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The Hidden Wounds of War 


The alarming increase in the "hidden" but very real wounds that have been part of wars probably since man first engaged in organized combat, has resulted in a multitude of additional resources, research and new programs seeking to prevent or minimize their effects.  IVBHN is one of those new programs and was formed to establish a network of behavioral health partners and providers to improve behavioral health service delivery among Indiana's rural veterans and their families through the use of tele-health access to the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.    

A large numbers of veterans are not getting care during those critical first months when timely interventions can best prevent unnecessary suffering and worsening of symptoms.

 Some reasons for not getting early treatment include:

  • Concern over being seen as weak
  • Concern about being treated differently 
  • Concern that others would lose confidence in them 
  • Concerns about privacy 
  • Concerns about side effect of treatments 
  • They prefer to rely on family and friends 
  • They don't believe treatment wil be effective  

What are the invisible wounds of war?

Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) is the most common of these unseen injuries.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a complex health condition that can develop in response to a traumatic experience – a life-threatening or extremely distressing situation that causes a person to feel intense fear, horror or a sense of helplessness. PTSD can cause severe problems at home or at work. Anyone can develop PTSD – men, women, children, young and old alike. Fortunately, PTSD is treatable.

For more information and PTSD resources ... click here

 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. 

WHAT CAUSES TBI?

The leading causes of TBI, in the Military, are:

  • Bullets, fragments, blasts
  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle-traffic crashes
  • Assaults

Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.

For more information on TBI ... Click here

Depression / Anxiety rates in our servicemen and women are not insignificant. 

Rates between 14% and 15% in soldiers and Marines 3 to 4 months after deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan are consistent with the rate of 14% identified in individuals after they had served in Iraq or Afghanistan (RAND Report, 2008).  Please click here for more information on depression in veterans.

Suicide in the military is a very serious problem.

According to data from the Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Envrinoment Study:

  • There was an 80% increase in suicides between 2004 and 2008
  • 255 reported suicides in 2007 & 2008, alone
  • 1/2 of the the reported suicides were servicemembers between the age of 18 and 24
  • Those diagnosed with depression are 11x more likely to commit suicide
  • Those diagnosed with anxiety are 10x more like to commit suicide

For more on this study, please click on one of the following links:

Army Suicides in 2009 Equal Previous Record Highs

Mental Health Woes Soar Since the Start of the Iraq War

Substance Abuse / Alcohol Abuse

  • Soldiers diagnosed with alcholism or acohol abuse increased from 6.1 per 1000 (2003) to 11.4 per 1000 (2009)
  • Soldiers diagnosed with drug abuse increased from 3.7 per 1000 (2003) to 4.2 per 1000 (2009)
  • Marijuana was the most commonly abused drug among sevice members

For more information and resources on military subtance abuse and alcohol use, click here