Drone Pilots Get Stress Disorders Too

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Drone pilots do their work from a remote location, but that doesn’t keep them out of harm’s way. New research shows they suffer from many of the same kinds of stress disorders as those in combat. Anthony explains why.

Read More:

“Why Flying A Drone Is Just As Stressful As Flying A Bomber”

“A study of U.S. Air Force drone operators has found they experience post-traumatic stress and other mental-health troubles at the same rate as pilots who are actually flying aircraft in war zones.”

“Drone Pilots Are Found to Get Stress Disorders Much as Those in Combat Do”

“In the first study of its kind, researchers with the Defense Departmenthave found that pilots of drone aircraft experience mental health problems like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress at the same rate as pilots of manned aircraft who are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.”

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50 comments

Caelo Mius March 21, 2013 - 8:40 AM

Simply war is inexplicable means to any end. The means of war are not relevant. I do not believe that us policing of international affairs truly creates a more peaceful coexistence among people. You may argue that without the threat of war nation states would be unable to sustain there borders or whatever other political feature that the war "defends". I believe that the means of policing a state are very different to war. Ultimately defense and offence are different.

ProductionsHead March 30, 2013 - 11:47 PM

Black ops 2?

What the fuck are you talking about?

Drathlan April 3, 2013 - 1:07 AM

The single player of Black Ops 2 involves a dude in 2025 hacking the drone armies of the world. It's kind of scary when you look at how often armed drones get hacked today, and in the "future" of Black Ops 2 there are thousands of them that get turned against their own countries. It's an interesting premise if only because that looks like the direction war is going right now, it wont be that long before we see the armed robot dogs that DARPA developed in combat. What if they got hacked?

ProductionsHead April 4, 2013 - 5:32 AM

All hell would break loose.

Keovar April 5, 2013 - 10:45 AM

Damn… this is Ender's Game come to life.

BlackVirtue April 30, 2013 - 4:48 PM

This situation is easier than they try to make it look.

Government organizations disguise offense as defense, while all they should do is to actually organize defense instead of offense.

Alman556 May 9, 2013 - 3:34 AM

Fact is, War never changes.

ok May 9, 2013 - 7:18 AM

Your profile picture…

zsetrydtyguklvhi May 9, 2013 - 10:52 PM

pro drone but against further development of tech for war there is enough of that. infact there is too much hey america why not dismantal all of your nukes are you ever really planing on using another one.

Nocturnus Schwartstein May 10, 2013 - 4:31 AM

Imagine removing the operator from the equation. Wonder how that'd turn out?

engia25 May 23, 2013 - 1:41 AM

I wish I found this before I made my essay on ethical issues of robots at war.

you guys rock btw

jayvis123111 May 27, 2013 - 8:29 AM

It would be much easier is if we as a society were to say… Frown on threats of any kind and if we were to go "to war" then it would be a safe environment where there wouldn't have to be death. the only way we could enforce this although would probably be to either exclude said country from trade and starving them or being indecent human beings in another, maybe using sore sort of sonic ow-e ray on a satellite and blasting it on a country for days? But that's just my huge amount of pennies.

Brandon Rodgers June 7, 2013 - 2:24 AM

As a UAV pilot myself I'd say that there is hardship on a pilot. Air Force gets to go home after their day at work, but for US Army, even UAV pilots are deployed and they deal with the same things, but just don't get to go home when on deployment. I'm against domestic use of drones that would violate Posse Comitatus although it looks like we're screaming that way.

Caleb Romo June 10, 2013 - 8:13 PM

DBSpy1,
sorry man but i got to say, there is no good reason to tell someone to join the Army just because they don't like armed conflict. That is just non-since. Anthony I am a Iraq war vet, and I actually am glad for people like you who try and find different way to deal with hostile conflict then to sacrifice our on just for some guys political agenda. If we had Drone in the beginning of the war maybe some of my buddies would still be here today.

Caleb Romo June 10, 2013 - 8:20 PM

With that said though, when using drone we don't have the risk of our life when dealing with hostiles, so it would be easy'er just to do a show of force and accurate supply strikes with out the cost of life even on the hostiles side of the conflict. To show people we have the strength to defend our self and the wisdom to not become that which we are fighting.

Máté B June 11, 2013 - 10:07 PM

We can talk about how bad all that is, but the sad thing is, it doesn't matter, nothing will change.

Naded Plays June 14, 2013 - 4:14 AM

Dead bodies can't testify themselves XD

DBSpy1 June 14, 2013 - 11:03 PM

Read it all again, you don't understand it,and I lost friends in Nam so I'm pro drones if their needs to be damn war in the first place.

simon June 18, 2013 - 2:05 AM

go out on the frontline yourself. adn say that again

Fajar Suryantoro June 18, 2013 - 5:00 AM

I will, loser

AzureDragonVortex June 22, 2013 - 7:34 AM

I LUV drones I might pilot or control one

Alexander Lyndon June 23, 2013 - 11:20 AM

I like the drones. they've helped a lot. even if it has its Negative sides. everything does. nothing is ever fantasy pure rainbows n stuff. lol.

lordsheen world of tanks June 26, 2013 - 6:25 AM

His foreign country probably doesn't have an army

Wei Lian August 15, 2013 - 4:19 AM

I like drones and I think those that are complaining about the darker side affects are getting the same sort of affects as those that are in combat and being shot at (those that have to confirm the kill). I watched those live feeds for hours and hours a day. It is not nearly as bad as they are making it sound, it is like everything else in war and peace. I think the Drones do a lot of good, and have saved a lot of lives. The thing people should complain is the hours of boredom.

