Depression and binge-drinking are sadly common among veterans, show survey data.
The tormenting mental health condition affects one out of four unemployed veterans and one in three working.
The rate is incredibly high among those with disabilities: almost 70% of them are depressed.
In addition, 25% of veterans with depression say that binge-drink.
The dott. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer of the American Addiction Centers, who produced the survey, said the figures show clear areas for politicians, doctors and families to work on while the rate of suicide among veterinarians continues its ten-year rise.
More than 25 percent of veterans who suffer from depression report binge drinking. Hawaii had the highest number of veterans drinking alcohol at 21.5% and Utah had a 9.1% minimum
The survey collected data from the behavioral risk surveillance system of the CDC (BRFSS).
The BRFSS collects data on the risk behaviors of US residents, on chronic health conditions and on the use of prevention services.
Although depression can be hereditary, it can also be the result of emotional and physical trauma, as many veterans do.
While mental health problems are a concern among all members of the service, they are more prevalent among unemployed vets and those who are unable to work.
More than two thirds of veterans who are unable to work due to disability and more than one in four who are unemployed suffer from depression.
There are over 23 million veterans in the United States, but several studies show that only half of former members of the service who need treatment for mental health or substance abuse seek assistance.
The dott. Weinstein, a psychiatric / addict specialist whose patients include veterans, spoke with the Daily Mail Online about how depression is not detected among former members of the service and why early intervention is the key to recovery.
"Among the general population in the United States, 60 million American adults have severe depression, which accounts for about 7% of the population," he said.
"But when it comes to veterans, 37 percent of female soldiers and 27 percent of male soldiers are diagnosed with major depression.You are seeing a jump from seven percent of a population to nearly 40 percent."
The dott. Weinstein says there are a couple of steps that doctors can take before depression gets worse.
"It is necessary to promptly identify those who are at risk and to involve them in treatment because the longer you stay in therapy, the better," he said.
Mental disorders and depression are not uncommon among veterans but, if they are not enrolled in treatment, they can essentially turn into alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Between 2013 and 2017, the survey found that the number of veterans diagnosed with binge drinking episodes increased from 14.3% to nearly 16%.
Even more saddened, more than 25% of veterans who suffer from depression report binge drinking.
The survey looked at the patterns of veteran binges in all 50 states and found that Hawaii had the highest number of veterans who drank alcohol at 21.5%.
Hawaii was followed closely by Nevada to 20.5% and Wisconsin to 20.1%.
The biggest factor that leads to veterans with substance and alcohol abuse problems seems to be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
About seven percent of the US general population is depressed, but in the veteran population, this increases to almost 28 percent
PTSD is caused by a memory of overactive fear and includes a wide range of psychological symptoms that can develop after someone has experienced a traumatic event.
According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, former PTSD service members are more likely to have alcohol problems.
About one in three veterans treated for substance use disorders also has PTSD.
However, several studies have shown that alcohol consumption can worsen can exacerbate a veteran's PTSD.
Because alcohol is a depressed, it can worsen symptoms including depression anxiety and insomnia.
"It's a vicious circle [veterans] they can not go out and the consequence is that they now need help with substance use disorders in addition to PTSD, "said Dr. Weinstein.
The survey found that Utah was the state with the lowest number of veteran binges at 9.1%.
However, a report published at the start of the month by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development found that although there are fewer homeless veterinarians nationwide, the number in Utah has increased.
The report showed that the number of homeless veterans rose from 220 in 2017 to 239 in 2018, an increase of 8.6%.
Experts fear that the increase in former members of street services could lead to a large percentage of them developing disorders in the use of substances.
Nearly 70% of veterans who are unable to work due to disability suffer from depression while about one in three veterans employed suffers from the condition
"It will increase in states that have large homeless people," said Dr. Weinstein.
"But it's not just the number of veterans living in the state, but what kind of local policies are in place to help them."
So what can you do to get our veterans the help they need? Some things, according to dr. Weinstein.
"Mental illness is a condition horribly underestimated and underestimated and is even higher among veterans than the general population, "he said.
& # 39; So we need to identify the veterans with a severe mental illness and put them in specialized treatment programs because they do not suffer only from PTSD or depression, but also from COPD, hypertension and so on. "
The dott. Weinstein adds that there must also be education among a variety of people.
"We need to spend time on education: how to educate our veterans about the possibility of developing PTSD when they return from service abroad, educating officers who will inform superiors about what are the first signs of mental illness among soldiers. & # 39;