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Veteran Mental Disorders Going Undiagnosed Because of Screening Failures

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US military service members, including those who have served in the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, are at a high risk of mental disorders, like depression and anxiety. However, in far too many cases, those disorders are simply going undiagnosed because the military is not using proper screening methods to treat or prevent these conditions.

That information comes from a panel of the Institute of Medicine, which says that service members including those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their family members, have very high rates of depression and anxiety as well as a range of other mental disorders. However, many of those persons are simply slipping through the cracks, because proper screening methods are not being used to diagnose these conditions and prevent them.

Besides, the Institute of Medicine panel found did not find any program instituted by the military to help prevent domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is a serious problem plaguing service members, especially those who have returned from combat zones and suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Another serious problem in the American military is the high incidence of sexual assault, and the US military has not established any sort of protocols to determine whether the programs to prevent sexual assault in the military are actually working to help prevent these incidents.

Back in 2012, the Institute of Medicine had conducted an analysis, and recommended that veterans returning from the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan be put through an annual screening program for post traumatic stress disorder. The Institute also recommended more research to understand how the various programs that are currently in place for PTSD treatment are working to help treat this condition. However, the Institute in its new research found that although there are many programs run by non-military groups for the treatment of PTSD, there are few being run by the military. Even those screening and treatment programs have not been substantiated by strong evidence.

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