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Study: Some Vietnam Vets Still Struggle With PTSD, 40 Years Later
Forty years after the end Vietnam War, troops who served there continue to struggle with post-traumatic stress, according to a study published in the September issue of JAMA Psychiatry.
The National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study concludes that 271,000 Vietnam War veterans suffer from varying levels of post-traumatic stress, and that one-third of that number have a major depressive disorder 40 years after the war.
“An important minority of Vietnam veterans are symptomatic after four decades, with more than twice as many deteriorating as improving,” reads the report. If left untreated, symptoms of post-traumatic stress can be exacerbated as individuals grow older, especially when combined with substance abuse and co-existing psychiatric disorders.
“Policy implications include the need for greater access to evidence-based mental health services,” the report recommends, citing the stressors of aging, retirement, chronic illness, declining social support and the recurrence of unwanted memories as contributing factors to lifetime post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans.
After post-traumatic stress disorder was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, studies showed a gradual decline in post-traumatic stress rates among Vietnam veterans and a diminished effect during a 10-year follow up. However, concerns persisted that combat and wartime stressors were likely to continue having an impact in patients’ lives.
The study — which was led by Dr. Charles R. Marmar of the New York University Langone Medical Center — was published online in July and designed to reassess veterans who participated in the original National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study that was conducted from 1984 through 1988. The new data appears to show that the effects of post-traumatic stress have a longer lifespan than initially thought.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drawing national attention to wartime post-traumatic stress, the implications of the report are of particular note for veterans of America’s most recent conflicts. More than 2.4 million service members deployed to either theater at least once, and according to the National Center for PTSD, between 11 and 20% of Iraq or Afghanistan veterans will have post-traumatic stress in a given year.
The survey was administered to a representative national sample of 2,348 veterans who served in the Vietnam theater of operations. It consisted of a computer-assisted telephone survey, a clinical interview, and a self-reported questionnaire, administered between July 2012 and May 2013.
These findings raise questions about the necessity for mental health care services, both now and in the future, and underscore the need for continued care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.
It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.
Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.