Taking the ‘D’ Out of P.T.S.D.

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Ever since Battleland raised this issue with then-top-Army doc Lieut. General Peter Schoomaker four years ago, there’s been a whirring debate over changing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post-Traumatic Stress, or some other less-stigmatizing label. The logic is pretty simple: in the nooks and crannies of our brains where bad thoughts live, no one likes to concede I have a disorder. Especially when perhaps one in five troops deployed to war zones come home with some elements of it.

Over lunch with some VA pals last week, the topic came up again. One noted that a problem with changing the name is that there isn’t a medical diagnosis for PTS, which would complicate troops’ efforts to get disability pay for it. That may be about to change, according to Lindsay Wise, writing in the Houston Chronicle over the weekend:

The president of the American Psychiatric Association says he is “very open” to a request from the Army to come up with an alternative name for post-traumatic stress disorder so that troops returning from combat will feel less stigmatized and more encouraged to seek treatment.

That’s one small step…in the right direction.