The Military's Headache Is Getting Worse

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The Pentagon has just issued a mental-health summary for the nation’s entire military and it isn’t pretty. “In 2009, mental disorders accounted for more hospitalizations of U.S. service members than any other diagnostic category,” the report says. “…in the last year of the decade, approximately one of every 12 service members received at least one incident mental disorder diagnosis.” Doctors have diagnosed more than three-quarters of a million troops with at least one mental-health disorder over the past decade.

The study, Mental Disorders and Mental Health Problems, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2000 – December 2009, is part of the Pentagon’s latest Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, which tracks medical issues of interest to the U.S. military. It’s grim reading. “The report…documents striking increases – mostly since 2003 – in the numbers and rates of diagnoses of most categories of mental disorders,” it says. “Together, the findings of this and other reports in this issue of the MSMR document a large, widespread, and growing mental health problem among U.S. military members.”

The full MSMR is here, with selected highlights — mental ills by service, age and gender — after the jump.