Wednesday, May 07, 2008

1 In 5 American 'War On Terror' Veterans Come Home With PTSD, Depression

Suicides May Outnumber War Zone Deaths

The survival rate for American soldiers shot, bombed and blown up, in Iraq and Afghanistan is the best of any American war. But the cloud of suicide hangs over hundreds of thousands of American veterans, and unlike WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam, governments in the future will not be able to pretend the 'suicidal-veteran' problem does not exist :

Suicides and "psychological mortality" among US soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan could exceed battlefield deaths if their mental scars are left untreated, the head of the US Institute of Mental Health warned Monday.

Of the 1.6 million US soldiers who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, 18-20 percent -- or around 300,000 -- show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or both, said Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Left untreated, PTSD and depression can lead to substance abuse, alcoholism or other life-threatening behaviors.

"It's a gathering storm for the civilian and public health care sectors," Insel said.

The true cost of the War On Iraq for the US is now starting to come into focus.

Many Americans, thanks to Pentagon controlled and customised reporting on the war by much of the mainstream media, have no real understanding of the horrors witnessed by young soldiers, or how much paying for the care of the mentally wounded will cost the treasury in decades to come.