Study Sheds Light on Course of PTSD
An article in this month's American Journal of Psychiatry studies the mental health of American veterans who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans were surveyed three times: one month, four months and seven months after deployment. The authors report that rates of PTSD and depression were higher after each interval.
At one month after deployment, 4.2 percent met criteria for PTSD; 4.4 percent met criteria for depression; 2.0 percent met criteria for both PTSD and depression.
Seven months after deployment, 12 percent met criteria for PTSD; 9.3 percent met criteria for depression; 6.3 percent met criteria for both PTSD and depression.
The study found a high level of variability in the course and onset of PTSD and depression. Half of the veterans with PTSD or depression at one month no longer met criteria for the disorders at seven months. Half of the veterans who met criteria for the disorders at seven months had not done so at one month.