"...So LeJeune visited a military doctor in Iraq, who, after a quick session, diagnosed depression. The doctor sent him back to war armed with the antidepressant Zoloft® and the antianxiety drug clonazepam®. "It's not easy for soldiers to admit the problems that they're having over there for a variety of reasons," LeJeune says. "If they do admit it, then the only solution given is pills."
...When it comes to fighting wars, though, troops have historically been barred from using such drugs in combat. And soldiers — who are younger and healthier on average than the general population — have been prescreened for mental illnesses before enlisting.
The increase in the use of medication among U.S. troops suggests the heavy mental and psychological price being paid by soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pentagon surveys show that while all soldiers deployed to a war zone will feel stressed, 70% will manage to bounce back to normalcy. But about 20% will suffer from what the military calls "temporary stress injuries," and 10% will be afflicted with "stress illnesses."
At least 115 soldiers killed themselves last year, including 36 in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army said on May 29. That's the highest toll since it started keeping such records in 1980. Nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took psychotropic drugs — overwhelmingly, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac® and Zoloft®. >>>>Much More>>>