Military psychiatry covers special aspects of psychiatry and mental disorders within the military context. The aim of military psychiatry is to keep as many serving personnel as possible fit for duty and to treat those disabled by psychiatric conditions. Military psychiatry encompasses counseling individuals and families on a variety of life issues, often from the standpoint of life strategy counseling, as well as counseling for mental health issues, substance abuse prevention and substance abuse treatment; and where called for, medical treatment for biologically based mental illness, among other elements.
A military psychiatrist is a psychiatrist — whether uniformed officer or civilian consultant — specializing in the treatment of military personnel and military family members suffering from mental disorders that occur within the statistical norm for any population, as well as those disorders consequent to warfare and also stresses associated with military life.
Psychiatric disorders have been related to the greatest number of casualties and discharges in several wars. Such conditions typically have somatic manifestations. On-site, emergency psychiatric treatment reduces the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity within the military context.
Notable military psychiatrists
- Temple, M. & Greenberg, N. (2002). Military psychiatry. British Medical Journal Career Focus, 324, S161a.
- Walter Reed Army Institute of Research-Psychiatry and Neuroscience. (2006, August 16). Department of Military Psychiatry. Retrieved November 03, 2007, from http://www.wrair-psych.org/wrair_domp.htm
- Menninger, William Claire (1967). A psychiatrist for a troubled world: selected papers. Viking Press. p. 495. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Ellard, J. (2000) Principles of military psychiatry. Journal of the Australian Defence Health Services, 1, 81-84.
- Jones, Franklin D., et al. (eds), Military Psychiatry: Preparing in Peace for War (1994; Series: Textbook of Military Medicine) - Explores various mental health issues that may occur in the military during peacetime: 331 p.; ill.
- Jones, Franklin D., et al. (eds), War Psychiatry (1995; Series: Textbook of Military Medicine) - Discusses the evolution of the concept of combat stress reaction, the delivery of mental health care on the various battlefields soldiers are likely to experience, and the psychological consequences of having endured the intensity and lethality of modern combat: 515 p.; ill.
- Shephard, Ben, A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century (2000)