number of therapy sessions after being diagnosed.

This is while the review said troops diagnosed with PTSD should receive at least four therapy sessions within eight weeks or at least two sessions to manage newly prescribed medications.

Many of these troops may receive only minimum number of therapy sessions after being diagnosed.

The study examined treatment for a year following diagnoses in 2012. There were 8,286 diagnosed with PTSD, 24,251 with depression and 6,290 suffering from both illnesses.

RAND described the latest study as the largest independent examination of mental health treatment in the military.

Now Tim King, founder and editor of Global News Center, says the PTSD numbers are not surprising as the US government has no plan to “deprogram” the military trainings that cause “emotional wreckage” among American troops.

 

Army research found that one of the most vulnerable periods for suicide by soldiers is during the year after being released from hospital care. The suicide rate for soldiers in this group was 264 per 100,000, far outpacing the national suicide rate of 13 per 100,000 people.

RAND researchers found that the Pentagon could improve how rapidly doctors review the progress of a service member who was placed on medication after being diagnosed with PTSD or depression. Only 45% of those with PTSD and 42% of those with depression had their medication progress reviewed within 30 days after diagnosis, which is a proper standard, according to USA Today.

About 70% of those studied were in the Army, more than 90% of those who had PTSD had been deployed and the average deployment was 20 months. The average profile of a patient in the military with PTSD or depression was a soldier 34 years old or younger, white and married.

About 2.6 million US service members served in Iraq or Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. Different studies have shown that between five and 37 percent of these troops are suffering from depression.

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