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U.S. Army Special Forces Operators Reluctant to Seek Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Date:11/11/2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a University of the Rockies study, more than half (54.4 percent) of U.S. Army Special Forces Operators exposed to combat would not seek treatment while serving in the Army, even if they were experiencing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms or psychological distress.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091111/LA09207)

The 18-month study, which included 68 U.S. Army Special Forces Operators who had been deployed to combat since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003, was conducted by Jessica M. Espinoza, PsyD., who earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the university. University of the Rockies is a graduate university specializing in master's and doctorate degrees in psychology.

Even though 100 percent of respondents were aware that therapy was available to them through the U.S. Army, most said they would not seek treatment due to fear of negative consequences.

Of those negative consequences, the stigma attached to soldiers with PTSD was the biggest deterrent to seeking treatment, followed by the fear of being thought of as weak, the fear of being removed from an A-team, the fear of being removed from Special Forces, the fear of being ostracized, the fear of being thought of as a coward, the fear of being discharged from the U.S. Army, the fear of personal distress and the loss of security clearances and job opportunities. The study supports that, of those with PTSD symptoms, only about half will seek treatment due to the stigma attached to PTSD in the military.

About University of the Rockies

University of the Rockies is a graduate school specializing in master's and doctorate degree programs in psychology. Accredited by the Higher Learning
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SOURCE University of the Rockies
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