"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

December 26, 2006

It's Just A "Personality Disorder"

I was wondering what new orders the military and ultimately the VA would be taking to combat the influx of soldiers returning from Iraq with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. It appears that some military hospital psychologists are quick to "label" some of the young unknowing troops with what is called, simply, "Personality Disorder".

As Larry Scott of VAwatchdog.org puts it:
During Vietnam the use of the "PD" discharge was common.
Thousands of veterans still have the label "Personality Disorder, Unspecified" on their discharge papers.
The "PD" was an easy out for the military. They claimed that the soldier brought the "PD" with them and that it had nothing to do with combat stress.Therefore, a "PD" was considered non-treatable and non-compensable by the VA. It was a pre-existing condition.
Well, the "PD" is back. Again, as an easy out for the military. Just give them a label and you don't have to treat them or care for them.

The fastest way for the military to treat a 'problem' soldier's cry for help is to have a "20-40 minute interview" and discharge them immediately. Put them on the streets without taking care of their responsibility. That way, the VA does not have to do follow up on treating the soldier's mental condition.

Hell, what's always been the bottom line? Money! It will cost millions to care for these troops.

To hasten the reaction time, the new meme is out. Kick out the sick soldier before he knows what hits him.

The personality disorder diagnosis can result in a soldier getting an honorable discharge within days, which can be appealing for many returning from Iraq.
The timing of many of the discharges, in some cases within months after soldiers have returned, appears to violate the military's rules, which say a personality disorder diagnosis should not be made if a soldier is experiencing "combat exhaustion or other acute situational maladjustments."

This way, the troop doesn't realize he has PTSD. "Personality Disorder" is what's causing him to contemplate suicide, drink to much or use illegal drugs, jump at the sound of squealing children, get angry at family members, lack concentration or hit the deck when a car backfires! Yeah, that's the ticket, he had this "ingrained" problem before he came in the military, in fact since childhood. Being in war and seeing death before his young eyes had no effect on him!

An honorable discharge with "Personality Disorder" typed at the bottom will effect a soldier's future when it comes to employment. Let's be real, what Human Resource director will put these troops at the top of the hiring list with this blemish on their record.

As citizens, it's our obligation to make sure our Congressmen/women make the military do right by the troops. It's the VA's responsibitly to insure it will uphold it's care for our wounded. Especially the ones being intimidated and thrown away like used rags.

I would have hoped we learned our lessons from Vietnam but apparently that is not the case.

Seven of Six, crossposted at Low and Left

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