Even drone pilots can suffer PTSD
According to new research, drone operators can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) despite not being on the battlefield.
About 1,000 United States Air Force drone operators took part in the study and researchers found that 4.3 percent experienced moderate to severe PTSD. By comparison, between 10 and 18 percent of military personnel returning from deployment are typically diagnosed with PTSD.
For the study, the drone operators completed questionnaires that listed 17 symptoms of PTSD, such as recurring nightmares, intrusive thoughts, trouble falling asleep and difficulty concentrating.
The researchers found that aside from occurring in a lower percentage of people, there was no real difference between the symptoms of PTSD in drone operators and other military personnel. They also determined that drone operators who had worked for 25 months or more and those working 51 hours or more a week were more likely to experience PTSD.
The researchers noted that if untreated, PTSD can lead to more severe problems.