U.S. Army Asks the American Psychiatric Association to Take the ‘D’ Out of PTSD

Do you think this could increase enlistment? Lindsay Wise writes in the Houston Chronicle:

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.

Dr. John Oldham, who serves as senior vice president and chief of staff at the Houston-based Menninger Clinic, said he is looking into the possibility of updating the association’s diagnostic manual with a new subcategory for PTSD. The subcategory could be “combat post-traumatic stress injury,” or a similar term, he said.

“It would link it clearly to the impact and the injury of the combat situation and the deployment experience, rather than what people somewhat inaccurately but often assume, which is that you got it because you weren’t strong enough,” Oldham said.

Read more here.

25 Comments on "U.S. Army Asks the American Psychiatric Association to Take the ‘D’ Out of PTSD"

  1. DeepCough | Jan 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

    Y’know what, I think “battle fatigue” was a better term, because that’s what soldiers get when they go to war–extremely exhausted from fighting an enemy at all times.

    • gwen jackson | Jan 20, 2012 at 5:26 am |

      lol, “enemy”, that’s a nice euphemism for “people we attack without provocation”.

  2. truth hurts | Jan 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

    i thought ptsd was the alternate term. didn’t they used to call it shell shock?

  3. EyeoftheAxis | Jan 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

    Funny how words are used to try and soften a reality that seems to be growing harsher. Grandpa’s era had Battle Fatigue, = cranky and kind of nuts. Dad’s era had Shell Shocked, = mean drunks, that would sometimes smack the wife around. Now it’s PTSD, and really messed up things, like Park Rangers and Homeless getting killed, 18 suicides a day. The hell of war has not changed as much as the home they return to. Anyone else think that dropping the disorder part lends itself to rationalizing? Rationalizing the guy that is still ready to kill his perceived enemy at the drop of a hat ( even if it is you ) is living next door. A way to make believable, they need your support, not a GI bill or any sort of therapy, medications, or ANY government spending. Or ( in my paranoia ), realizing that the battle is now on the home front. That they paid good $ to train killers and trained killers they have.

    • Eric_D_Read | Jan 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

      Didn’t Shell Shock come before Battle Fatigue?

    • padraig hundt | Feb 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

      the ones we see that are affected and fucked up by ptsd are usually the ones who had, or developed, a conscience about what they were seeing or doing, or were just plain scared out of their wits, literally. They are the ones we see drunk and wife-beating. The ones who were not affected when they came/come back are now the hired killers of the security forces in whatever guise they be, i have met one or two and they will kill you for a dime. Trained killers they have in plenty…lot of work coming up for them by the look of things

  4. I have an idea: why not stop sending soldiers off to these bullshit wars in the first place?

    Aside from the positive PR it’d create with other countries, and the lives and limbs saved, think about all the fucking MONEY this country would save.

    As my fee for this wonderful suggestion, I’ll settle for a sum equal to one week’s worth of fighting in Afghanistan. And I will donate that fee to the VA to help those with PTSD.

    Don’t mention it; you’re welcome.

    • gwen jackson | Jan 20, 2012 at 5:23 am |

      but then, how would defense contractors line their pockets with billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars?

  5. Just dig up Patton and have him slap shell shocked soldiers around like he used to do.

    • Ah, yes! The moldy corpse of Patton and his Slapping Arm of “Snap Out Of It!”

      Guys like Patton often manage to avoid the swift and crushing kick to the crotch they so richly deserve.

      • Indeed. Had Patton not been such a fine tactician he would have been discharged. Eisenhower only kept him on because there was a war on.

        Eisenhower was the last true Republican.

  6. BlindWillie | Jan 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

    Don’t reach for the tin-foil hats just yet, there’s no ulterior motive here as the US military isn’t the only organisation trying to de-stigmatise mental illness.

    It’s quite a large movement worldwide aimed at trying to get people to seek treatment rather than keep it bottled up due to fear of being labelled a nutcase etc.

    • EyeoftheAxis | Jan 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

      Most crazy people will say,” I’m not crazy, your crazy ”. I think it would be better to de-stigmatize treatment for mental illness, and not mental illness itself.

  7. if it isn’t a disorder then the government are under no obligation to treat it, and as for the doctors’ endorsement? to be expected from ass-licking cowards

    • EyeoftheAxis | Jan 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

      So if it goes untreated & they are celebrated like small town Idaho firefighters after 9-11…
      I hope they don’t end up at the VFW drinking with a shit load of faux news fans when the hipster or the homeless walks past. Careful what you say around the Veteran he might not like it, because the war on terror is never ending. Not total tin foil hat shit, … just that serendipity can be a bitch if you end up on the wrong side of it.

    • Calypso_1 | Jan 20, 2012 at 1:59 am |

      ‘Injury’ is in fact an appropriate term for many cases of PTSD.  High levels of stress hormones can cause insult to the brain resulting in an atraumatic brain injury.  When you sprain a joint it is a soft tissue injury not a disorder.  When your body has an improper immune response to the inflammation that is a disorder – and that is the case with some post-traumatic stress.  There are predisposing factors for PTSD and screening methods are being developed   There are also pharmacological ways to mitigate the risk of developing PTSD if the person is treated early enough when exposed to high-stress environments.The military is not looking to deny treatment by changing the designation but seeking terminology that more accurately reflects the nature of the problem and is compatible with the culture of those that are affected by it.  The military is not looking to deny treatment by changing the designation but seeking terminology that more accurately reflects the nature of the problem and is compatible with the culture of those that are affected by it. 

      • padraig hundt | Feb 7, 2012 at 12:07 am |

        when policemen/women kill someone in the line of duty they are offered and in most cases are forced to take the services of counsellors. the logistics of providing such a service for soldiers in the same position would surely be unmanageable, but does the thinking involve the fact that a soldier is supposed to kill whereas a police officer’s is to ‘protect and serve’ and therefore the soldier would feel differently?

  8. The ‘I’m scared of getting killed all the time – disorder’

  9. Miss you Mr. Carlin!

  10. MoralDrift | Jan 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    Fucking stupid. Stop putting combat in front of words, it doesn’t make them any more bad-ass

  11. I can hear George Carlin in my mind, “Shell-Shock”!!  … battle-fatigue…  “Shell-Shock”!!… battle-fatigue…  Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder…  The continued p**sification of the american male.  Enjoy your breakfast of hormone balancing, you all wanted to play hardball with the nice people of the world, and now we can all eat shit courtesy of the ‘governmentenstein’ you created. Thank you, really

  12. Wait, so the army here is basically copping to messing up their soldiers by instilling in them the attitude that being sick from killing a bunch of people and watching your friends die is a weakness.

    We don’t want our killing machines to feel bad by realizing they’re human, and what they’ve done has effed them up.

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