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Alarming Statistics: How Likely Are You to Suffer From PTSD as a Result of Your Service in the Military?

 Some military members never see combat. However, others do multiple tours in combat zones and see things most people can't imagine. Certain individuals witness serious training accidents. All of these events may bring about PTSD in a servicemember.

PTSD rates are higher in those who have served in the military. Seven percent of veterans will struggle with this condition, while only six percent of the general population will be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetimes. Female veterans are at higher risk, and the military is currently researching rates for transgender and non-binary service members.

Any Tricare drug rehab facility serving veterans must recognize this and determine whether a patient needs treatment for PTSD along with their addiction treatment. Treatment for both conditions will allow for a complete recovery. Who is most likely to need this dual treatment?

Service Eres

PTSD rates vary by the service era. Twenty-nine percent of men and women who served during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom will be diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifetimes. This number drops to three percent for veterans who served in World War II or the Korean War. However, various methods were used to gather this data, which may affect the researchers' findings. In addition, the studies only looked at living servicemembers. Rates may be higher, as those who are deceased were not included in these counts. Deceased veterans may have had a higher rate of PTSD.

Risk Factors

Certain things put a servicemember at higher risk of PTSD. Veterans who deployed have a higher rate of PTSD than those who served stateside when looking at the same service era. The rate for deployed veterans is three times higher. Certain elements seen in combat situations may increase the risk of mental health issues. These elements include the veteran's military job or specialty, the location where they saw combat, which enemy they faced, and the politics surrounding the war.

Military sexual trauma can also bring about PTSD in a servicemember. This trauma is the result of sexual harassment or sexual assault that occurs while the individual is serving their country. MST is not limited to wartime. It may happen at any time.

VA Health Care

Some veterans choose to seek care outside the VA system. Of those veterans who do use VA care, 23 percent have suffered from PTSD at some point. Only seven percent of veterans seeking care outside of the government system have been diagnosed with PTSD at some time. In fiscal year 2021, 10 percent of male veterans seeking VA care had PTSD, and 19 percent of female victims had this diagnosis.

MST is one reason women are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition. Approximately 33 percent of women report experiencing MST. Only two percent of male veterans report they have been a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault while serving in the military. The numbers may be much higher, particularly among men who may not feel comfortable sharing their experiences.

Research into PTSD must continue, as it affects many people. Additional attention must be paid to veterans of color, LGBTQ+ Veterans, and other minority groups to ensure the unique challenges they experience are addressed. A problem must be identified before it can be changed, so the military must make research into PTSD a priority. Doing so will strengthen the military and the lives of those who serve.

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