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      Treatment of military-related post-traumatic stress disorder: challenges, innovations, and the way forward

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          Combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental health problems, and barriers to care.

          The current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have involved U.S. military personnel in major ground combat and hazardous security duty. Studies are needed to systematically assess the mental health of members of the armed services who have participated in these operations and to inform policy with regard to the optimal delivery of mental health care to returning veterans. We studied members of four U.S. combat infantry units (three Army units and one Marine Corps unit) using an anonymous survey that was administered to the subjects either before their deployment to Iraq (n=2530) or three to four months after their return from combat duty in Iraq or Afghanistan (n=3671). The outcomes included major depression, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which were evaluated on the basis of standardized, self-administered screening instruments. Exposure to combat was significantly greater among those who were deployed to Iraq than among those deployed to Afghanistan. The percentage of study subjects whose responses met the screening criteria for major depression, generalized anxiety, or PTSD was significantly higher after duty in Iraq (15.6 to 17.1 percent) than after duty in Afghanistan (11.2 percent) or before deployment to Iraq (9.3 percent); the largest difference was in the rate of PTSD. Of those whose responses were positive for a mental disorder, only 23 to 40 percent sought mental health care. Those whose responses were positive for a mental disorder were twice as likely as those whose responses were negative to report concern about possible stigmatization and other barriers to seeking mental health care. This study provides an initial look at the mental health of members of the Army and the Marine Corps who were involved in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our findings indicate that among the study groups there was a significant risk of mental health problems and that the subjects reported important barriers to receiving mental health services, particularly the perception of stigma among those most in need of such care. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            Twelve-month and lifetime prevalence and lifetime morbid risk of anxiety and mood disorders in the United States.

            Estimates of 12-month and lifetime prevalence and of lifetime morbid risk (LMR) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) anxiety and mood disorders are presented based on US epidemiological surveys among people aged 13+. The presentation is designed for use in the upcoming DSM-5 manual to provide more coherent estimates than would otherwise be available. Prevalence estimates are presented for the age groups proposed by DSM-5 workgroups as the most useful to consider for policy planning purposes. The LMR/12-month prevalence estimates ranked by frequency are as follows: major depressive episode: 29.9%/8.6%; specific phobia: 18.4/12.1%; social phobia: 13.0/7.4%; post-traumatic stress disorder: 10.1/3.7%; generalized anxiety disorder: 9.0/2.0%; separation anxiety disorder: 8.7/1.2%; panic disorder: 6.8%/2.4%; bipolar disorder: 4.1/1.8%; agoraphobia: 3.7/1.7%; obsessive-compulsive disorder: 2.7/1.2. Four broad patterns of results are most noteworthy: first, that the most common (lifetime prevalence/morbid risk) lifetime anxiety-mood disorders in the United States are major depression (16.6/29.9%), specific phobia (15.6/18.4%), and social phobia (10.7/13.0%) and the least common are agoraphobia (2.5/3.7%) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (2.3/2.7%); second, that the anxiety-mood disorders with the earlier median ages-of-onset are phobias and separation anxiety disorder (ages 15-17) and those with the latest are panic disorder, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder (ages 23-30); third, that LMR is considerably higher than lifetime prevalence for most anxiety-mood disorders, although the magnitude of this difference is much higher for disorders with later than earlier ages-of-onset; and fourth, that the ratio of 12-month to lifetime prevalence, roughly characterizing persistence, varies meaningfully in ways consistent with independent evidence about differential persistence of these disorders. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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              Moral injury and moral repair in war veterans: a preliminary model and intervention strategy.

              Throughout history, warriors have been confronted with moral and ethical challenges and modern unconventional and guerilla wars amplify these challenges. Potentially morally injurious events, such as perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations may be deleterious in the long-term, emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally, spiritually, and socially (what we label as moral injury). Although there has been some research on the consequences of unnecessary acts of violence in war zones, the lasting impact of morally injurious experience in war remains chiefly unaddressed. To stimulate a critical examination of moral injury, we review the available literature, define terms, and offer a working conceptual framework and a set of intervention strategies designed to repair moral injury.

                Author and article information

                International Review of Psychiatry
                International Review of Psychiatry
                Informa UK Limited
                April 18 2019
                January 02 2019
                May 02 2019
                January 02 2019
                : 31
                : 1
                : 95-110
                [1 ] Centenary of Anzac Centre, Phoenix Australia–Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia;
                [2 ] Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, Kingston, ON, Canada;
                [3 ] Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, USA;
                [4 ] New Zealand Defence Force, Wellington, New Zealand;
                [5 ] School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia;
                [6 ] Combat Stress, Surrey, UK;
                [7 ] King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London, London, UK;
                [8 ] Academic Centre for Military Mental Health Research, London, UK;
                [9 ] Veterans Affairs Canada, Charlottetown, Canada;
                [10 ] Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada;
                [11 ] Directorate of Mental Health, Canadian Armed Forces, Ottawa, Canada;
                [12 ] Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia;
                [13 ] Department of Psychiatry, Western University, London, Canada;
                [14 ] McDonald/Franklin OSI Research Centre, London, Canada;
                [15 ] National Center for PTSD, White River Junction, VT, USA;
                [16 ] Department of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine, Hanover, NH, USA;
                [17 ] Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada;
                [18 ] Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, USA
                © 2019


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