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August 14, 1981

The Psychological Problems of Vietnam Veterans

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Medical Center and the Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

JAMA. 1981;246(7):781-782. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320070063031

ALMOST a decade after the end of the longest war in US history, there are indications that our society is becoming aware of the emotional conflicts of the Vietnam combat veteran.1 Current releases by the cinema, television, and the popular press have helped us view the Vietnam serviceman in a more empathetic light. With researchers2,3 estimating that as many as 1.5 million Vietnam combat veterans may be suffering from a stress disorder, the renewed interest in the Vietnam veteran will result in friends and relatives of servicemen questioning physicians about the diagnosis and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Problems of the Vietnam Veteran  Problems of the Vietnam veteran are immense and continue to escalate. Of the 2,769,000 men who served in Vietnam, 57,002 were killed, 303,704 were wounded (Center Magazine, July-August 1979, pp 27-36), and 512,000 Vietnam-era veterans have sustained some kind of medical disability rating.4 It