A new survey of 23,000 injured service members finds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are two of the biggest mental health issues facing veterans right now. Perhaps the most significant finding is more than three in four wounded veterans are dealing with PTSD. Wounded Warrior Project estimates at least 400,000 service members are dealing with PTSD, and another 320,000 are estimated to suffer from TBI.
In the survey, more than half of all respondents, or 53.6%, said they sought professional help with issues of stress, emotional difficulties, drugs, alcohol or family issues. But about a third of those, or 35%, reported having difficulty getting mental health care, put off getting the help or did not get the care they needed. Some four out of 10 vets — 43% — reported difficulty falling asleep or slept too much nearly every day during the two weeks prior to taking the survey. About two-thirds, or 66.4%, said they had nightmares linked to a frightening, horrible or upsetting military experience Three out of four of those same veterans — 75.5% — said they recalled the experience when they did not want to.
In some areas, the news was better. Among respondents, 16.6% reported being unemployed in 2015, down from the 19.7% reported in the 2014 survey. On the education front, 26.5% of respondents said they hold a bachelor’s degree or better, up from 24.%. Additionally, more than two-thirds — 67.5%– said they were seeking a bachelor’s degree or higher as compared to 65.6%.