The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.

~Chinese Proverb~

Combat PTSD: Understanding the menace of memories

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2012 - The more combat situations a soldier experiences, the greater is his or her chance of acquiring post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Many of us consider that to be stating the obvious, but there are statistics that make the obvious concrete.

A study assessing the incidence of PTSD in troops leaving Iraq found that soldiers not involved in fighting had a PTSD incidence rate of 4.5%. For those in intense combat once or twice, the incidence rate more than doubled to 9.3%. The number is 13% for troops in three to five combat situations. More than five exposures and the occurrence rate of PTSD shoots up to 20%. 

The study’s “silver lining” is that after five or more combat experiences, 80% of the troops studied did not report symptoms of PTSD. Still, the number of troops with them is significant. The Military Health System reported 39,365 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2007 were given a diagnosis of PTSD . . . . 

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