Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a significant health concern among veterans. It is a mental health condition caused by terrifying incidents experienced by individuals. Persons with PTSD portrays such signs as flashbacks or nightmares, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and avoidance of any situation likely to trigger shocking experience. Although PTSD can affect any person regardless of occupation, veterans are at higher risks of developing the disorder than the general population.

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According to Reisman, the rate of PTSD among veterans is more than 13.5 % (623). The condition is associated with various comorbidities, including substance abuse disorder, major depressive disorder, and chronic pain. Even though the veterans develop the problem as they serve the government’s interest, they do not get adequate support. Veterans with PTSD are underappreciated and are not given enough help to improve their wellbeing.

The Pentagon discontinued its funding towards the Vet4Worriors, which shows that the veterans are not fully appreciated for their national security role. Notably, Vet4Worriors is a peer hotline that has been instrumental in supporting military personnel seeking help due to their experiences on the battlefield (Philipps 3). It comprises trained counselors who adopt nonclinical approaches and military service to assist individuals in calling the organization.

Although the Pentagon indicated that their action’s main objective was to streamline services and cut costs, the decision was more of disregarding the veterans’ efforts and patriotism towards their country. As a result, Vet4Worriors opted to find alternative funding to continue supporting veterans (Philipps 5). Indeed, getting a private to provide financial aid to the organization can be challenging, inhibiting any effort to help veterans with PTSD.

Consolidation of different organizations offering support to veterans into Military OneSource may not guarantee adequate support to those with PTSD. Vet4Worriors is among various programs created during the battle in Afghanistan and Iraq to address the increasing number of suicides among the veterans. The Military OneSource took over their counseling services, which, as Pentagon claims, has more amenities available (Philipps 6).

However, this may lead to inefficiency and reduced quality of interventions offered to the veterans with PTSD. There is a potential for the Military OneSource being overwhelmed by those calling the helpline. Thus, more government-funded agencies providing counseling and other support can present diverse options to the veterans, which would mean reaching more of those with PTSD and enhanced quality of services.

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Veterans are unfavorably discharged and denied them access to full benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ismay notes a significant number of soldiers are separated from service due to minor misconduct while in uniform (1). The victims of such actions filed legal litigation, alleging failure of the Army Discharge Review Board to follow guidelines established in 2014, which required consideration of mental health condition when making any decision (Ismay 4). Notably, PTSD is a potential cause of misbehavior since it contributes to such factors as anxiety, depression, and avoidance of any activity that would remind them of traumatic events. Therefore, clearing military officers with PTSD from duties following the disobedience of orders without assessing their psychological wellbeing is a failure to appreciate their service.

The lack of the appreciation of the veterans with PTSD is evident when they are denied upgrade for their discharges. The Army Discharge Review Board rejected applications for promotions from approximately 3500 former soldiers (Ismay 6). The latter had portrayed behavioral and mental health disorders or claimed to have experienced sexual trauma when on active duty. The agency can issue the veterans with “bad paper discharges” to avoid a lawsuit from the victims (Ismay 16).

However, such a decision can have adverse effects since the veterans separated from services can experience prolonged stigma, jeopardizing their ability to be hired as a civilian. If the government and the board appreciate the veterans with PTSD, they would have developed effective programs to help them recover from the condition rather than relieving them of duty, which does more harm than good.

The increased rates of suicide among veterans with PTSD also show that they do not receive adequate help and are underappreciated. Most of them kill themselves after being forcefully dismissed from hospitals where they were supposed to get medical intervention for their condition. For instance, in 2019, a doctor in the department of a medical center in Washington ordered removal of a veteran who was seeking psychiatric treatment (Steinhauer 1).

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The physician was heard saying that she never cared if the patient killed himself. He was found dead barely a week later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The utterance of such healthcare care providers demonstrates that the public does not fully value the veterans with mental disorders or thinks the way they can assist them manage their condition. Indeed, dismissal of veterans with PTSD is undermining what they were doing for them to have the mental disorder.

Inadequate help and ignorance of policies for preventing self-murder among the veterans are associated with self-destructive cases in the population. Steinhauer indicates that the suicide incidence rate for veterans is approximately 28 per 100000 individuals (3). An effort to lower the number is inhibited by healthcare providers’ behavior and attitude towards veterans. Some veterans visiting emergency departments in healthcare facilities are not fully assessed for suicide risks due to understaffing and lack of medical supplies. Miscommunication among hospital staff is another factor that limit medical help provided to the veterans (Steinhauer 8).

For example, an outpatient psychiatrist can recommend patients’ admission after noting that they have higher or moderate risks for killing themselves. However, a consulting psychiatry resident can endorse that they be discharged and sent home without completing necessary suicide prevention planning. In such a scenario, the veterans with PTSD may feel undervalued, neglected, and think that no one cares about their condition. Showing a positive attitude, compassion, and willingness to assist the veterans can considerably reduce the suicide incidence rate.

Conclusively, veterans with PTSD are underappreciated and are not given enough help to enhance their wellbeing. PTSD is indeed a health concern among veterans due to the nature of their work. The condition manifests through negative symptoms and it leads to different comorbidities and complications. Discontinuation of government funding to various programs that support the veterans and consolidating them into Military OneSource can negatively affect quality options for services. The Army Discharge Review Board separates military officers from duty for minor misconduct, even when they have mental and behavior disorders. Dismissal of veterans with PTSD from hospitals and lack of compassion towards them is evidence that clinicians do not value them as much as expected. Veterans get PTSD when pursuing interests of national security, and therefore, they deserve maximum appreciation and necessary social, financial, health, and psychological assistance to guarantee their wellbeing.

Works Cited

Ismay, John. “Army Agrees to Review Thousands of Unfavorable Discharges for Veterans“. Nytimes. 2020. Web.

Philipps, Dave. “Veterans Hotline Tries to Survive Without Pentagon Funds”. Nytimes. 2015. Web.

Reisman, Miriam. “PTSD Treatment for Veterans: What’s Working, What’s New, and What’s Next”. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, vol. 41, no. 10, 2016, pp. 623-627, 632-634.

Steinhauer, Jennifer. “Report Slams Doctor At V.A. For Dismissing Suicide Risk Of Patient Who Later Killed Himself”. Nytimes, 2020. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 5). Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/underappreciated-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 5). Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. https://psychologywriting.com/underappreciated-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

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"Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." PsychologyWriting, 5 May 2022, psychologywriting.com/underappreciated-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'. 5 May.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." May 5, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/underappreciated-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." May 5, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/underappreciated-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/.


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PsychologyWriting. "Underappreciated Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." May 5, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/underappreciated-veterans-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/.