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Mental Illness Is One of the Top Reasons US Troops Are Hospitalized

on Friday, 18 May 2012. Posted in Breaking News

Troops and Mental Illness

The Pentagon reports that four out of five non-combat medical conditions sending troops to the hospital in 2011 were mental ailments. According to, "substance abuse, mood, anxiety, and adjustment disorders accounted for 622 person-years of lost duty due to hospitalization, convalescence, and limited duty dispositions. Mental disorders accounted for more hospital bed days than any other morbidity category and two-fifths of all hospital bed days."

Mental illness accounts for more hospitalizations of US active-duty troops for illness and injury, now topping pregnancy-related conditions. According to the pentagon's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, "Adjestment reactions (including post-traumatic stress disorder) and episodic mood disorders were associated with more hospitalizations among active component members than any other specific condition…together these two conditions accounted for 15% to 17% of all hospitalizations of males and females."

Since 2007, hospitalizations for mental disorders have jumped by more than 50%. The Pentagon reported, "The recent, sharp increase in hospitalizations for mental disorders likely reflects the effects of many factors including repeated deployments and prolonged exposures to combat stress; increased awareness and concern regarding the mental health among unit commanders and other front line supervisors, service members and their families, and medical care providers; increased screening and detection of mental disorders and combat-related service and other traumatizing experiences; and decreasing stigma and removal of barriers to seeking and receiving mental disorder diagnosis and care."

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