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It’s always been with us and has gone by varied names, including shell shock and Vietnam Veterans Disorder, both associated with traumatizing experiences on the battlefield. Today the condition now known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is also diagnosed in people who have never seen active combat, but it remains more common among those who bear the psychic scars of war. For U.S. veterans of recent wars, including Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Vietnam, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD is from 10.1 to 30.9 percent, compared with an estimated lifetime prevalence of about 7 percent in the general population.

Despite the higher rates, some service members are reluctant to disclose the symptoms they’re experiencing. Hesitation may stem from the complicated stigma historically associated with PTSD and concerns about risks to reputation and livelihood if the “PTSD” label tracks them through their careers. Concealment, though, means that their condition may go untreated.

…continue reading ‘A Blood Test Might One Day Mass-Screen Military Personnel for PTSD’

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Scientific American

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