Several studies have found depression among those who serve in the army owing to stress, irregular working hours etc. But a recent study has revealed that the spouses of the military personnel are not spared of these either. According to an ANI report, depression and binge-drinking are more common among the female partners that women outside the military community.

The research at the King’s College, London, was conducted on the spouses of UK military personnel. Data from 405 women in military families with at least one child were collected for the research.

The study was published in the ‘European Journal of Psychotraumatology’.

The researches, as has been reported, did not depend on psychiatrists to diagnose depression. Drinking behaviours were recorded through a self-reported screening tool.

The report says, about 7 per cent of military partners met criteria for probable depression, compared to 3 per cent of women from the general population.

As far as binge-drinking is concerned, about 9.7 per cent of military partners reported episodes of weekly, daily or almost daily binge-drinking, compared to 8.9 per cent from the general population.

One interesting finding of the study is that military spouses reported drinking less frequently than women in general. But bings-drinking is quite higher among military partners — especially when the families are separated for more than two months due to deployment.

What do the findings reveal?

Binge-drinking reveals poor coping strategies. The families face various challenges as they have to change their locations frequently.

Lead researcher Dr Rachael Gribble said to ANI, “While the majority of families cope well with the added pressures of military life, the additional challenges faced by military families may explain the additional mental health needs and higher rates of binge-drinking we found among military partners. More research is needed to help find out more about what contributes to depression and problematic drinking in this population.”