Military & Military Families
Female Vets: Greater Likelihood of Suicide
The suicide rate among young (18 to 34 age group) female U.S. military veterans is nearly three times higher than among civilian women, a new study has found. Clinicians should inquire about military service among women and should recognize that suicide-prevention practices pertain to female veterans. (Psychiatric Services, 61:1177, December 2010) Read more.
Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD
Director of the Hispanic Treatment Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University
Lecturer on Social Medicine, Harvard University
If someone close to you has recently returned from deployment and shows signs of trauma or difficulty readjusting to civilian life, here are some ways you can help:
If you have recently returned from deployment and have difficulty readjusting to civilian life or have symptoms of trauma, here are some ways you can cope:
The military has made its soldiers strong and adept at handling tough situations. It can be difficult to handle symptoms of combat stress and PTSD on your own, though.
Getting help can make readjusting to civilian life easier. Confide in friends or family, and call a mental health professional, who can work with you to manage and treat your PTSD.
Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
PTSD by the numbers
- Approximately 40,000 military members who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan have been officially diagnosed with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) since 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
- The rate of PTSD is three times higher among deployed military men and women exposed to combat compared to nondeployed military members, according to a study by the Naval Health Research Center.
Since October 2001, about 1.6 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
These military members and their families face unique challenges. Soldiers deal with stressors in combat that may not exist in civilian life.
Those exposed to high levels of combat are significantly more likely to experience acute stress and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Learn more facts.