Fighting A War Against An Invisible Enemy, Soldiers Battle PTSD

Julie Gerstein | The Frisky | August 24, 2012

Desperation, depression — and an overwhelming feeling of desertion — are the dangerous components that have contributed to the rising tide of suicide and mental health problems in the military. Just this week it was announced that for the sixth year in a row, suicide among members of the armed forces is on the rise. Mental health has been a growing problem in the military, as waves of soldiers continue to return from Afghanistan and Iraq in much worse shape than they left. New statistics reveal that for the second year in a row, more soldiers have killed themselves than been killed in active duty. July 2012 was the worst month for military suicides to date, with 39 self-inflicted deaths reported. That’s up from 24 the month before. Suicide is now the leading cause of death among soldiers.

Soldiers returning from war suffer a host of problems — from difficulty reintegrating into family and home life, to finding a job. But by far one of the biggest problems for military veterans is dealing with post traumatic stress disorder. Post traumatic stress disorder — or PTSD — describes a host of symptoms, including depression, upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, and insomnia. It’s estimated that between 7-8 percent of the general population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives...