By: ATSI Admin
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George W. Bush Wants to Drop the “D” In PTSD
Former President George W. Bush is calling on the medical community to drop the “D” from “PTSD.” According to the Marine Corps Times, Bush joins retired Army Gen. Pete Chiarelli and veterans’ groups who are in favor of dubbing PTSD an injury rather than a psychological disorder. In turn, the initiative aims to remove the heavy stigma associated with PTSD.
PTSD Statistics, and the Stigma Attached
PTSD is a mental health disorder that develops as the result of a traumatic experience, such as violence, disaster, tragedy or war. PTSD often leads those who suffer with this crippling condition to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, which only worsens the symptoms while putting individuals at risk for substance addiction. Symptoms of PTSD include recurring nightmares, chronic stress, memory loss, delusions, panic attacks and sudden flashbacks.
PTSD is more common than you may think. Take these statistics:
- Approximately 7.7 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 3.5 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD. [NIMH]
- PTSD expected to touch 8 percent of adults during their lives. By contrast, just over 3 percent of Americans have cancer. [NBC]
- The number of post-9/11 veterans with PTSD is unknown; a 2010 Rand Corp. study placed estimates at 5 percent to 20 percent, or 125,000 to 500,000 people. [Marine Corps Times]
- About 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder, such as PTSD, have an alcohol or other substance abuse disorder. [ADAA.org]
Sadly, many people with PTSD do not seek treatment, often due to fear, embarrassment or shame; for example, the Marine Corps Times notes that many employers discriminate against veterans for fear they may have a psychiatric disorder. About this issue, Bush says, “Employers would not hesitate to hire an employee getting treated for a medical condition like diabetes. … They should not hesitate to hire veterans getting treated for post-traumatic stress.”
PTSD Treatment at ATSI
At ATSI, our Trauma and PTSD Program is specifically designed to help men and women identify, address and heal their past experiences, process traumas and develop healthier coping skills in order to manage the symptoms. Our licensed therapists are experienced in treating trauma issues, and utilize an array of evidence-based therapies that prove successful among cases of PTSD, including cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychotherapy techniques.
Do you think the “D” should be dropped from PTSD?