Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery

Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery

While nearly 20 percent of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, only slightly more than half have sought treatment, a new survey by the RAND Corporation finds. According to Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery (499 pages, PDF), 19 percent of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan reported experiencing possible traumatic brain injury, but many, fearing the stigma attached to psychological illness, did not seek help. Funded by the California Community Foundation, the study estimates that PTSD and depression among returning troops will cost the nation as much as $6.2 billion over two years in medical costs, lost productivity, and lives lost to suicide.