In 2019, 3.1 million military veterans (15.3%) had a mental health condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety. In 883,000 of these veterans, the mental disorder was considered serious. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about 1 in 8 to 1 in 10 veterans have major depression requiring treatment.
Rates of mental illness among veterans vary by war. Between 37 and 50% Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Studies have shown that Vietnam veterans are twice as likely to present with depression and anxiety as World War II or Korean War veterans.
In veterans, mental health disorders are strongly associated with substance use as well as other issues including reintegration stress, sleep problems, traumatic brain injury and domestic violence.