A new study published on The National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website indicates that binge drinking and depression are more common among female military spouses or partners. This trend is because military families experience unique stressors that impact well-being among partners of military personnel. These unique challenges include frequent moving, sometimes to different states or even countries, and the stress caused by separation due to military service deployments.
The study collected data from 405 women in military families who had at least one child. This particular family unit represents one-third of the military population. The research used self-screening tools and looked at mental health, mainly focusing on depression and alcohol use among current and former female military spouses and partners. Then, they compared these findings to women in the general population. It found female military partners significantly more likely to have depression than their non-military female counterparts. 7% of military partners met the criteria for depression, compared to only 3% of women from the general population.
Furthermore, binge drinking is significantly higher among the military spouses or partners, with binge-drinking being twice as likely to occur among female military partners than women in the general population. Binge-drinking behaviors were significantly higher with military deployments lasting more than two months and causing familial separation. This negative behavior may reflect poor coping strategies among military partners who have trouble dealing with the long absences of their partner that is serving. Therefore, female military spouses or partners are at a higher risk for binge drinking and accompanying depression than women outside of the military community.
Military life can negatively impact the mental health and well-being of family members and, specifically, military partners. Options for support and accessibility to them is imperative to help this particular population. Binge-drinking is a central health issue for this community, and more research, along with social support, is essential for improving this emerging issue.
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Depression can lead to addiction due to the absence of coping skills, and binge-drinking is a dangerous behavior for anyone to develop. Among military families, this seems to be a worsening trend. It is crucial to understand that you are not alone, and there is hope for a better future for you and your family. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807 or visit us online.