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Traumatic Stress Survey

by msecadm4921

Twice as many veterans and reservists of the armed forces could be suffering from military post traumatic stress as are officially diagnosed with PTSD, suggests a charity.

A new survey by UK charity PTSD Resolution found that the number of ex-service personnel without a diagnosis that report symptoms are as many as those who officially have PTSD.<br><br>The first group experience similar patterns of flashbacks and nightmares, anger, depression and social withdrawal.<br><br>According to MOD figures some five per cent of ex-service personnel who served in Iraq have suffered from PTSD. Numbers among the wider veterans’ population, from Northern Ireland and other conflicts, are not available, as the<br>condition has only been fully acknowledged in recent years. More than 300 Falklands veterans have committed suicide; more than were killed in the fighting in 1982 – while 20,000 ex-servicemen are in jail or on probation, the charity reports.<br><br>The charity’s on-line questionnaire on www.ptsdresolution.org sampled 150 respondents, veterans and reservists of the UK armed forces. Retired Colonel Tony Gauvain, chairman of the charity, said: "The results of the survey reflect the experiences of our network of 200 registered therapists who work in the community. Many veterans go undiagnosed – and often those with a diagnosis are not adequately helped. Left untreated, military PTSD and post traumatic stress conditions can cause emotional and behavioural difficulties leading to family break-up, job loss, criminality and worse."<br><br>The survey confirmed the charity adds that post-traumatic symptoms are strongly associated with depression and alcohol problems. Veterans who suffer without a PTSD assessment are nearly twice as likely to drink excessively as those who have a diagnosis. Some 95 percent of those with serious post-traumatic symptoms feel suicidal at least part of the time.<br><br>" Some people ‘self-medicate’ their various symptoms with alcohol: they don’t have access to a doctor, don’t want to visit one, or lack the social support to get them to the surgery," says Tony Gauvain. "This result challenges the view in some quarters that alcohol is the biggest mental health problem for the military population; alcohol use is often the result, not the cause, of their problems. If someone is drinking too much – or has changed in some other way following military operations – it suggests that trauma should be considered as a likely cause before the sufferer is written off as a ‘drunken soldier’."<br><br>For further information –

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