Optimal Professional Development Series: Dr. Heidi Golding Discusses the Prevalence of PTSD in the Military

Date: March 25, 2010
Location: College Park, MD

Dr. Heidi Golding, principal analyst in the National Security Division at the Congressional Budget Office, highlighted her evaluations of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in an Optimal Solutions Group’s Professional Development Series Brown Bag Lunch.

Dr. Golding’s presentation, “The Prevalence of PTSD in the Military,” revealed diagnosis is typically associated with head injuries and gunshot wounds but sometimes results from other unidentified conditions. Although people with PTSD often go untreated and display apparently normal function, sometimes medical treatment is necessary to regain normal function.

Currently, there are no definitive statistics detailing the number of veterans and service members impaired by PTSD who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Dr. Golding explained that several factors contribute to the difficulties of uncovering and compiling reliable data on affected service members, including unrepresented study samples. Although the statistics may not yet be clear, the range and effects of this issue have significant budget and policy implications, especially concerning healthcare resources.

Dr. Golding contributed to the article, “Understanding recent estimates of PTSD and TBI from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom” in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development.