“When you see a veteran, thank them. Thank them for their service and let them know they’re not alone”.
These are the words of Marine CPL. Dan Hanson, who is currently experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in an interview with USA Today about the hit war movie American Sniper. The film was described by many as a realistic portrayal of the experiences of military personnel in the chaos of the battlefield, which usually leads to them developing PTSD.
Veterans with PTSD are more likely to experience depression. They easily get rattled and have constant thoughts that something bad is about to happen. They also have a hard time focusing. They lose interest in the things they used to care about. Most crucially, their relationships with their families are disrupted as they become emotionally isolated. To get some respite from this living nightmare, many sufferers turn to alcohol or drugs. Others see suicide as the best escape.
According to VeteransandPTSD.com, there are over 2.3 million American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least 20% for these have PTSD and depression, and the number goes higher with soldiers who have traumatic brain injuries. About half do not seek treatment, and only 50% of those who do get “minimally adequate treatment”.
The Veterans Benefits Administration assigns a “percentage of disability” depending on the severity of the symptoms, the quickness of improvement, the frequency of occurrence, and how the symptoms impair the claimant’s ability to work and function socially.
The problem, however, is that PTSD occurrence varies between individuals. In a 1980’s study, 15% of Vietnam Theater Veterans had PTSD and 30% had it at some point. Some 20 to 25 years later, it was found that 4/5 of those veterans have developed the condition. This means that a veteran can develop PTSD decades long after service. It is also found to recur even in cases with recovery.
Veteran benefits claims can be denied on grounds that the condition is not service-connected, especially in cases where it has occurred long after service. It is crucial, therefore, for veterans to seek help from qualified psychologists and consult experienced social security lawyers such as those from Jan Dills, Attorneys at Law.
Behind those weapons and armor are humans, too. They’re not immune to trauma. If you have a veteran relative or a friend who’s suffering from PTSD, a reliable social security attorney can help secure the support they deserve.
(Source: Marine with PTSD Touched by ‘American Sniper’, USA Today, January 27, 2015)