Friday, August 20, 2010

USA Today: Hundreds of soldiers with PTSD given diagnosis of "personality disorder"

I am speechless at the way our warriors are treated.

Excerpt from USA Today: Hundreds of Soldiers with PTSD incorrectly dismissed

Unlike PTSD, which the Army regards as a treatable mental disability caused by the acute stresses of war, the military designation of a personality disorder can have devastating consequences for soldiers.

Defined as a "deeply ingrained maladaptive pattern of behavior," a personality disorder is considered a "pre-existing condition" that relieves the military of its duty to pay for the person's health care or combat-related disability pay.

According to figures provided by the Army, the service discharged about a 1,000 soldiers a year from 2005 to 2007 for having a personality disorder.

But after an article in The Nation magazine exposed the practice, the Defense Department changed its policy and began requiring a top-level review of each case to ensure post-traumatic stress or a brain injury wasn't the underlying cause.

After that, the annual number of personality disorder cases dropped by 75%. Only 260 soldiers were discharged on those grounds in 2009.

At the same time, the number of post-traumatic stress disorder cases has soared. By 2008, more than 14,000 soldiers had been diagnosed with PTSD — twice as many as two years before.

The article continues with one soldiers story...

Luther was seven months into his deployment as a reconnaissance scout in Iraq's violent Sunni Triangle in 2007 when he says a mortar shell slammed him to the ground. He later complained of stabbing eye pain and crippling migraines, but was told by a military doctor that he was faking his symptoms to avoid combat duty.

Luther says that he was confined for a month in a 6-by-8 foot room without treatment. At one point, Luther acknowledges, he snapped — biting a guard and spitting in the face of a military chaplain.

He "snapped".

After a month of confinement following being dismissed as "faking" his physical pain.

Go figure.

Read the entire article here: Hundreds of soldiers with PTSD incorrectly dismissed



Anonymous said...

Ughh... Initially, I was 'misdiagnosed' too. I guess we're not the only ones who are in avoidance.


Susan said...

This is one more example of how the "mental health" "professionals" really don't have a clue as to how to help us. In my own experience - when the "biological" theory and pills didn't "fix" me - this is when the "personality disorders" were doled out....I am here as evidence that none of these "diagnosis" are lifetime sentences any longer and all of these issues can be overcome. "Trauma informed care" must be the new standard I believe and hope for.

Anonymous said...

And yes, usually it's women who are misdiagnosed.


That's all I can say to that profession; they make me so ANGRY.

Susan said...

I so hear you Christine.

And yes - women take the biggest hit although I have seen men boxed up like this as well - typically the ones who "act in" more than those who "act out" with violence. Those guys it seems populate the prison system more than the Mh system it seems.

Thing is - most of those who end up in prison - both men and women - have histories of child abuse.