9,000 hidden victims of war: Shock rise in mental health trauma in troops returning from Afghanistan
THEY are the wounds that cannot be seen – but they can be just as devastating and often harder to treat.
And the problem of British troops mentally scarred by their experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq is getting dramatically worse.
A Mirror investigation has found a significant increase in the number of our service personnel being treated for mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Between 2007 and 2010, the total with mental health problems soared from 2,289 to 2,510 – a 9.7% increase. And those diagnosed with severe PTSD leaped from 122 in 2007 to 185 in 2010 – a 51% rise.
The shocking statistics cover all ranks, from top brass to privates. The Army currently has around 100,000 troops – with 9,500 of them serving in Afghanistan.
Figures obtained under freedom of information laws reveal that 9,064 soldiers and officers had some type of mental disorder between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2010.
They included those suffering anxiety and mood swings – as well as 509 confirmed cases of post-traumatic stress disorder.