PTSD Hits the British Armed Forces

Roughly 24,000 British veterans returning from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan are now battling the UK’s criminal justice system and constituting nine percent of the prison population, according to reports.

The U.K.’s Telegraph reported the findings of three separate studies sponsored by the National Association of Probation Officers and other veteran support groups.

Research from 2001 to 2004 along with the case histories of 74 veterans showed that the majority of violent offenses committed by veterans is fueled by drug and alcohol abuse, the result of untreated post-traumatic stress disorder.

With 8,000 veterans currently in custody, concerned citizens argue that the Ministry of Defense is doing too little to screen recently discharged servicemen and women for early signs of mental illness.

The Ministry says it utilizes “robust systems” to treat and prevent PTSD with pre- and post-deployment screenings, and subsequent access to counseling.

However, NAPO cites the studies’ results as evidence that the Ministry’s efforts fall short of adequate support for transition to civilian life.

The Royal British Legion and ex-servicemen acknowledged a “real drinking culture” in the armed forces.

According to those interviewed, physical and psychological war wounds, continued heavy drinking and a loss of troop camaraderie often lead to loneliness, stress disorders, violence and imprisonment.

–Lauren Riggs/


“Thousands of war veterans locked in British prisons”
The Telegraph (U.K.), September 1, 2008

2 thoughts on “PTSD Hits the British Armed Forces

  1. PTSD is casued by EXCESS of STRESS and is
    NOT a problem of the MIND but a problem of
    patients’ FEELINGS being disrupted, ‘out of
    control’ or SENSITISED. CURE is by DESENSITISATION of FEELINGS. That is why
    current COGNITIVE treatments do not work.

  2. With so many of our Service Personnel engaged in active combat around the world today and in recent years, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is likely that the number of people diagnosed with PTSD will increase substantially.

    The distressing symptoms of PTSD can negatively affect close relationships, mood, and ability to be effective at work or school. The symptoms of PTSD are difficult to cope with, and they often lead people to use more unhealthy ways of coping, such as alcohol or drug use.

    However, you can do a number of healthy things to manage your PTSD symptoms and improve your quality of life:

    Learn more about PTSD treatment,its causes and symptoms. You are better able to tackle or cope with a problem with more understanding.