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Liberals help veterans get the help they need for PTSD.

Ziggae_6

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New veterans policy relaxes PTSD standards


Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress will more easily obtain benefits under a new policy being rolled out by the Obama administration.

The new policy to be implemented next week relaxes the standards for documentation that veterans must show to prove they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The changes are intended to make it easier for veterans to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, senior officials from the agency said.

Veterans Affairs offices across the country are dealing with thousands of new veterans from nearly a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Constant fear of unexpected attack and concern for survival are among the “stressors” for veterans suffering from PTSD, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and recent research studies published by the National Academies on deployment related stress. The new policy is meant to address the complex nature of war experiences and impacts.

http://www.buzzbox.com/top/default/preview/new-veterans-policy-relaxes-ptsd-standards/?id=2556705&topic=ptsd%3Astandards
Despite other wrongminded threads on this board ( http://www.debatepolitics.com/us-pa...e-and-dedain-our-military.html#post1058849610), liberals are just as concerned about US soldiers as most Americans. They are just not in mindless support of all policies dictated by the military.

If it was up to some conservatives, vets would have to be bleeding to get treatment. This is an excellent step in the right direction to help vets who need it.

Anybody disagree with this policy?
 

Goof Noodle

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We probably wouldn't have so many soldiers with PTSD if liberals didn't take the side off Islamic extremists. Best way to lower the PTSD numbers is to end the liberal cowardliness and allow soldiers to shot back when they are being attacked.
 

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Veterans have been getting treatment for PTSD since Viet Nam, if not before.
 

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We probably wouldn't have so many soldiers with PTSD if liberals didn't take the side off Islamic extremists. Best way to lower the PTSD numbers is to end the liberal cowardliness and allow soldiers to shot back when they are being attacked.
It an unfortunate circumstance, but the length of the current wars have allowed PTSD to be studied more in depth. Repeated tours seem to a big piece of the issue. People continually exposed to war situations are going to be more likely to have PTSD symptoms. Also some people are just more inclined to get it. The key is that they recognize that the sooner soldiers receive treatment, the more likely their symptoms will be lowered. It has nothing to do with what you just posted.
 

Ziggae_6

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Veterans have been getting treatment for PTSD since Viet Nam, if not before.

Not to the extend it should have been given. Although there is a better understanding and thus better treatment than in the past. But it was also denied in the past and those who claimed to have it were often said to faking or not tough enough. If diagnosed, it is a disability. There is also a stigma about seeking out mental counseling in a macho environment that goes on in the military. Seeking treatment would be considered to be weak. The military actually is recognizing that encouraging their members to seek it out can have a benefit to both the soldier and the military. This is quite a leap over past views of this disease. You hear that many Viet Nam vets did not seek out treatment for years.

Earlier treatment = better results.
 

MaggieD

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Just because a person has PTSD doesn't mean he/she can't hold a job. Somewhere in the link from NPR it says that the VA has been more of an adversary than a supporter of veterans regarding PTSD. I think that stance should remain. It is one thing to have PTSD and another to be 100% disabled because of it.
 

jambalaya

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Not to the extend it should have been given. Although there is a better understanding and thus better treatment than in the past. But it was also denied in the past and those who claimed to have it were often said to faking or not tough enough. If diagnosed, it is a disability. There is also a stigma about seeking out mental counseling in a macho environment that goes on in the military. Seeking treatment would be considered to be weak. The military actually is recognizing that encouraging their members to seek it out can have a benefit to both the soldier and the military. This is quite a leap over past views of this disease. You hear that many Viet Nam vets did not seek out treatment for years.

Earlier treatment = better results.
PTSD is just a name given to how some people handle stress. Popularised by the affect of stress on people in the military, it is now applied to people involved in other high stress jobs. Sadly I think it has become a very abused diagnosis for people to get disability and other benefits. It is also used by anti-war types to further their cause against the military in general. I don't buy completely the "liberals care about the military too" bit. Different people under the same circumstances have completely different reactions. Seems like a very hard diagnosis and now it is given almost autiomatically.
 

d0gbreath

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PTSD is just a name given to how some people handle stress. Popularised by the affect of stress on people in the military, it is now applied to people involved in other high stress jobs. Sadly I think it has become a very abused diagnosis for people to get disability and other benefits. It is also used by anti-war types to further their cause against the military in general. I don't buy completely the "liberals care about the military too" bit. Different people under the same circumstances have completely different reactions. Seems like a very hard diagnosis and now it is given almost autiomatically.
I saw one GI interviewed on TV a while back. After 2 Iraq tours, he said that when he was back in the states, he would constantly look for IEDs while driving down the road. He'd make himself stop until he started thinking about something else, then he'd be on the lookout again. I don't know if that's PTSD or not, but the poor guy said that it was driving him crazy. Very real. Not fun.
 

