America's Medicated Army

Thousands of troops are being given antidepressant drugs to deal with battle field stress. A TIME investigation reveals combat's heavy toll on their mental health — and why the military's efforts to treat it may be making the problem worse

Illustration by Lon Tweeten and D.W. Pine for TIME

Seven months after Sergeant Christopher LeJeune started scouting Baghdad's dangerous roads — acting as bait to lure insurgents into the open so his Army unit could kill them — he found himself growing increasingly despondent. "We'd been doing some heavy missions, and things were starting to bother me," LeJeune says. His unit had been protecting Iraqi police stations targeted by rocket-propelled grenades, hunting down mortars hidden in dark Baghdad basements and cleaning up its own messes. He recalls the order his unit got after a nighttime firefight to roll back out and collect the enemy dead. When LeJeune and...