Get access

Complex Contribution of Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to Veteran Suicide: Facing an Increasing Challenge

Authors

  • Elizabeth A. D. Lee MSN

    Corresponding author
    1. Elizabeth A. D. Lee, MSN, is a PhD Candidate and Research Assistant, College of Graduate Health Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Conflict of Interest Statement

  • The author reports no actual or potential conflicts of interest. No external or intramural funding was received.

  • Disclaimer: The article is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the opinion of the US Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs.

Author contact:elee10@uthsc.edu, with a copy to the Editor: gpearson@uchc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this case study is to present the complex contribution of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to suicide and international standards of treatment among veterans deployed to the Middle East.

CONCLUSIONS:  PTSD carries increased physical and psychological health risk in combat soldiers. Internationally, guidelines for PTSD promote cognitive behavior therapies, specifically exposure therapy, as first line treatment; however, implementation varies among countries.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:  Evidence supports the benefit of exposure-based psychotherapy for combat-related PTSD. Commonly prescribed antidepressants and other psychotherapy treatments may not be as beneficial.

Ancillary