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September 24, 2012

Psychiatry Hospitalization amongst Military Essay Paper


Psychiatry Hospitalization amongst Military
Introduction
            It has increasingly come to notice that a large number of American personnels are hell bent taking the lives of their own (Seyle, 1976). The wars that are being fought on the front of Iraq and Afghanistan have certainly taken a toll on them. The continuous work has resulted in the occupational morbidity. This morbidity results in disability, work absenteeism, unemployment and as well as social impairment and high health care utilization.

Discussion
            Military is a very important asset, as it is always in the forefront in the core issues of any country. It has come to notice that the continuous American war against Iraq and Afghanistan have made the troops unhappy and even mentally unstable. They are in the midst of war and many of the facilities are not there that were available to them back home. It is all because of this that the ratio of suicide has increased considerably (Sorter, 2002). In 2009, the ratio of suicide in the armed forces was 334. Out of this 334, 150 gave their lives in Iraq soil where as the death toll in Afghanistan was 319. It cannot be said as the final verdict as the death toll just keeps on rising in large numbers. Infact the rate of suicide last year even broke the records of 1980.
Talking about the records, during the last five years almost 174% of physical and mental disability soldiers have been discharged. According to the statistics, the number of military patients discharged in these five years is 1,397 in 2005 to 3,831 in 2009. According to an Army behavioral health official Army Lt. Col. Rebecca Porter, “a clear relationship between multiple deployments and increased symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD. Aggressive efforts to identify and treat mental illnesses by medical officials are also why more soldiers are being discharged” (Jones, 2000). On the other hand, the groups of veterans believe that the soldiers are discouraged from the service because of the failure in early detection and treatment. 
According to a spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Joe Davis "The military is excellent at treating visible wounds, the military and entire medical community at large still has a long way to go to effectively and reliably screen and treat wounds to the head and mind. Before discharging troops for behavioral reasons, it is absolutely imperative that commanders first ask 'what caused this”? According to the 2009 analysis presented by Pentagon, there have been more mental disorder and hospitalizations than any other medical condition, including battle wounds among the troops of US last 15 years.
Almost 211 personnels of the Army, National Guard and Army Reserve were lost in suicide (Goldberg et. al., 1990). Half of them were serving in Afghanistan and Iraq war. The suicide rate of Army is approximately 20.2 per 100,000 personnels. This ratio is higher than the registered males aging 19 to 29. Prior to 2001, the rate of the suicides in the army was rarely 10 suicides per 100,000 soldiers.
At least five members of armed forces were hospitalized for every death as they to were attempting to take their lives. As reported by Navy Times, 3 percent of Navy respondents to the military’s own survey of 28,536 members from all branches reported they had attempted suicide at some point. In comparison the same report claims that 2 % of Army and 2.3% of Marines were also attempting the same. The “Defense Survey of Health-Related Behaviors” also found “dangerous levels” of alcohol abuse and the illicit use of drugs such as painkillers by 12 percent of personnel.
The cause for the attempt of suicide was different from scenario to scenario: financial problems, breakdown of the relationships, abuse of substance, and depression with other members of their unit, a distressing result (Dumaine, 1988). What is clear, however, is that military service has seriously impacted on the physical and mental health of the victims (Festa, 1987). The suicide figures for serving personnel are only one indication. The most alarming statistics are those on mental illness related to the hundreds of thousands of veterans of the two wars who have left the military and sought to reintegrate into civilian life (Labovitz and Hagehorn, 1971).
According to a survey carried out last year, the rate of unemployment was almost 15% amongst the 20 to 24-age bracket former soldiers (Jones, 2000). On January 3, it was reported by Florida Today that 450 of the 800 homeless in Brevard County were Iraq or Afghanistan veterans. According to the veterans, last study of PTSD made available last August by the Journal of Traumatic Stress bring into being that 47% had had thoughts of suicide prior to be in quest of healing and 3% had made an attempt to slaughter themselves. The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has been obligated to a large extent improve its armed forces. Since its 24/7-suicide hotline was very late created in July 2007, it has given advice over 185,000 veterans or their families and ascertains to avoid at least 5,000 suicides. It now has 400 analysts devoted to prevention of suicides even though the Pentagon confesses far more are desired. Natives who served in either Afghanistan or Iraq put together a rising fraction of the 6,400 veterans that VA approximate take their own lives each year. A 2007 CBS study put the rate among male veterans aged 20 to 24 at four times the national average—more than 40 per 100,000 per year.
