PTSD Paradox: Fighting Stigma on Two Fronts

Image courtesy of the VA Research on PTSD.

The paradox of PTSD for military personnel: “The outside world assumes vets are broken. Yet while they are in the military, they feel they are under pressure to hide their problems,” according to a National Public Radio story on the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Raising Awareness

The public needs to become better educated on PTSD to prevent furthering its stigma. One place to start is with Paul Rieckhoff, founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and a column in the Huffington Post where he debunks misinformation surrounding Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ case.

Dispelling Assumptions

“There’s no good data linking PTSD to acts of extreme violence like the kinds that have been in the news,” Lisa Jaycox, behavioral scientist at Rand Corporation, told NPR.

The case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier charged with killing 17 Afghan villagers, has led the Army to review how troops are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs say they have invested heavily in the treatment of PTSD to deal with a growing caseload.

But the stigma associated with the disorder continues to complicate efforts to treat it. It has also fueled serious misconceptions about its effects — such as the notion that PTSD causes acts of extreme violence.

You can read the full NPR story and listen to it HERE.

One Response

  1. Stigma is not only a “mental proprety” of civil society, but all men, warriors included, and so it is difficult abbat it.
    Endoubtly violent scenes may determine variations on thoughts, but this is not also on civil society, where malavitous wars are present? This signify, stigma by stigma, that this contest modify or determine loss of mind, thoughts capacity, sentiments? I thinks not.
    it is possible that subjects more sensible may be objects of modifications, but this is an esception that confirm that men are able to discern, to thought, to think, to decide.
    Warriors who suffer of PTSD are warriors who have a charge of ten years of war and this long period may determine problems of more entity, but they also know they have thought for their loved ones, their country, the people whose are part.
    Buddies, remembe you are men subjected to stress, but ever men able to know that is good and right respect that is negative.
    Remembe that your experience has signed you, but also has done you more resilience, a resilience due to life experience and real situations.
    Be sure you are not alone and make not alone you by other buddies like you. You are a corp, as we are a part of a civil contest. Togheter we are society. Claudio Alpaca

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