Vets' readjustment issues may spur PTSD treatment

Vets' readjustment issues may spur PTSD treatment
Family stressors -- not psychiatric symptoms -- lead some to seek help, study says.

(HealthDay)—The stress of readjusting to civilian life is a major reason some U.S. soldiers seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study finds.

Many veterans who require mental-health care do not receive it, and a great deal of previous research has focused on barriers to treatment. The new study was conducted to identify characteristics and factors that motivate veterans to seek mental-health treatment.

The researchers surveyed National Guard soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) three months after they returned from Iraq. Of those soldiers, 34 percent had a mental-health visit during the three-month post-deployment period, and 23 percent had been prescribed mental-health medications.

The percentage seeking treatment was higher than the rate in the U.S. general population, where an estimated 7 percent of people with PTSD seek care within the first year after they begin having symptoms.

The study was published in the September issue of the journal .

For older soldiers with family and job responsibilities, readjustment issues related to their marriage, finances or family were associated with seeking help for PTSD more than actual symptoms of the disorder or depression, the researchers said in a journal news release.

Signs of PTSD include related to the experience, frequently feeling on guard or feeling numb and detached from others, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Early treatment aids long-term recovery, according to the department.

Two other studies reported in the same issue of the journal found that the use of mental-health services by veterans is lower in than , that veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan use fewer mental-health services than those from previous wars, and that veterans may overuse and underutilize specialty mental-health services.

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about post-traumatic stress disorder.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study re-examines Vietnam stress disorder

Aug 18, 2006

A review of an 18-year-old U.S. study of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by Vietnam veterans found sharply fewer were affected than originally reported.

Returning troops face both physical and mental challenges

Sep 20, 2010

Is the US health system comprehensively meeting the needs of returning veterans? With the recent attention to mental illness in returning soldiers, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in particular, little research ...

Many veterans not getting enough treatment for PTSD

Feb 10, 2010

Although the Department of Veteran Affairs is rolling out treatments nationwide as fast as possible to adequately provide for newly diagnosed PTSD patients, there are still significant barriers to veterans getting a full ...

Recommended for you

Blood test spots adult depression

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A new blood test is the first objective scientific way to diagnose major depression in adults, a new study claims.

Job stress not the only cause of burnouts at work

13 hours ago

Impossible deadlines, demanding bosses, abusive colleagues, unpaid overtime—all these factors can lead to a burnout. When it comes to mental health in the workplace, we often forget to consider the influence of home life.

Web technology offers mental health support

17 hours ago

A web based application connecting people with potential mental health issues to clinical advice and support networks has been created by researchers at Aston and Warwick universities.

User comments