By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Roughly one in every five U.S. troops who have survived the bombs and other dangers of
As many or more report possible brain injuries from explosions or other head wounds, said the study, the first major survey from outside the government.
U.S. troops search for Taliban forces during a patrol in Afghanistan’s Shamal district of Khost province April 16, 2008. About 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, but about half receive no care, an independent study said on Thursday.REUTERS/Rafal Gersza
Only about half of those withhave sought treatment. Even fewer of those with head injuries have seen doctors.
Eric Schoomaker said the report, from the Rand Corp., was welcome.
“They’re helping us to raise the visibility and the attention that’s needed by the American public at large,” said Schoomaker, a lieutenant general. “They are making this a national debate.”
The researchers said 18.5 percent of current and former service members contacted in a recent survey reported symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress. Based ondata that more than 1.6 million have deployed to the two wars, the researchers calculated that about 300,000 are suffering mental health problems.
Nineteen percent — or an estimated 320,000 — may have suffered head injuries, the study calculated. Those range from mild concussions to severe, penetrating head wounds.