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No Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Published on May 16th, 2008

This is not a post about a nursing home case.  But it is interesting.  I was emailed a blurb about an article on how the VA is directing their staff (presumably doctors) to avoid diagnosing patients with Post Traumatic Stress disorder. 

The email was titled "suggestion" – and it "suggested" diagnosing patients with a diagnosis which would provide lower disability payments.  Now, of course, the email doesn’t come out and say that – it does, however, come out and say that they should consider a diagnosis of "Adjustment disorder R/O PTSD" – Adjustment disorder certainly sounds less expensive. 

I think all of us have had or will have adjustment disorder ~ adjusting to a new job, adjusting to a new marriage, adjusting to a new divorce, adjusting to a new baby, adjusting to a new house . . . . This is a far cry different from what some of our Soldiers returning home from war experience.  Adjustment disorder doesn’t seem to accurately cover it.

 

I recall after the first Gulf War, one of my close friends who was a Marine on the ground in Kuwait mercifully came home in one piece – and on the 4th of July, he was hiding behind the couch and under the table from the sounds of the firewords in the neighborhood – that sounds like a little more than adjustment disorder to me.

Our government wants us to support our troops and support this war . . . I think this sort of thing suggests that once they come home, the sentiment is a little different.  I do support our troops, and I pray that they come home in one piece, and that when they do, our government will continue to support them – That includes proper diagnosis and treatment.

 

Joe Pioletti
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