The self-destruction figures do not include the 100s of youth veteran soldier who expire on annual basis in automobile accidents, lots of which are associated with extravagant hurrying or driving under the pressure and injure or kill other people too. In 2008, veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan were 75 percent more likely to die in an auto accident than non-veterans and 148 percent more likely to die in a motorcycle crash. Suicide statistics also do not count deaths that are classified as accidental drug-related overdoses.
The harm caused in Afghan and Iraq war won’t be repaid for the society of America in the coming decades. A significant factor in Developments PTSD is actual physical damage to the brain. There is a growing medical consensus that in vehicle and body armor, combined with advances in medical treatment, has enabled thousands of soldiers to survive bomb blasts that might have taken their lives in earlier conflicts. They survive with trauma to their brain however.
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury estimated in early 2009 that between 45,000 to 90,000 veterans of the two wars had been left with “severe and lasting symptoms” of brain injury. Overall, the Defense Department estimates that as many as 20 percent of veterans had suffered some degree of brain injury due to bomb blasts while in Iraq or Afghanistan—a staggering 360,000 men and women.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – A former Army soldier seeking help for mental problems at a Georgia military hospital took three workers hostage at gunpoint Monday before authorities persuaded him to surrender. No one was hurt and no shots were fired in the short standoff at Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart, about 40 miles southwest of Savannah, said fort spokesman Kevin Larson. Military officials said the hostages were able to calm the gunman and keep him away from patients until he surrendered. Military police arrested the gunman, who was being questioned Monday afternoon. His name was not immediately released. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, a senior Fort Stewart commander, said the former soldier was seeking help for mental problems that were "connected, I'm quite certain, to his past service. He hadn't gotten the care that he wanted and he wanted it now". Phillips said, based on what one of the hostages had told him. "He'd had some experiences that could lead one to believe there were aftereffects to his service” (Jones, 2000).
Both he and Larson declined to be more specific, citing the active investigation. The suspect walked into the hospital's emergency room at about 4 a.m. carrying two handguns, a semiautomatic rifle and a semiautomatic version of a submachine gun, Phillips said. He took a medic hostage and headed to the building's behavioral treatment wing on the third floor. An Army psychiatric nurse spotted the gunman and approached him to talk, Phillips said. That nurse was then taken hostage along with a behavioral health technician who refused to allow the gunman through a locked door to the patient area. Still, the nurse — an Army major — was able to start calming the man. "Working together, they maintained the situation, kept the gunman out of the territory where he could harm someone else and bought time for someone else to get there" Phillips said.
Military police soon arrived and surrounded the hospital. Army investigators trained in hostage negotiations worked their way to the floor. In less than two hours, they convinced him to put down his armaments and submit. Because the suspect is a civilian and the standoff involved hostages on a federal installation, the FBI was called in to help with the investigation. It was uncertain Monday what charges the gentleman would face.
Fort Stewart, the biggest Army post east of the Mississippi River, is home to the 3rd Infantry Division. Most of the division's 19,000 soldiers are deployed to Iraq. It's the 3rd Infantry's fourth tour in Iraq since the war began in 2003. Phillips said he'd seen nothing to indicate the ex- soldier had previously sought treatment at the Fort Stewart hospital. "He broke the law, obviously, and he threatened people" and would have to face the consequences, Larson said. "But we are going to get him the help for behavioral health”.
Conclusion
While there is no exact figure, studies estimate that as many as 20 to 30 percent of veterans suffer some degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), hindering their ability to hold down jobs (Elder and Clipp, 1989) maintain relationships, overcome substance abuse and, in some cases, maintain their will to live. The worsening economic conditions facing working people in the US are aggravating the difficulties.

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