More than 26 million Americans aged 18 and older are diagnosed with a mental illness every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Now, a new study shows that pregnant veterans may be at a higher risk of developing a mental condition.
New research shows that female veterans who become pregnant may be at a higher risk of developing a mental illness, according to Health Canal, a health news site. Hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy may trigger an underlying mental condition, such as PTSD, according to researchers.
Expert Dr. Kristin Mattocks recently conducted a study of more than 43,000 women veterans who participated in warfare in Afghanistan or Iraq between 2001 and 2008. The results hinted that changes that occur during pregnancy may heighten the chances of individuals developing a mental disorder, and Mattocks said more research needs to be conducted to learn more about the connection.
Approximately 7 million people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) annually, and many of them are soldiers who have experienced combat situations overseas. Rehabilitation facilities may be able to help veterans and their families cope with PTSD over time.