Study counts on hidden side effect of COVID for veterans: Feelings of personal growth

In a survey on US military veterans, a full 43.3 per cent of more than three times the number of those reporting COVID-related PTSD symptoms and five times the number of those who had contemplated suicide -- said that they have experienced positive psychological benefits during the pandemic. The same survey, published in JAMA Network Open, revealed another, startling finding that these veterans reported greater appreciation of life, closer interpersonal relationships, and an increased sense of personal strength. The U.S. military veteran population is known to have abnormally high rates of suicide, so health officials have been concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic might elevate the risk of psychiatric disorders, particularly among those suffering from post-traumatic stress and related disorders. The recent national study of more than 3,000 veterans participating in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study did find that 12.8 per cent reported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to COVID-19 and 8 per cent said they had contemplated suicide during the pandemic.