About one in 3 soldiers will suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after serving in Iraq and or Afghanistan. The rate is two times higher for the 40% who serve two tours. About 30% of soldiers develop mental problems within 3 to 4 months of being home. Additionally, about 20% turn to heavy drinking or drugs.
Perhaps the most troubling issue is that suicide rates among U.S. Army personnel rose 80% between 2004 and 2008, according to a report published in Injury Prevention. About 50% of them had visited health professionals for a mental health issue.
PTSD is characterized by people reliving the ordeal, nightmares, acute anxiety, and many other symptoms that may differ from person to person. Current treatments include SSRI medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers therapy and information for vets, and can be contacted in many ways, including the national number 1-800-905-4675.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
Psych Central, How Spirituality Helps to Manage Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/09/27/how-spirituality-helps-to-manage-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/
The Huffington Post, The Meds for PTSD Are No Match for the Effect in My Mind: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-lopez/the-meds-for-ptsd_b_4074427.html