Common Health Problems Veterans And Active Duty Personnel Face
Mental Health/Wellness Veterans

Common Health Problems Veterans And Active Duty Personnel Face

While many military personnel can leave the battlefield without wounds, others are left battling mental and physical health issues. From anxiety to depression, veterans are forced to deal with them appropriately. With a medical team of experts and family support, veterans can overcome these issues. However, it may take months or even years to overcome these problems. Below, you will discover a short list of the most common health problems veterans face.

Eating Disorders 

One of the least talked about mental illnesses that veterans struggle with is eating disorder, such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. According to Elisha Carcieri, Ph.D., veterans from WWII and the more recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are struggling with some type of eating disorder. Carcieri reported that this mental health issue is often overlooked and is more common in women than men.

Eating disorders are becoming as popular among veterans as the general population, according to Carcieri’s report. In fact, much military personnel on active duty are also struggling with eating disorders. The reason why veterans and active duty personnel are being targeted by this mental illness is due to military weight requirements. has a great post about the myths concerning hiring veterans with mental disorders.


Depression is one of the most common mental disorders diagnosed among veterans. This is a very serious mood disorder that causes symptoms that affect the way people think, feel and deal with daily activities, such as working, eating and sleeping. Most veterans end up dealing with the more several forms of depression, which is known as clinical or major depressive disorder. Unlike seasonal or minor depressive disorder, the symptoms associated with major depression lasts for at least two years, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Symptoms include persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, irritability, feelings of worthlessness, changes in appetite and suicidal ideations.

Cardiovascular Disease

Unfortunately, chemical warfare has become an increasingly popular method of attack in war. While these chemicals can be extremely effective when it comes to subduing the enemy, they often times leave the soldiers exposed to them with serious health conditions. Research and studies that were conducted by the American Heart Association showed that prolonged exposure to nerve agents like sarin gas can trigger convulsions and even death. If this powerful gas doesn’t kill the soldier, it could potentially lead to serious heart complications. Some of the most common heart conditions associated with this type of chemical exposure is enlarged left ventricle, heart rhythm abnormalities, and a reduction in the pumping strength of the heart.

Infectious Diseases

Have you ever wondered why all military personnel are given routine vaccinations before their departure dates? Well, this is because they are exposed to a variety of conditions and environments that contain infectious diseases. Many of these infections consist of bacterial infections like brucellosis, campylobacter jejuni, and Coxiellacurnetii.

In modern times most of the wars have taken place in the Middle East. Unfortunately, in the Middle East Leishmaniasis is one of the most common known infectious diseases. Leishmaniasis is an extremely common parasitic disease that usually results in the bite of a sand fly. When individuals are bitten by thus parasite they can display a variety of symptoms including weight loss, fevers, headaches, muscle pain, anemia, weakness, and enlargement of the spleen and liver. If left untreated this condition can have fatal consequences.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury is often times brought on by a sudden blow or jolt to the head. This usually disrupts the brain’s function and it has become such of a common condition that it is often times referred to as the signature wound of fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan regions. Blast exposure and other combat-related activities are what put soldiers at risk of this condition.


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