Shell Shock

Mental Illness Spikes Among Soldiers

There’s a disturbing rise in the percentage of soldiers leaving the Army because of mental illness. According to Army statistics reported by USA Today, between 2005 and 2009 there was a 64 percent rise in the number of soldiers departing from the military singularly due to mental illness. Adrian Atizado, assistant national legislative director for Disabled American Veterans said, "These numbers really just validate the mental health communities' concern about multiple deployments...Mind and body are both taking a beating." Army Lt. Col. Rebecca Porter added that the numbers illustrate "a clear relationship between multiple deployments and increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD." Veterans groups believe that failure to detect illness early on allows mental problems to grow over time until they warrant a discharge.