TheSparksterMonster August 30, 2013 - 8:16 AM

Guns are cowardly too, but we have no choice but to use them because our enemies do.

A Z September 20, 2013 - 2:26 AM

When the enemy develops drones, we will fight drone exclusive wars with little to no humans.

Pharozos September 23, 2013 - 6:37 AM

Drones stress military pilots out because they see the deaths they cause …. Strange.

Chaosium October 23, 2013 - 3:45 AM

this is the type of job you give to someone like me who feels nothing for human life and values peace and quiet of the ramblings of the idiotic.

SangoProductions213 November 1, 2013 - 3:08 AM

I thought it said "Drones Get Stress Disorders Too." lol. Was like "Holy cow, it IS Skynet!"

SangoProductions213 November 1, 2013 - 3:12 AM

reread the original response. He says it's for chickens, which implies that "no true man" would do it. Just saying that he didn't like armed conflicts wouldn't have evoked any response. But that's not what trolls want.

I am November 11, 2013 - 4:21 PM

I have no sympathy for a drone pilots plight. They perform an abhorrent job.

nathan potvin November 14, 2013 - 7:13 AM

It is mostly irrelevant weather or not a drone pilot is affected by their actions.  The fact that no one dies from the attackers side will prevent an emotional reaction from them.  Being that drones use bombs, there will be many more victims than just the intentional ones no matter how accurate the bombs are.  When the politicians behind the war hear no casualties from their military they are likely to become desensitized to the victims of the attack.  This will create far more warmongering politicians along with the society that follow them.  And in the future it is unlikely that drones will be used much on both sides because of the ever so increasing rates of purely one sided wars.  Major world powers are devastating smaller powers with little thought to the consequences and actual necessity for the violence.

TheShiphoo January 12, 2014 - 5:45 PM

I think it's cheating ):

Explosive Mudd Butt January 13, 2014 - 10:00 PM

Nobody gives a fuck about drone pilots pussy ass feelings….grow some balls they know what they signed up for & it's not Infantry. On a side note: How does it feel to be a Nazi everybody! :D

mr977ism January 16, 2014 - 8:53 AM

I think that killing someone should not be taken lightly, and the stress that it causes just proves that you are a human, is it really bad to make it harder to kill others?

Altered Reality Cosplay March 31, 2014 - 3:37 AM

Why not do what Ghost Recon did: Mainly human troops, but supported by drones. That way they would still have that human feeling in the battle but its just helped out by drones

Karimi Nyoki November 17, 2014 - 11:29 AM

hey, sign me up for drone pilot! i've played enough gta and saints row to not give a flying fuck

Pepins Spot February 20, 2015 - 3:58 AM

It is necessary just as fighter pilots are. It is the next step in warfare technology.  All that can be done is extensive psychological testing to chose people with the temperament best suited for the job.  Also, create a support system of sorts.

kingned February 20, 2015 - 7:36 AM

dang humanity :(

joe bill February 20, 2015 - 8:10 AM

Anti drone.

iamtristladin February 20, 2015 - 1:45 PM

Omg I haven't seen Anthony in sooooooo long I wish he was back

Mike Valeo February 20, 2015 - 2:04 PM

necessary evil, because as much as we want to say so, think so, and do so – there is no such thing as actual prolonged peace or any sort of cease and desist in conflict.  Many ideologies have rudimentary logic where conflict is inevitable, be they religious, philosophical,, or political – and they are never going away.  People will aspire but also plot, plan, scheme, and contrive ideas and plans in the hopes of exploiting and taking an advantage of the weak – and death will ensue.  And to defend ourselves, we are going to have to rely on the military industrial complex and this kind of new technology being utilized in the war field.

Tyler Durden February 20, 2015 - 8:48 PM

@DNews This guy disappeared from Earth.

Necrikus February 26, 2015 - 8:38 AM

I'm pro-Drone use. I would much rather have our people remotely pilot machine than to put themselves into a battlefield or other dangerous area or situation. However nothing is perfect. Real life is not so simple as to always have clearly superior options; new things bring new situations and problems and clinging onto the old does so as well. All we can do is adapt as new situations and problems present themselves. 

DaScribbler March 10, 2015 - 5:32 AM

I had a psychology proffesor last semester named Anthony Carboni. 

Grady Brundell August 15, 2015 - 1:52 AM

the lesser of the to evils

R.M. Cortez February 22, 2016 - 4:53 AM

I wouldn't mind being a drone pilot.

United Federation of KFC February 24, 2016 - 2:36 AM

I'd rather have drones than nukes. Just saying….

Connor Moore October 23, 2016 - 5:25 AM

Q: What's the difference between a Pakistani school and a Taliban outpost?
A: I don't know; I just fly the drone!

kf160k160 February 9, 2018 - 3:31 PM

I think the most stress should be watching the hostile is doing something inhumane but your order not to engage any action.