Should Soldier’s Still be On the Frontline While on Antidepressants/Anxiety Medications?
The article America’s Medicated Army from Time magazine discusses the trauma that war can cause to soldiers who experience depression, anxiety, and sleep problems while fighting overseas. This article is negatively biased against the military and questions the decisions the military makes concerning war trauma and prescription pills. The author’s tone conveys remorse and anger and believes that the government is unethical with treatment methods. The military’s solution is to prescribe pills to alleviate the symptoms caused by war, which is not a solution, but a way of masking the problem. The military, with limited troops, unethically medicates soldiers with psychotropic prescriptions in order to facilitate longer, more frequent, and more deployments than what people can mentally and physically handle.
According to data from the Army’s fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report indicate that, according to an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope. Antidepressants are efficacious for treating depressed patients, especially patients who are severely ill, but may be at greater risk for suicide. However, all antidepressants in the United States currently carry a warning that they are associated with an increased risk of suicidality in adults aged 18 to 24 years (Average age in the military) during initial treatment.
Being on Antidepressants and Antianxiety medication requires the solider to be closely evaluated, which is not possible during wartime. Also, maintaining medication is important because going off can cause more problems. So when does the provider have the time to evaluate them during wartime? They don’t according to Time because the average soldier can stay out on the field up to 3-4 weeks,...