Soldiers suffering from the Afghanistan war


There is a recent discussion in the Canadian country about soldiers suffering from their war experiences after their Afghanistan mission. The problem exists across the military communities. A non-published police document, which has been obtained by the CBC News shows a five-fold jump in domestic violence after Canada started to contribute in Afghanistan and troops experienced ongoing casualties.

Affected families are complaining about the missing aid from the army and feel abandoned by them. They stress on the opinion of psychologists which believe the rise in domestic violence is directly linked to physical and emotional trauma suffered by Afghanistan soldiers. A Warrant Officer interviewed by the CNN says: “Ever since I’ve come back, I feel like I’ve lost everything, employment, life as a whole”. PTSD is a common mental health problem among soldiers. American studies show a four-fold higher risk of violent among soldiers, but Canada does not trust American studies unless they have been proofed by themselves. There have been some programs to help affected families, but not sufficient as families reported earlier.

The U.S. has dealt with this problem before and also sees that their military is coping with a wave of mental health issues, from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression and suicide. They swear on improved screening which was has been studied by army medical experts. The most important part about the study is that they found out which soldiers could benefit from follow-up treatment in-theater.

There has also been an increase in Reserve and National Guard suicides among troops which were never deployed to a war zone. Already in 2009 the Pentagon and the Veterans agency have increase efforts to understand and address the problem of rising number of soldiers committing suicide. Suicide-prevention training is what they call this action. Researches stressed that soldiers who kill themselves are also likely to have a history of emotional troubles like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or another illness.

The New York Times announced in an article of February a number of 300 000 troops which have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with P.T.S.D, depression, traumatic brain injury or some combination of those. The amount of psychiatric drugs have been used more widely across the military than in any previous war and has let to other problems just as drug dependency, suicide and fatal accidents. With the awareness of the danger of overmedicated troops and to avoid any more of these problems they came up with many ideas to restrict the amount of use of drugs and also offered more treatments without drugs just as acupuncture and yoga. Among others they have tried to expand talk therapy programs, which is considered by some experts to be the only proven treatment for P.T.S.D. Unfortunately the shortage of mental health professionals have hampered those efforts. Furthermore the medical system has struggled to meet the demand caused by to wars: Shortages of therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

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