The Washington Post reports that an official urged staff to cut back on PTSD diagnoses.
A psychologist who helps lead the post-traumatic stress disorder program at a medical facility for veterans in Texas told staff members to refrain from diagnosing PTSD because so many veterans were seeking government disability payments for the condition.
“Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I’d like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out,” Norma Perez wrote in a March 20 e-mail to mental-health specialists and social workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Center in Temple, Tex. Instead, she recommended that they “consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder.”
For some time I have been working on an in depth article about PTSD. Though not a condition limited to combat veterans, anyone can suffer from it, the focus will be on our veterans. This story is very discouraging because we are not ‘supporting our troops’. We under fund veterans benefits and John McCain recently balked at a new GI Bill because if the educational benefits were too attractive it might discourage re-enlistment. Spoken like a true REMF (rear echelon mother-f@%ker).
America is not supporting its troops and denying treatment for PTSD is wrong. Many people are not aware but the damage done by PTSD is physiological. You can see PTSD on a brain scan. High levels of stress hormones for an extended period of time cause a shrinkage of the hippocampi crucial to short term memory and spatial navigation. This damage, and the hippocampus is by no means the only thing effected in the brain, is IRREVERSIBLE!
Therapy can help PTSD sufferers learn to reroute their brain functions but it is a long hard slog and without treatment is not likely to occur. If you really support our troops then please educate yourself on this matter and pressure Congress to do the right thing. With veterans committing suicide at the rate of 120 per week and one in four homeless being veterans, their lives depend upon it.