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I don't know if that's PTSD or not, but the poor guy said that it was driving him crazy. Very real. Not fun.
That's true, but treatment for PTSD is very common, and should not hinder the ability of most vets to remain productive in society. I have alot of experience with it, both as experienced by lots of Viet Nam vets who are personal friends, and by myself as well. The response to stress varies, whether the stress results from military service or from normal life stresses. PTSD seems to be more associated with military, but it's not exclusively so at all.
 

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PTSD is just a name given to how some people handle stress. Popularised by the affect of stress on people in the military, it is now applied to people involved in other high stress jobs. Sadly I think it has become a very abused diagnosis for people to get disability and other benefits. It is also used by anti-war types to further their cause against the military in general. I don't buy completely the "liberals care about the military too" bit. Different people under the same circumstances have completely different reactions. Seems like a very hard diagnosis and now it is given almost autiomatically.

Really? Where did you get your information about this? Who says that this diagnosis is "very abused." There are very specific criteria to being diagnosed as having PTSD. Are you aware of that criteria? Sources?
 

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Despite other wrongminded threads on this board ( http://www.debatepolitics.com/us-pa...e-and-dedain-our-military.html#post1058849610), liberals are just as concerned about US soldiers as most Americans. They are just not in mindless support of all policies dictated by the military.

If it was up to some conservatives, vets would have to be bleeding to get treatment. This is an excellent step in the right direction to help vets who need it.

Anybody disagree with this policy?
So, the Liberals show up when there is someone to victimize?
 

apdst

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Working toward better treatment is considered victimization?
Where there's a victim, a Liberal isn't far away.

This isn't about helping anyone. This is about, "look what them mean-ole neo-cons did to you!"

The Libs that are working with these vets are probably doing more harm than good. Do-gooders tend to have that affect.
 

ScottD

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Where there's a victim, a Liberal isn't far away.

This isn't about helping anyone. This is about, "look what them mean-ole neo-cons did to you!"

The Libs that are working with these vets are probably doing more harm than good. Do-gooders tend to have that affect.
Have anything to back this statement up with, or is it just empty retoric?
 

Aunt Spiker

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I actually disagree with relaxing the government-backed standards. I believe it should be on a 'Dr diagnosis it' basis only. You either have PTSD or you don't. There's no middle-ground unless you're recovering. Relaxing diagnosis standards isn't where the effort should be. What should be relaxed are the symptoms which raise suspicion and bring intervention and help.
Maybe it'll be a good thing - but I feel it'll just increase the # of false claims. . . but I've yet ot talk to my husband about it and if anyone would have a firm opinion he sure will.

I think what they need to do is give more training to care-givers and overseers to recognize symptoms and so forth and every care-providing unit or position should have a head adviser that specializes in Psychology to advise the staff on how to handle their soldiers.

They also need to do more of a decent job of informing military family(spouses, children) of *normal* post-war stress and *abnormal* post-war stress. Far too often the spouse sits by, watches their partner implode, and has no clue what to do. Most people are continually (and wrongfully) told that "it's normal" - when its' really a sign of a bigger problem. Thus - a real problem has to really erupt before something is done.

Also - when things do erupt many spouses/friends don't know who to call, where to go, how to help at all.

The problem isn't purely defining what is PTSD and what isn't. The extended problem is getting the help to the soldiers before it's too late or things have gone on for too long.

They have various transition units where soldiers are assigned to a caregiver - the caregiver helps put the pieces together (making appointments, counseling, etc - this is what my hubby does, by the way) . . . these programs are great.

But there should also be a more developed program for the spouses to bridge this knowledge-barrier. They *do* have FRG's (family readiness groups) - but these are often poorly organized and fail in their purpose to support.
FRG's are led by the spouses/family of the soldiers. So the quality of the group changes dramatically, if they exist at all . . . and sometimes certain people fall off their rocker and work against their purpose, not for it (as is the case with Col. Drinkwine's wife who completely went insane and abused her good graces.)

