Close to 25 percent of South Korea's military conscripts suffer from depression, some of them pushed to their limits from insults and isolated environments at barracks, a study showed Sunday.
The study conducted in 2012 by Kim Sun-young, a nursing major at Seoul National University graduate school, showed that nearly 25 percent of the 288 conscripts she surveyed were suffering from depression, while 17.4 percent complained of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Frequent derogatory insults and difficulties in reporting or revealing superiors' bullying were cited as the main reasons why conscripts often fall into depression, according to the paper.
The study results gained weight after the country's military, which runs under mandatory conscription, deals with the aftermath of the death of a 23-year-old private first class who died after weeks of beatings and abuse by his superiors.
Three conscripts recently killed themselves after complaining of insults. A sergeant who was bullied went on a shooting rampage at another front-line guard post in June.
The study emphasized the importance of support from management-level officers as well as increased feelings of self-efficacy.
"The survey showed correlation between psychological health and accidents inside the military ... and what is needed is treating conscripts with respect," it said. (Yonhap)