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Army Hospital MIA on Stress Disorders

Walter Reed lacks resources to cope with growing problem
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2007 4:15 PM CDT
Army Hospital MIA on Stress Disorders
An unidentified member of the military arrives at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington in this Aug. 25, 2005 file photo. The Army said Friday, June 15, 2007 that it has opened an investigation into the recent discovery of 4,500 letters and parcels _ some dating to May 2006 _ at Walter Reed...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Though 20 to 40 soldiers are sent home from Iraq each month with severe mental problems, the Army's largest hospital has no post-traumatic stress disorder center, reports the Washington Post. There is also a severe shortage of doctors qualified to treat these patients. Not long ago, the head of psychiatry sent a memo pleading for more staff.

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Walter Reed provides state-of-the-art prosthetics and rehab treatment for amputees. Yet soldiers diagnosed with combat stress far outnumber those who have lost limbs. Traumatized soldiers get thrown in with other psychiatric patients whose problems range from schizophrenia to marital strife. And individual therapy, a key part of PTSD treatment, is  rare.  (Read more psychiatry stories.)

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