Combat trauma and help-seeking behaviour

U.S. Army researcher Maj. Gary H. Wynn, M.D., shared new analysis on why some Soldiers suffering from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) never seek care or drop out of treatment early during a presentation today at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting. His presentation, "Epidemiology of Combat-Related PTSD in U.S. Service Members: Lessons Learned," also described the approaches the Army is using to address this issue and improve overall patient outcomes. Currently, fewer than half of the Soldiers who report symptoms of combat-related PTSD receive the care they need. And of those Soldiers who do start treatment, between 20 percent and 50 percent walk away before its completion. According to recent studies, some of the key reasons include Soldiers' general lack of trust for any mental health professional, a belief that psychological problems tend to work themselves out on their own and a perception that seeking mental health treatment should be a last resort.

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