Many soldiers return home in a mental state that makes it difficult to return to any resemblance of a normal life.
The percentages for PTSD are alarming.
Natural health news.blogspot.com June 2010 PTSD War Report
"Using the least stringent definition, we observed PTSD rates across Active Component and National Guard study groups, study time points ranging from 20.7 percent to 30.5 percent, and depression rates ranging from 11.5 percent to 16 percent," the study authors said in a statement. "Using the strictest definitions with high class rates and serious functional impairment, PTSD prevalence ranged from 5.6 percent to 11.3 percent and depression prevalence from 5 percent to 8.5 percent."
The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, shows that at 12 months after combat, mental among veterans do not abate, and in many cases, increase, Thomas said."
I added some more statistics, this time mentioning MST (Military Sexual Trauma).
In a recent blog reporting on a PTSD conference from last week they stated
"In a study of Gulf War veterans, women who had suffered MST had a five times higher probability of developing PTSD; for men, the chances were six times as high."
"We learned that men comprise fully half of all MST cases treated by the VA.
For fiscal year 2007, those numbers meant more than 47,000 men with MST diagnoses and more than 45,000 women.
Another sobering statistic: in 2007, the VA tallied over 320,000 health care visits from veterans who screened positive for MST."All very sobering."
The discussion came up that many did not know what or of MST. Here are some more details:
The VA has an official description of it:
Women Veterans Health Care: Military Sexual Trauma
"Did you experience any unwanted sexual attention, uninvited sexual advances, or forced sex while in the military?
Does this experience continue to affect your life today?
Both women and men can experience sexual harassment or sexual assault during their military service.
VA refers to these experiences as military sexual trauma, or MST.
Like other types of trauma, MST can negatively impact a person's mental and physical health, even many years later. Some problems associated with MST include:
- Disturbing memories or nightmares
- Difficulty feeling safe
- Feelings of depression or numbness
- Problems with alcohol or other drugs
- Feeling isolated from other people
- Problems with anger or irritability
- Problems with sleep
- Physical health problems
VA has special services available to help men and women who have experienced military sexual trauma (MST).
"Mental Health MST Web site" <href="http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp" >Find more information and resources.
From the link above, you are directed to the Primary VA page on Military Sexual Trauma... there they give you many links to include the following. *Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs web site. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.
Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military.
It includes any sexual activity where someone is involved against his or her will
– he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities.
Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.
Both women and men can experience MST during their service.
All Veterans seen at Veterans Health Administration facilities are asked about experiences of sexual trauma because we know that any type of trauma can affect a person’s physical and mental health, even many years later.
We also know that people can recover from trauma.
VA has free services to help Veterans do this.
You do not need to have a VA disability rating (be “service connected”) to receive these services and may be able to receive services even if you are not eligible for other VA care.
You do not need to have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred.
More background information about MST is available in this document
Military Sexual Trauma
What is military sexual trauma (MST)?
How common is MST?
How can MST affect Veterans?
How has VA responded to the problem of MST?
How can Veterans get help?
Articles, Brochures and Information Sheets
Military Sexual Trauma: Stories from Survivors
In this article, two MST survivors, John and Glenda, share their stories of recovery from MST. They also describe how taking advantage of free services from the VA helped with this process.
Veteran Learns to "Face her Demons" with VA PTSD Treatment
Michelle Covert had PTSD for 24 years but didn’t know it. Today, thanks to her treatment at a VA hospital, she is working, happy and determined to be a “voice of hope.”br/>
MST Brochure for Veterans
MST Information Sheet for Veterans
The MST Brochure and MST Information Sheet provide additional information on issues related to MST, including services available from VA.
If you are an active duty service member and have been a victim of Military Sexual Assault (or know someone who has), MyDuty.mil provides information and guidance on your reporting options and rights.
There are strides being taken by many grass-root veteran groups, community outreach groups, and government agencies to help identify those in need, address the situation, and help the veteran in manners they can recover and move forward in life. If you think you are a victim of MST or having signs of PTSD it is important for you to seek help. If you feel uncomfortable with the VA, then check out the Vet Center on Mullan