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Combat Stress charity treating more Afghan veterans

Mental health charity Combat Stress has 662 Afghanistan veterans in its care and has been treating a rising number of soldiers who fought there.

The number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health support has climbed by 57 per cent Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Commodore Andrew Cameron, the charity's chief executive, said: "We cannot allow the ex-service men and women who suffer from the invisible injuries of war to go unnoticed and untreated.

"This is an unnecessary drain on society and our veterans and families deserve better."

'57% rise' in war veterans seeking mental health support

The number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health support has climbed according to new figures.

Some 358 ex-military personnel sought help from mental health charity Combat Stress last year, compared with 228 in 2012, meaning a 57% rise in cases.

Some 358 ex-military personnel sought help from mental health charity Combat Stress last year. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive

The charity's chief executive, Commodore Andrew Cameron, warned that the numbers are likely to increase over the coming years and they face "a real challenge" in continuing treatment for those who need it.

He said: "We are planning for services at or above the current level for at least the next five years, and we do not expect to see demand for support tail-off in the near future."

"A small yet significant number of veterans who serve in the armed forces each year continue to relive the horrors they experienced on the front line. Day in, day out, they battle these hidden psychological wounds, often tearing families apart in the process," he said.

Commodore Cameron said one fifth of all veterans are likely to suffer from mental illness.

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New technique could help you 'control your dreams'

Nighttime dreams in which you show up at work naked, encounter an ax-wielding psychopath or experience other tribulations may become a thing of the past thanks to a discovery reported on Sunday.

The lu Credit: J.M. Guyon - Copyright 2014/Candybox Images

Applying electrical currents to the brain, according to a study published online in Nature Neuroscience, induces "lucid dreaming," in which the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming and can often gain control of the ongoing plot.

The technique might help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who often have terrifying dreams in which they re-play the traumatic experience.

"By learning how to control the dream and distance oneself from the dream," Voss said, PTSD patients could reduce the emotional impact and begin to recover.

But Voss does not foresee a commercial market in lucid-dreaming machines in the near future.

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