Service-related mental ill health

Topic Selected: Armed Forces

General Article icon Type: General Article

Some people are sceptical about PTSD amongst our Armed Forces. Surely if you ‘sign up’ you should expect to see some terrible things?

Yes, of course service personnel expect to witness and be involved in extreme events, and to this extent PTSD could be viewed as an occupational hazard. They do, however, expect the condition to be recognised and dealt with appropriately. The problem is not helped if the sufferer does not recognise the problem he or she is experiencing or does not seek medical help.

How many of your clients have PTSD?

The commonest presentation in our patient group is PTSD, with our recent clinical audits showing that PTSD is the primary diagnosis in 75% of cases. Most of this PTSD is chronic in nature. In 62% of cases it is present co-morbidly with other disorders, especially depression, and a history of current or past alcohol abuse or dependence (addiction). Anxiety disorders, phobic disorders, problems with anger and problem

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