Annual PTSD screenings recommended for Iraq and Afghanistan vete - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Annual PTSD screenings recommended for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Some veterans returning home from war bring with them visible scars that will forever serve as reminders of their time spent overseas.

Others bring back scars not seen by the human eye that can pierce just as deep, if not deeper.

"A treatment is possible. Recovery is possible. Returning to a full functioning life is possible, but unlike a lot of the other mental health conditions that I treat, it is one of the more challenging to address because it really does require more of the psycho-social intervention. Again, there is no real instant pill we can give people to overcome their PTSD," said PsyCare's Dr. Jamie Marich.

According to the Veterans Administration, nearly a quarter of a million veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD since September 11th and it is believed that number will only increase as the drawdown of troops overseas continues.

In response, the Institute of Medicine, an independent group that advises the federal government, has called for annual PTSD screenings for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

"I think screening on a yearly basis after a traumatic injury is just good practice anyway especially if no treatment has yet been delivered," Dr. Marich said.

Slightly more than half of service members diagnosed with PTSD actually receive treatment for it. Dr. Marich says the stigma associated with the disorder often hinders a diagnosis and in turn treatment.

"I have seen people be treated very successfully for post traumatic stress disorder. It is not an easy road," Dr. Marich said. "People can be treated and resume effective functioning lives, but it will always be something that needs to be watched or monitored."

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