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Wounded soldiers dismissed for misconduct often have PTSD or TBI

Posted on 05-18-17 in Mental disorders, Mental Health, PTSD

Macabre incidents from the war fields continue to haunt soldiers for a long time for which they sometimes even need therapy. Soldiers deputed in war zones often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which they develop as a result of their war time experiences. According to a recent report released by the Government Accountability Office, in the United States, three-fifth of troops discharged in recent years for misconduct were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or another associated condition.

A comprehensive information collated from military medical and staffing data along with data from the Department of Veterans Affairs showed that thousands of soldiers received the boot from armed forces for misconduct. The benefits devised to help them in their transition from service in war to regular life were also taken away.

Problem was brewing since long

Veterans who served in war zones believed that such a problem always existed. Soldiers are usually discharged after they are found indulging in misconduct and partaking in activities that are anti-establishmentarian and weird. In such a situation, some attempt suicide, self-harm or get extremely abusive. However, no one believed that the problem could be as enormous as this, where discharged soldiers could be actually suffering from PTSD or TBI as part of occupational hazards. These soldiers are now expecting that the congress would direct all resources in rectifying the problem and help veterans overcome their inner turmoil.

The report claimed that between 2011 and 2015, 92,000 troops came under the line of fire and were discharged due to misconduct. Troops are discharged due to a litany of charges like doing drugs, showing up late or indulging in any misconduct.

Discharged soldiers exhibited symptoms of PTSD and TBI

Among discharged troops in all these years, 57,000 were diagnosed with PTSD or TBI or a related symptom. Close to 9,000 of the discharged soldiers had PTSD or TBI. Many of them had a personality disorder or an adjustment problem, which are often pre-existing conditions, and not wounds from a war. The military was often under fire from critics for not handling mental diagnosis cases properly and overlooking the safety of the troops afflicted with a psychological problem.

Lack of proper screening

The trend of dismissing higher number of wounded soldiers in recent years have drawn flak from critics, who support a better screening of troops diagnosed with a mental condition like PTSD. However, the recent report highlighted that no proper screening process was in place before a soldier was punished. At least 40 percent cases in the Army and the Marine Corps, reviewed by investigators did not have the required screening, the report said.

The report also revealed that neither individual military branches nor the Defense Department took the onus of finding out whether psychological screenings were in place or not.

Discharged troops left in the lurch

The discharged troops are often hit in two ways – first when they have a mental condition to fight and second when a discharged status renders them ineligible to enjoy benefits like veterans’ health care, education funding and disability pensions. Although they can challenge this banning, the process is too long and arduous, because of which many do not even think of pursuing it. The report found that 87 percent veterans did not feel like applying for veterans’ benefits in recent times.

Dealing with mental health problems

Mental health problems need immediate attention or symptoms can exacerbate and create a difficult situation for patients and their loved ones. Sovereign Health is a leading mental health caregiver and substance use disorder treatment organization, with centers in major places in the U.S. Whether you are looking for mental health disorders treatment in San Clemente or at a place closer home, help is just a call away. Our drug rehabs in San Clemente are also among the best in the country. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online for further information.


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