Study highlights risk of mental health disorders in male ex-serving personnel



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New analysis, printed in Psychological Medicine, exhibits that, when in comparison with males in the UK normal inhabitants, male veterans (who beforehand served in the UK Armed Forces) report a better prevalence of widespread mental disorders, post-traumatic stress dysfunction, and alcohol misuse (hazardous, dangerous and dependent consuming). Female veterans report a better prevalence of hazardous consuming in comparison with females in the UK normal inhabitants.

The majority of UK Armed Forces (AF) personnel cope effectively with the challenges of navy service and efficiently adapt to non-military life after they depart. For some, navy service can negatively impression on their mental . Ensuring that the mental health wants of veterans are met is a UK Government precedence and guaranteeing no drawback in consequence of navy service is a authorized obligation enshrined in the AF Covenant. Despite this, there’s little UK analysis into how the mental health of veterans compares to the UK normal inhabitants.

In order to fill this hole, a staff of researchers from the University of Liverpool and King’s Center for Military Health Research, King’s College London, examined the prevalence of widespread mental disorders (CMD), post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) and alcohol misuse in UK veterans in comparison with non-veterans.


The researchers examined knowledge on 2,917 veterans as half of the King’s Center for Military Health Research (KCMHR) cohort examine, a big ongoing examine of the health and wellbeing of the UK navy.

The examine assessed the mental health penalties (CMD, PTSD and alcohol misuse) of and deployment to the latest Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. This knowledge was in comparison with the information of non-veterans taken from two massive normal inhabitants surveys: 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey and wave 6 of the UK Household Longitudinal Study.


The researchers discovered that, total, UK veterans who served on the time of navy operations to Iraq and Afghanistan reported a considerably increased prevalence of CMD (23% vs 16%), possible PTSD (8% vs 5%) and alcohol misuse (11% vs 6%) than non-veterans. These variations weren’t defined by sociodemographic variations between veterans and the final inhabitants samples.

Breaking down the outcomes by gender confirmed that the variations in mental health and alcohol misuse have been typically restricted to male veterans, though hazardous consuming was extra widespread in than females in the final inhabitants.

Being unemployed or out of work as a result of sickness or incapacity was related to a better prevalence of CMD and PTSD in each veterans and non-veterans.


Male veterans who served on the time of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts usually tend to expertise a mental health downside in comparison with those that have by no means served. Veterans who’re out of work (in specific, these with long run sickness or incapacity) seem to have higher mental health wants in comparison with these in employment.

Lead creator, Dr. Laura Goodwin, University of Liverpool, mentioned: “Despite the majority adapting well to civilian life there appears to be a higher prevalence of mental health problems in male veterans compared to males in the general and due to this fact an elevated want for assist.”

Dr. Deirdre MacManus, King’s Center for Military Health Research, King’s College London, mentioned: “An obvious difference between those who have served in the UK military and those employed in other occupations is the experience of operational deployment. Interestingly, whilst our work suggests that deployment may partly explain the increased level of PTSD in veterans, it did not explain the increased prevalence of CMD or .”

Professor Nicola Fear, King’s Center for Military Health Research, King’s College London, mentioned: “This work has shown that both male and female veterans are drinking more than individuals of a similar age from the . It is crucial that there is better awareness within the UK Armed Forces of when alcohol use becomes problematic and that appropriate support is available for those who need it.”

Childhood experiences and exposure to combat linked to poorer mental health

More data:
Rebecca Rhead et al. Mental health disorders and alcohol misuse amongst UK navy veterans and the final inhabitants: a comparability examine, Psychological Medicine (2020). DOI: 10.1017/S0033291720001944

Study highlights risk of mental health disorders in male ex-serving personnel (2020, August 11)
retrieved 11 August 2020

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