Screening the Military

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Here is an interesting finding recently:

One-quarter of active-duty soldiers who have never deployed to combat have some sort of psychiatric disorder, and one-third of troops who have attempted suicide had a mental disorder before joining the Army.

It took this long before the military checked the men and women BEFORE going into the service?  That would skew a lot of those PTSD and other psychiatric findings from being in battle, don’t you think?  Here’s a tip for the military: you may want to screen folks a little better.

On a slightly different note, “Band of Brothers” veteran William “Wild Bill” Guarnere just died at age 90.  If you don’t know his story or the story of the “Band of Brothers”, I highly recommend you read or watch it.   Most people in our military are great people that have and continue to sacrifice life and limb for us.

  3 comments for “Screening the Military

  1. Charles Davis
    March 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Right on KOM & John, I’m a non-combat Vet, Army GMO, and stand in AWE of our Sibs in arms! You GO girls & boys!, past/present/future, regardless the Dx. EVER upset with parent or child…really?…how upset?

  2. John A. Mayer
    March 10, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I spent a decade in Family Practice in rural Iowa, then two decades in the USAF medical service. I have no delusions about the problems within military medicine, but I can perhaps mitigate the charge that the military doesn’t even screen enlistees’ medical history. Screening IS done, but unfortunately, it is entirely dependent upon what enlistees reveal. If any review of history answers raise questions, outside medical records are routinely requested and reviewed before medical clearance is granted. If an enlistee does not reveal any such potential problem, and especially in this age of heightened HIPPA, problems may well not be discovered.

    As to the disturbing statement that such a high percent of military members have some sort of pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses, do not our psychiatric brethren insist that at least one quarter of the world’s population has a psychiatric diagnosis? I believe if you have ever gotten upset with a child or a parent, you have a psychiatric diagnosis per ICD psych standards.

    • Pat
      March 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Right on. Change the word “Military” to “Medicine” (I’ve been both) and you’ll have a damn can of mixed nuts. I’m from a medical family, been around it my whole life, now I do it, and I can guarantee that ALL doctors “ain’t right.”

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