The American Legion is seeking veterans from Nebraska and other states who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries to participate in a survey to learn more about their treatment, care and injuries. The Legion is going to use the survey to determine what treatments were sought at the Defense Department, Veterans Health Administration or in the private sector and how those treatments effected the veterans’ recoveries. The ultimate goal is to establish a standardized and effective treatment plan.
Although it is unknown how many veterans from Korea or World War II suffer from PTSD, it is estimated that 31 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from the disorder. After 9/11 and through 2012, more than 130,000 troops were diagnosed with PTSD, and more than 250,000 suffered head injuries that ranged in severity from concussions to penetrations.
The new survey, which began on Feb. 1, is a follow-up to a study of traumatic brain injuries that concluded that the Defense departments and Veterans Affairs were not doing enough to provide treatment for the conditions that the veterans have. The survey asks for a variety of information, including details about injuries, deployment history, information on access to treatment and care and self-assessments of progress. Alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are also being considered.
PTSD is recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs as an enabling impairment for veterans’ disability benefits. However, treatment is still often denied, sometimes based on delayed symptoms and other times based on allegations of exaggerated symptoms. Still others choose not to seek treatment while they are still on active duty due to a fear that they will be discharged. With PTSD disability rated on a scale, veterans do not have to leave their career field to receive benefits.
Source: Marine Corps Times, “American Legion seeking vets’ input for PTSD, TBI survey”, Patricia Kime , February 19, 2014.
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