Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Treating the trauma of war – fairly | csmonitor.com

Treating the trauma of war – fairly | csmonitor.com: "Bennington, Vt. - The high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers returning from Iraq is one of the many 'inconvenient truths' of this war. Inconvenient largely because it is costly: The most effective and humane means of treating PTSD are time-intensive and long-term.

The military, however, has changed the terms and given many thousands of enlisted men and women a new diagnosis: 'personality disorder.' While the government would be obliged to care for veterans suffering from combat-related trauma, a personality disorder – defined as an ingrained, maladaptive way of orienting oneself to the world – predates a soldier's tour of duty (read: preexisting condition). This absolves Uncle Sam of any responsibility for the person's mental suffering."

I joined back in the 80s. Back then, the understanding was: "Go where we send you, do what your country needs done and your country will take care of the rest." This is still partly true. You still go where you are sent, and you still do what needs done but the country does not take care of the rest.

It is my hope that one day we have a government that deserves the loyalty of the young men and women that do its dirty work.

Hopefully, the Veterans Administration is overturning these diagnoses.

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