For the first time in history, a growing number of combat troops are taking daily doses of anti-depressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Army’s fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report, using an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, about 12 percent of combat troops in Iraq and 17 percent of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope.
Photo Credit: Military.com
Use is split 50 – 50 between anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac and sleep aids such as Ambien. Military physicians are also split on the effects of using such prescriptions on soldiers in war zones. Some physicians are concerned that they are not adequately understood, while others contend that using prescriptions for mild depression symptoms avoids costly removals of soldiers from the fight.
Now there’s a thought – removal of soldiers from the fight. Apparently that isn’t something a number of military physicians are willing to acknowledge – got to fight that war even at the expense of increasing emotional and psychological problems among the military.