Wars and battles take a toll on the entire nation – ravaged locales, diminished human capital, and complete mayhem all around. However, when a country gets embroiled in wars or combats, there is one group that is affected directly – that of soldiers.
Exposure to combat or deployment in war zones can severely impact the soldiers’ mental health. Even after the war is long over, the soldiers continue to feel the pangs of the rigor. Not just men, even women in the military are as much prone to experience the agony, says a recent study. Depression, anxiety, and melancholy are what they are left with. https://www.healthhelpzone.com/
The research revealed that combat exposure in military women is associated with an increased likelihood of mental health problems after deployment. These women are more likely to experience behavioral health problems, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and risk drinking.
Combat-exposed women in military have 20 times higher chance of PTSD
The 2016 study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) analyzed combat exposure scores of 42,397 army enlisted women who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq. Based on their self-reported experiences, these women were assigned combat exposure scores of 0, 1, 2, or 3+.
The researchers found that the active duty and National Guard/Reserve women with a combat exposure score of 3+ had 20 times higher chance of developing PTSD compared to women who did not have any exposure to combat zones.
Even a single exposure or deployment to war zones for a brief period can raise the chance of developing behavioral health problems (PTSD, depression, and at-risk drinking) in these women, the study said. “Our findings suggest that injuries, assaults, and combat exposures experienced by women during deployment may have an additive, negative effect on their post-deployment behavioral health,” said Dr. Rachel Sayko Adams, lead author of the Journal of Traumatic Stress study.
Dealing with symptoms
Adequate measures should be taken so that these foreseeable behavioral health issues can be handled and better care can be provided to these combat-exposed women in military. Not only women, even men should be covered under such programs.
“Ongoing force-wide screening for behavioral health problems should be coupled with development and evaluation of programs to improve the psychological wellbeing of the Armed Forces,” said Dr. Rachel.
Dealing with PTSD
Behavioral health issues like PTSD can be mostly dealt with psychotherapy, but medications can also be used depending on the need. In most cases, love and support from people around can make a huge difference. The sadness and melancholy after a traumatic experience can be dissipated only when shared and cared.
The war exposed men and women in military are the classic cases of PTSD. They struggle hard to gel into the social fiber after their return from combat zones. They are always on the verge of exploding at the slightest provocation. They are fragile from inside, appear numb and disconnected.
But love and compassion from close ones can act as a soothing balm to their petrified minds. Helping them find a counselor is the first step towards reinstating their disoriented mind, so that they can mingle happily with the rest and enjoy a sense of belonging.
Getting immediate help is the foremost step in handling mental health problems like PTSD or anxiety. Delayed treatment can worsen symptoms and complicate treatment intervention.