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11 Facts About the Mental Health of Our Troops
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  1. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (aka PTSD, an anxiety disorder that follows experiencing a traumatic event) are the most common mental health problems faced by returning troops.^["NAMI - The National Alliance on Mental Illness." NAMI. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=PostTraumatic_Stress_Disorder&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=68535 (accessed July 22, 2014).]
  2. The most common symptoms of PTSD include: difficulty concentrating, lack of interest/apathy, feelings of detachment, loss of appetite, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, and sleep disturbances (lack of sleep, oversleeping.^[Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. http://iava.org/content/post-traumatic-stress-disorder (accessed July 20, 2014).]
  3. Post-traumatic stress disorder is diagnosed after several weeks of continued symptoms.^[Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. http://iava.org/content/post-traumatic-stress-disorder (accessed July 20, 2014).]
  4. About 11 to 20% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom) have been diagnosed with PTSD. Create a support board so your friends can show leave messages of encouragement for troops suffering from PTSD and other illnesses. Sign up for Support Board.^["PTSD: National Center for PTSD." How Common is PTSD? -. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).]
  5. 30% of soldiers develop mental problems within 3 to 4 months of being home.^[Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. http://iava.org/content/post-traumatic-stress-disorder (accessed July 20, 2014).]
  6. 55% of women and 38% of men report being victim to sexual harassment while serving in the military^["PTSD: National Center for PTSD." How Common is PTSD? -. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).]
  7. Because there are more men than women in the military, more than half of all veterans experiencing military sexual trauma (MST) are men.^["PTSD: National Center for PTSD." How Common is PTSD? -. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).]
  8. An estimated 20% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans turn to heavy drinking or drugs once they return to the US.^["How the Military Stumbled in Treating Substance Abuse." Veterans Healing Initiative. http://www.vetshealing.org/blog/bingham/how-military-stumbled-treating-substance-abuse (accessed July 22, 2014).]
  9. Between 10 and 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Possible consequences of this internal injury include anger, suicidal thoughts, and changes in personality.^[Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. http://iava.org/content/post-traumatic-stress-disorder (accessed July 20, 2014).]
  10. In 2010, an average of 22 veterans committed suicide every day. The group with the highest number of suicides was men ages 50 to 59.^["Suicide Data Report 2012." Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/suicide-data-report-2012-final.pdf (accessed July 22, 2014).]
  11. Some groups of people, including African-Americans and Hispanics, may be more likely than whites to develop PTSD.^["PTSD: National Center for PTSD." How Common is PTSD? -. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).]
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