PTSD Myths Still Persists In The Us Military

Veterans with PTSD

PTSD Myths Still Persists In The Us Military

PTSD, short for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental condition where the patient fails to recover from a traumatic event. This condition comes with triggers that can bring back the memory of that event, accompanied by extreme emotions and physical reactions.

A recent poll, conducted on 2000 Americans, concluded that military members are more likely than civilians to believe that a person with PTSD is violent or dangerous.

Another study was conducted by Anthony Hassan, president of the not-for-profit Cohen Veterans Network. He concluded that about 35% of military members think that PTSD is untreatable.

Shocked with the numbers, Hassain said, “I spent so much time in the military working on reducing stigma and educating our members to make sure they understood these diagnoses and that getting help wouldn’t hurt their careers. But, clearly, we are not making much improvement.”

A Wisconsin-based psychotherapist- Teralyn Sell, said PTSD has still not reached the mainstream understanding. Sell emphasized the fact that with the right treatment, PTSD is treatable.

Another survey, conducted on 2000 Americans, concluded that-

  • 67% of Americans believe that most Veterans have PTSD.
  • 74% of Americans think that all combat Veterans have PTSD.
  • One in four persons thinks that patients with PTSD are violent/dangerous.
  • 60% of Americans believe that if a person has experienced a traumatic event, they will develop PTSD later in life.

However, in reality, less than 20% of Afghanistan Vets have PTSD and less than 15% of Vietnam and Gulf War suffer from PTSD.

Moreover, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, most veterans diagnosed with PTSD do not present violent behavior.

Physical aggression is a part of PTSD that is directly related to factors like-

  • Drug/Alcohol Abuse
  • An additional psychiatric disorder like anxiety or depression
  • Age

If a Veteran, who is diagnosed with PTSD, does not indulge in substance or alcohol abuse, they are less likely to present violent behavior.

The VA also states that with effective treatments like exposure therapy, cognitive therapy and group therapies, PTSD is treatable.





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