Military Wives Are More Likely To Suffer From Mental Illness and Alcohol Abuse

Jennifer Johnson spoke to The San Diego Union-Tribune because she wanted to spare other military spouses from what happened to her — dabbling in drugs that led to addiction, isolation and depression.

A study released on the same day showed that Johnson is far from alone in her experiences. The report from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that military wives are more likely than their civilian peers to abuse prescription medications meant to treat anxiety, attention deficit disorder, PTSD and other psychological problems.

They’re also more likely than other married women to suffer from mental illness, consume liquor and binge drink, according to the analysis.

Over the decades, there has been limited research on substance abuse and mental health issues among military spouses. The researchers estimated that more than 29 percent of the nation’s 910,000 military wives ages 18 to 49 suffered mental illness within the past year and that about 23 percent received treatment for their problems. Nearly 20 percent of women married to civilians suffered from mental illness last year and 17 percent got help for it, the survey indicated.

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Adam Wahlberg

Founder of Think Piece Publishing