So - if they could bridge communication + information gaps then help would be easier to provide.
 
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aps

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Really? Where did you get your information about this? Who says that this diagnosis is "very abused." There are very specific criteria to being diagnosed as having PTSD. Are you aware of that criteria? Sources?
Trust me, Ziggae, it's abused. I see it first hand. The problem is that the more severe PTSD is, the more money these veterans get. There is no incentive for them to get better. In fact, I have never ever seen a veteran get better from PTSD--just worse. Even with medication and regular treatment, somehow these veterans are only getting worse. I think this change in the law is horrible. I wish you could see how abused PTSD is. Now, it will only get worse. I'll post a blog that someone sent me where it confirms what I have written. I have it saved on another computer.
 

Redress

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Trust me, Ziggae, it's abused. I see it first hand. The problem is that the more severe PTSD is, the more money these veterans get. There is no incentive for them to get better. In fact, I have never ever seen a veteran get better from PTSD--just worse. Even with medication and regular treatment, somehow these veterans are only getting worse. I think this change in the law is horrible. I wish you could see how abused PTSD is. Now, it will only get worse. I'll post a blog that someone sent me where it confirms what I have written. I have it saved on another computer.
The problem with this is that PTSD is real, and for some it is pretty horrible. To me, we owe it to our veteran's to give them the help they deserve, even if it does mean that some will abuse it. I would rather have it abused, and those who need it get help, than eliminate the abuse and have vet's not get the help they need.

That is the big part to me, it's veteran's. This is one group I would like to err on the side of being too generous.
 

aps

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The problem with this is that PTSD is real, and for some it is pretty horrible. To me, we owe it to our veteran's to give them the help they deserve, even if it does mean that some will abuse it. I would rather have it abused, and those who need it get help, than eliminate the abuse and have vet's not get the help they need.

That is the big part to me, it's veteran's. This is one group I would like to err on the side of being too generous.
The system is already generous. If the evidence is in equipoise, reasonable doubt goes towards the veteran. In other words, a veteran doesn't have to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she has PTSD. They just have to show that there is a 50/50 chance that the veteran has PTSD that is due to an in-service stressor. Then the veteran wins. No other system involving disability benefits is like that.

I understand why people feel the way you do, but you don't see what I see on a daily basis and what I have watched for more than 10 years and which is only getting worse. I'm sympathetic towards those coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan--but Vietnam? The co-worker who sent me the following blog--her husband served in Iraq and has PTSD. However, he's not abusing the system. Once you're service connected for PTSD, you get free treatment.

Here's the blog link I promised with two quotations that I think have hit the nail on the head.

Should More Veterans Get P.T.S.D. Benefits? - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com

Comment # 10:
I am a psychiatrist who has worked at the VA. The culture of entitlement is immense. It colors all the activities of the veterans. Once a veteran has ten percent disability his whole focus on his life is documenting the rest of the proof and displaying the symptoms to show that he is failing to improve. He can then qualify for $3000 tax free per month and free health care. Think about it! Isn't that an amazing incentive to stay sick?

Once I learned how to tell which vets were just playing games then I quit putting so much effort into it. No matter how hard I tried there were a certain class of veterans, the majority of PTSD claimants, who were not interested in getting better, but were only in the office or the hospital to see me just so they could thicken their file and have more documentary evidence of their disability. IF they prove they aren't getting better then they have a good chance of getting a check. I got so sick of it I left.
Comment # 13:
I'm a veteran and a VBA adjudicator and I've met plenty of people with bona fide PTSD. The vast majority of claimants filing years after their service do not have PTSD and likely never had PTSD. Some research has been done on this systemic mis-diagnosis phenomenon, and what many practitioners are calling PTSD is most likely a mid to late life depression with abnormal fixation on military events (likely because military service was the most significant and/or successful period in a lot of these claimants' lives). If psychologists and psychiatrists could be trusted to apply sound scientific principles during the course of their diagnoses(and they cannot), no one would have any heartburn over this new regulation.
 

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Where there's a victim, a Liberal isn't far away.

This isn't about helping anyone. This is about, "look what them mean-ole neo-cons did to you!"

