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Military Personnel with Mental Health Issues Vulnerable to PTSD

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According to a study appearing in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, military personnel who have a psychiatric disorder prior to deployment or who are injured in combat are at a higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In order to come to their conclusions, researchers utilized data on the mental health of approximately 23,000 servicemen and women prior to their deployment into either Afghanistan or Iraq. As per the data, before deployment, 739 (3.3 percent) of people had at least one psychiatric disorder including, but not limited to PTSD, depression or another anxiety syndrome. Also, nearly .8 percent was injured while deployed.

Based on their findings, researchers concluded that men and women who had one or multiple mental health disorders prior to deployment were 2.5 times more likely to develop a PTSD. Further, those individuals who had symptoms of PTSD before deployment were nearly five times more likely to have PTSD afterwards.

The same study noted that PTSD seemed to develop more than six months after the injury, on a number of occasions.

All in all, the findings seemed to heavily suggest that more attention should be devoted to determining whether or not individuals are suffering from mental health issues prior to their deployments. If conditions are not spotted before personnel is dispatched, they may return with far greater problems than what they would have otherwise faced.

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