Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

14 July 2013

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and War Veterans

War takes a terrible toll on everyone:  soldiers, civilians,
families on both sides of the conflict.
"People who suffer from PTSD and depression are significantly more likely to take their own lives. One hundred twenty six U.S. veterans kill themselves each week – 6,552 each year. Since 2001, more Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed suicide than the number of soldiers lost in combat."

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Expedition Balance

The human cost our veterans are paying.

When veterans come back with PTSD and depression, they face even greater challenges at home. Aside from the physical and psychological pain that come with reliving horrific events, there’s a numbness and an inability to reengage in life. Relationships are strained. Normalcy is unattainable. For many, it all begins to fall apart.

Lost jobs
It’s harder for veterans with PTSD to get and hold jobs. For them, the inability to meet financial and family obligations adds to the stress and isolation they already feel. This economy is making it even harder for them. Many service members who are suffering say they do not seek treatment because they fear it could harm their careers.

The V.A. reported that more than 130,000 veterans are homeless on any night. More than double that number experience homelessness over the course of a year. 45% of homeless veterans are suffering from some mental illness. But the reality is much worse – these numbers were collected before the recent economic recession.

Broken Families
Studies show that families where a parent has PTSD are characterized by increased anxiety, unhappiness, marital problems, and behavioral problems among the children. Both male and female veterans with PTSD are more likely to lose their families.

Substance Abuse
People with PTSD are more likely to have problems with drugs and/or alcohol. In an effort to escape the distressing thoughts and feelings associated with PTSD, there’s a real temptation to self medicate. Mix that with the sense of isolation and challenges they face in successfully reintegrating and it can easily lead to abuse and dependency.

People who suffer from PTSD and depression are significantly more likely to take their own lives. One hundred twenty six U.S. veterans kill themselves each week – 6,552 each year. Since 2001, more Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed suicide than the number of soldiers lost in combat.

More Problems for Our Women Soldiers
Women make up 11% of our middle-east forces. While women suffer PTSD at a higher rate than their male counterparts, many have more difficulty qualifying for aid because they may not have been in “direct combat”. Female veterans have a higher rate of military sexual trauma. They have higher rates of divorce and homelessness as well.

The scope of the PTSD health crisis.

There are 24 million veterans living in the US. Of those, 14 million have served during wars.

A conservative estimate holds that 20% of all living US combat veterans, from the greatest generation to today’s brave young men and women, have suffered or are suffering from PTSD.

That’s approximately 3 million of our brothers and sisters, most of whom have received no treatment. As soldiers return from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’re finding the number of cases of PTSD is increasing at an alarming rate.

Most of these combat veterans are not diagnosed or treated. And only half of those who actively seek help receive what researchers called “minimally adequate treatment.”

The financial and human resources of the V.A. are badly overmatched.

The toll from Afghanistan and Iraq.
A release from the Rand Corporation reported that 300,000 US military personnel deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression.

Another reports that one in six soldiers who’ve served in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD or service-related stress. Regardless, the numbers are overwhelming.

Unlike past wars, where there were front lines and safe areas, the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq never know when or where the horrors of war will come to them. The level of mental and emotional stress is unprecedented, as is the shock of military and civilian attacks. Early evidence suggests that the psychological toll from these wars will be disproportionately high compared to physical injuries.

Other evidence points to the fact that the multiple tours of combat duty, unique to Iraq and Afghanistan, dramatically increase the percentage of soldiers coming home with PTSD or other psychological damage.

The economic cost of PTSD.

As of 2005, more than 200,000 US veterans were receiving disability compensation for PTSD at a cost of $4.3 billion. Of course, the costs go far beyond compensation payments.

In 2008, the Rand Corporation released a report specifically about the military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. It put the economic impact of PTSD, including medical care, productivity and suicides at $4 billion to $6 billion over two years. These numbers are growing every day. And without early intervention, diagnosis and treatment, the cost to our economy will skyrocket.
About Expedition Balance
Created by veterans for veterans.

Expedition Balance is a nonprofit organization founded in Houston, Texas, dedicated to helping combat veterans cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Expedition Balance was created by combat veterans for combat veterans suffering from PTSD. Our staff is made up of veterans as well. We are funded entirely by donations.
We have a simple, but incredibly important, mission:

To help fellow American combat veterans suffering from PTSD and other “invisible” injuries regain their balance in life. We do this by offering life-affirming non-clinical experiences with their peers, where they can experience and learn principles and practices that will help them regain their lives.

Though we work in cooperation with the V.A., our treatment does not take place in a medical facility. It takes place in the healthy environment of nature with the familiar dynamic of a group of soldiers taking care of each other.
Our location:

We are now centered in the Houston area, but Expedition Balance is committed to helping every American combat veteran we can, from the aging heroes of WWII to the young men and women coming home today.


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