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Bundeswehr trauma cases spike

DDP/DPA/The Local · 28 Apr 2010, 08:34

Published: 28 Apr 2010 08:34 GMT+02:00

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In 2007, there were 145 soldiers who reported having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they returned from the increasingly dangerous NATO mission, leader of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Bundeswehr hospital in Berlin Peter Zimmermann told daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

The following year numbers increased to 245, and in 2009 jumped dramatically to 466 cases, he told the paper.

More insurgent attacks and casualties among German troops seems to be causing more anxiety for soldiers, he said.

“That probably increases the number of trauma cases. When someone sees their comrade die, it has a deeper affect that when he sees a comrade ‘only’ injured,” he said. “As long as we are involved in combat missions this problem will accompany us. And when the missions get more intense, the problem will increase.”

And when soldiers come home they need more support from German society, Zimmermann insisted.

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“I constantly hear soldiers who say, ‘We are coming home and no one is interested in us.’ The more a society stands behind its soldiers, the better they do – psychologically too,” Zimmermann said.

Many young people join the military because they are idealistic and want to serve their country, the doctor said, adding that Germans should value this more.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:11 April 28, 2010 by Actuality
just imagine for a second, for our kids, for ourselves, for our loved ones: war is over forever, and we finally embrace a true brotherhood of mankind.

the first step to making something real is imagining it.
12:03 April 28, 2010 by turbog
I usually do not leave any comment but I am compelled to say something here. Please do not expect to have any real peace in this world as real peace will not be available regardless of how hard you are imagining. Look at the world history, there are less than 1000 years of true peace time and the rest are filled with war and conflict. You need to be realistic since you are living in a real world. Professional warrior is one of the oldest profession and every warrior pays the price phicially and emotionally for their fellow man.

They need our support!! Take it from a professional soldier who is still on active duty after 30 years.
15:31 April 28, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
My heart bleeds for these men. I wish we did more for them. They are our neighbors, our children, brothers, fathers, and confidants; and most of all, they chose of their own free will to be our warriors. We need to be there for them when they need our help. It's not like they aren't taken care of financially or medically, but you would be surprised how much little things can do. Maybe a parade now and then, or a letter here and there, just to let them know that they have our support. It gets lonely in the middle of the night, hunched over in a machine gun nest.
16:11 April 28, 2010 by William Thirteen
indeed, war casts long shadows.
16:57 April 28, 2010 by wmm208
But "burnout" and "stress haben" is at an all time high back in Germany in the workplace. Perhaps returning to Germany is not the answer....
16:47 April 30, 2010 by ErnestPayne
Send the bills to the Americans. Its their fault.
19:38 April 30, 2010 by amperrymd
Right. It's our fault that Afghanistan was used as a staging area to breed killers that destroyed the world trade center and brutally killed more than 3000 innocent people. Instead, how about sending the bill to all those countries who depend on the American military to protect them from the world's marauders.
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