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30% US soldiers develop mental disorders after Iraq mission
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-29 05:41:33

    WASHINGTON, July 28 (Xinhuanet) -- About 30 percent of US soldiers coming home from Iraq have developed symptoms of mental disorder three or four months after returning, according to a latest survey.

    The survey, released Thursday by Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, surgeon general of the US Army, said when the troops left combat zones, only 3-5 percent of them were immediately found with serious mental problems, which suggests the disorders have a latent period.

    The symptoms include anxiety, depression, nightmares, anger andan inability to concentrate.

    In some severe cases of these symptoms, the soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

    The survey thus recommended the Army to follow up mental statusof soldiers after they leave Iraq, rather than only conducting a check upon their leaving.

    In a pilot program conducted on 1,000 US soldiers returning from Iraq to Italy last year, Army doctors found a much greater percentage of mental health problems than they expected.

    These mental problems usually stem form the stress of combat, the sight of mutilated bodies and a sense of desperation when a urgent situation is beyond control, according to Army doctors.

    To prevent further increase of mental disorders among US soldiers in Iraq, the Army has dispatched about 200 mental health experts to provide guidance and treatment for mentally disordered soldiers. Enditem

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