A Sense of Urgency

| November 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Due largely to the large number of soldiers who suffer from combat stress and the difficulty of treating PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSS – Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) has become one of the most urgent issues facing the military medical establishment.

Known as “shell shock” in earlier wars, PTSD became better known following the Viet Nam war as thousands of vets returned to the USA but never really came home. Uncontrollable and debilitating anxiety obstructed careers, destroyed families, and paralyzed nearly every effort to heal and get on with living.

Initially, an uninformed public callously said “It’s all in your head” and expected vets struggling with PTSD to “deal with it,” but it was not that simple. Thousands of strong, intelligent, brave, competent men became jobless and homeless because they could not just “get over it.”

The current situation is exacerbated by budgets, politics, difficulty in diagnosis, and other factors. For example, because PTSD has often proven “uncurable,” soldiers are reluctant to get checked out since a diagnosis could seriously impede their future military career. The armed forces also increase their financial liability because a PTSD diagnosis may mean a lifetime of counseling expenses.

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