Via The Globe and Mail: Post-traumatic stress disorder doubles among Canadian soldiers. Excerpt:
The rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among full-time members of the Canadian Forces has nearly doubled since 2002, according to a new Statistics Canada report that also shows rates of depression, anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse are higher in the military than in the general population.
“The rate of post-traumatic stress disorder did increase significantly from 2002,” said Vincent Dale, the assistant director of the special surveys division of Statistics Canada.
The Canadian Forces Mental Health Survey 2013, released Monday, found that 5.3 per cent of soldiers reported experiencing PTSD in the 12 months prior to the survey, which was conducted last year.
That is up from 2.8 per cent in 2002, the last time Statistics Canada interviewed soldiers about their mental health. Mr. Dale called the findings statistically significant, meaning they are outside the margins of error for both surveys.
Rates of panic disorder among soldiers rose as well, from 2 per cent in 2002 to 3.4 per cent in 2013.
However, the mental health problem that affects the largest percentage of soldiers – depression – remained unchanged between 2002 and 2013. In both years the survey found 8 per cent of soldiers reported experiencing depression in the last twelve months.
Statistics Canada interviewed about 6,700 full-time members of the military from April to August of last year.
The initial results of the survey released Monday did not delve into whether respondents had been deployed to Afghanistan and how that might have affected their mental health, Mr. Dale said. However, he said that issue would be analyzed in a more detailed report expected this fall.
The most recent version of the survey asked soldiers whether they had experienced one of the following six conditions in the last year: Depression, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. A total of 16.5 per cent of soldiers reported experiencing at least one.