DoD and the VA have spent over $2 billion on drugs since 2001 to treat mental illness and PTSD, depsite evidence that such drugs can make things worse attempting to treat sharply higher rates of hospitalization. (In this, they are following the current and deplorable medical trend of treating everything with medication and not looking at root causes.)
The hospitalization rate in the Army is 70%-100% higher than in other branches. An Army doctor said the “stunning growth in numbers and rates of mental health hospitalizations … is undeniable evidence of an unprecedented and arguably unmanageable epidemic that is now threatening the viability of the force.”
What is causing this spike in mental health issues in the military? Does the unpopularity and unwinnability of our wars make morale worse and can that lead to illness? I don’t have any answers. One of my uncles is a retired Marine Colonel uncle who says medical treatment for soldiers now is a disgrace and this isn’t the Marines he spent 30 years in.
Mental trauma and PTSD cannot be treated solely with drugs. Yes, drugs can help. But they cannot substitute for desperately needed therapy and rehabilitation.