2007 - Position Statement on Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan War

"When the War Comes Home"

The American Psychoanalytic Association joins with other mental health professional organizations to urge strong and comprehensive government and private support for the mental health treatment of returning veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and their families. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that one third of all returning veterans are suffering from serious mental health and psychosocial disorders. Of those, 56% were diagnosed with more than one disorder including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance abuse. The highest rate of mental health problems was among veterans in the 18-24 year old range, often those most exposed to front line combat.

As an organization of over 3,000 psychoanalysts committed to helping those who have suffered psychological problems often related to trauma, APsaA believes any lack of acknowledgement and appropriate treatment of this critical mental health issue will have a devastating impact on our soldiers, their families, their children, and society at large. Psychoanalytic research on transgenerational transmission of trauma has shown that children of traumatized and depressed parents often develop serious psychological and behavioral problems themselves. APsaA supports effective, comprehensive and well funded efforts to address this critical public health issue.

References

1. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2007; "Bring the War Back Home" 167: 476-482.

Adopted June 2007.