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A large study was conducted on the U.S. military to look at psychiatric disorders and soldiers, which showed that a great deal of soldiers suffer from some type of psychiatric condition.  The rates of psychiatric disorders in soldiers are extraordinarily high compared to civilians.

This study was published in a series of three reports in JAMA Psychiatry, which also looked at suicide attempts and deaths related to psychiatric disorders and soldiers.  The lead author on one of the studies, Ronald Kessler, a Harvard epidemiologist, noted that there was a significant difference in the rates of psychiatric disorders and soldiers compared to civilians, especially in the rates of major depression, posttraumatic stress, and intermittent explosive disorder.

Out of 5,500 active-duty, non-deployed Army soldiers surveyed, approximately 25% tested positive for some kind of mental disorder, and 11% had more than one psychiatric disorder.  For example, depression and alcohol abuse frequently co-occur as psychiatric disorders and soldiers.  While many can blame hard experience and active combat, Kessler relates that about half of the psychiatric conditions and soldiers tested positive before enlisting.  Additionally, conditions like intermittent explosive disorder and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) were also found in studies of newer recruits, further demonstrating that many psychiatric conditions and soldiers exist prior to enlisting.

The studies showed that the rate of major depression in soldiers is five times higher than in civilians; the rate of intermittent explosive disorder (a condition where patients erupt with extreme anger) is six times higher in soldiers; and the rate of PTSD is about 15 times higher in soldiers.  Given the stressors of enlistment, combat, separation from families, etc. it is not surprising that psychiatric conditions and soldiers show higher rates of mental disorders compared to civilians.

Suicide and suicidal thoughts were reviewed specifically as markers of psychiatric conditions and soldiers.  One of the studies showed that approximately 14% of soldiers admitted to having thoughts about suicide, 5.3% planned to take their life, and 2.4% had actually attempted suicide one or more times.  Most of the suicides and attempts happened here at home, not during deployment.  In fact, they reported that that the rate of suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts have significantly increased in soldiers who have never been deployed, further showing that psychiatric conditions and soldiers exist without deployment or combat.

Because our treatment for depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.