Tuesday, August 16, 2005

PTSD on the Increase--Is Anyone Listening?

At the same time we are reading reports of the huge increase of combat related PTSD with those coming back from Iraq, the Pentagon and the Veterans Adminstration are seeking to eliminate 72,000 disabled veterans from from their service connected disability payments: The US government is reviewing 72,000 cases in which veterans have been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming that misdiagnosis and fraud have inflated the numbers. Outraged vets say the plan is a callous attempt to cut the costs of an increasingly expensive war. (Read here) This is how Bush/Cheney & Co., Inc honor and support the troops--by throwing us away once we are all used up.--Jack

PTSD Survey Shows Increase
PTSD Survey Shows Increase
Recent surveys of returning Iraq and Afghan units show that about 20 percent of troops who have returned from combat deployments meet the clinical criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety. Most veterans will experience readjustment challenges once home and up to 50 percent can benefit from on-base counseling and medical resources, the VA or at one of 206 Vet Centers countrywide. For veterans clinically diagnosed with PTSD -- 15 to 18 percent of troops surveyed three to 12 months after their deployments -- specific medical intervention is necessary. PTSD is a psychological condition where the mind and body are reacting to specific stressors experienced in combat. Rates for PTSD were highest among units that served deployments of 12 months or more and had more exposure to combat. And while rates were much lower for troops returning from Afghanistan than Iraq -- with 6 percent of Operation Enduring Freedom veterans surveyed PTSD symptoms -- PTSD remains prevalent in these units as well. If you or someone you know is exhibiting post-deployment readjustment or PTSD symptoms -- sleeplessness, nightmares, excessive startle and hyperactivity, anxiety, mood and anger swings, significant behavioral changes -- help is available. Contact 911 if the behavior becomes reckless or dangerous -- or -- call 1-800-827-1000 for the nearest VA, Vet Center, VA Hospital Post-Deployment Clinic or state-funded contracted providers in your area.

For more articles on PTSD, see

VVA's Guide on PTSD: http://www.vva.org/benefits/ptsd.htm


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