The Libs that are working with these vets are probably doing more harm than good. Do-gooders tend to have that affect.
You are being silly, right? Ok, the military actually teamed up to study this with the APA around 2006-7 in order to find better treatment methods. So the concern started with the Do-Gooder Bush administration. These wars have lasted longer than most US wars and interventions. This has meant repeated tours in intense combat situations and more cases. This is almost a case where something bad (long war-we don't want this, right?) allowed more studies to occur and new treatment guidelines that were recommended in 2008.

Its weird that so many of you are saying that this is "very abused" when they just changed the guidelines. Can benefits be abused? Of course. Are they "very abused?" For crying out loud, they just changed it this week.

On the other hand, denying or delaying benefits and treatments under the context that most of them are faking could be considered abuse also. NPR: Major Military PTSD Troop Abuse Investigative Report Coming Monday | PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within
If anything, most veterans are leery of seeking mental health assistance and superiors have not been supportive of such actions. It doesn't fit the macho image of dealing with it by themselves and overcoming. Asking for help often goes against macho pride.

The big key for us is deciding whether saving money is more important than offering benefits to veterans who will have difficulties of functioning in order to successfully thward the fakers. Also another major point is that vets who get treatment earlier are more likely to recover and be able to function. Delaying treatment appears to do the opposite. (APA Monitor on Psychology Jan 2008).

Also for those who think PTSD is just a simple reaction to some stress:

PTSD Frequently Asked Questions - Military Benefits - Military.com
 

aps

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Its weird that so many of you are saying that this is "very abused" when they just changed the guidelines. Can benefits be abused? Of course. Are they "very abused?" For crying out loud, they just changed it this week.
Ziggae, they were abused PRIOR to the easement of the requirements. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that they will be abused even more now that there is less evidence necessary to substantiate a claim for service connection for PTSD. But you keep accusing those of us who have personal knowledge of facts that we dont know what we're talking about if it makes you feel better. *rolls eyes*
 

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If they're already *being abused* - then that # will only increase.
That's just how it happens whenever they loosen up "qualifying" guidelines - it increases the number of *legitimate* and *illegitimate*

you would be surprised at the sheer number of false reports and bull**** cases my husband has to root through every week - the number is ridiculous. But that's *why* they have people like my husband doing the job. . .he's not 100% emotional with everyone, he can see the forest from the trees. If he feels one of his soldiers is bull****ting (because it occurs frequently - it isn't foolproof) he goes TO them - wherever they are - and will then witness first hand their possible problems.
 
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Ziggae_6

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Ziggae, they were abused PRIOR to the easement of the requirements. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that they will be abused even more now that there is less evidence necessary to substantiate a claim for service connection for PTSD. But you keep accusing those of us who have personal knowledge of facts that we dont know what we're talking about if it makes you feel better. *rolls eyes*
No, I am not accusing anybody of anything. You have your knowledge and your opinion. ANYTHING can be abused. There is evidence that the military knows and acknowledges that they have not done a good job of encouraging PTSD treatment for those who need it. The long war and repeated tours have increased understanding of the condition. This understanding can have the effect of better treatment as well as being more effective at spotting malingering. Sometimes a person can be too close to the action and not see the overall picture. Are you saying screw the APA studies and the military, only I know what's best?
 

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My wife's uncle came back from WWII pacific theater with white hair, and many pounds of weight loss. 20 years later, when I saw him the first time, he was still skinny as a rail and still had white hair. Iwo Jima was a bad place for a lot of people.
Contrast that with a neighbor who whines that he has a guilt complex becuase the Air Force didn't send him to Vietnam. He was trying to get PTSD money, last I heard he was still not getting it.
When there is money involved, any program can be misused or abused by slackers.
OTOH, I know people with serious physical issues due to military service, and they are getting compensation, but in my mind, not enough.....
Someone has to decide which of our veterans are really in need of medical help. In many cases, it isn't easy. Not a job I would want....
 

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If they're going to losen the guidelines which will increase the # of cases.
Then they need to increase the number of caseworkers that help these people.

My husband currently has over 50 soldiers at his charge. In the world of caseworker load - that's an EXTREME number. Every day ever soldier must be tagged (either they call him or he calls them) - every week Dr's appointments, other medical, lots of paperwork, more phone calls, therapy, check in's - drop ins (where my husband has to visit them in person) . . . all these things must be done right and on time in order for the program to be efficient.
The average # of charges, when he first took position as a caseworker in his program, was in the low 20's. It's more than doubled in the last few years.
 
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