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Aiming to verify combat exposure history of Vietnam veterans seeking treatment for combat-related PTSD, Frueh et al.(2005) , found objective documentation of Vietnam war-zone service for 93% of their sample, with average length of service of 6.54 years.It is important, therefore, to emphasize that although current evidence does not indicate that PTSD is necessarily chronic, it has been shown to be a relatively persistent condition, which does not readily respond to psychotherapy or drug therapy .
In the context of the politics of recognition, the history of the term PTSD, and with support evidence from brain studies, the paper contends that in the case of combat veterans, posttraumatic stress should be termed PTSI (posttraumatic stress injury) rather than PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).
The proposed alteration in terminology may enable eligibility of posttraumatic combat veterans’ for the Purple Heart, and consequently mitigate the stigma of their wounds, help to deconstruct their misrecognition as inferior to physiologically wounded, increase their willingness to seek aid, and improve their chances to heal.
Explaining the Pentagon’s decision of 6 January 2009, Defense Department (Do D) spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said that “PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event; it is not a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from outside force or agent” . The second part is discussed below, and suffice to say here that 36 years after recognizing trauma as caused by an outside force, such a statement is puzzling.
As for the first part, one should note, that although the DSM-V removed the syndrome from the classification of In an official statement (cited in ), MOPH added that PTSD is a disease, and a treatable one, unlike the loss of a limb or any other combat wound, which they contend, is a permanent loss.
Although only 41% of their sample had objective evidence of specific combat exposure documented in their military records, one cannot ignore the overall impact of serving in the Vietnam war-zone, as well as the difficulty of finding objective evidence three decades after the events.
The Israeli data prove that those Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans afflicted with combat stress reaction (CSR) and PTSD who seek compensation generally do so only in the absence of any alternative .This paper discusses the exclusion of veterans with combat PTSD (CPTSD) from eligibility for the Purple Heart (PH).The main argument is that this exclusion is unjustified and that it strengthens the stigma attached to the traumatized veterans, with detrimental implications to their wellbeing.Since combat PTSD (CPTSD) is not a bleeding wound, veterans afflicted with it are not eligible for a PH medal.In recent years, this distinction between wound types has garnered growing attention of the American public, and has been a cause for bitter debates.Refusal to granting PH to traumatized veterans is spread also among those who acknowledge PTSD, who still fear that doing so would diminish the medal’s prestige .In other words, CPTSD still suffers from misrecognition by the dominant cultural norms of the military., demonstrating that the majority of patients continue to suffer—post-treatment—from residual symptoms. found prevalence of PTSD among 15.2% of men and 8.5% of women who served in Vietnam, 15 or more years after deployment .Lifetime prevalence of PTSD among Vietnam veterans was found to be even higher—30% among male veterans and 25% among female veterans . (2003) found PTSD prevalence of 12.1% among veterans of the 30,000 veterans of the Gulf War vs. Tanielian and Jaycox (2008), found 14% of their sample of the 1.64 million US troops who were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan since October 2001 .According to the MOPH, “some may feign illness in order to receive medical treatment at the VA,” but cannot fake a physical wound (Official statement of the MOPH as cited in , para. Kahalani shares the same suspicion: “It’s hard to make the distinction, and we see there are people who are able to get mileage out of it since they don’t have to show a bleeding arm” (, p. The similarity of views is not a coincidence: it reflects the fact that, despite tremendous progress in understanding and legitimizing PTSD, many still deny that war trauma is an injury just like a bleeding physiological wound.Even when PTSD is not altogether denied as a psychological phenomenon with recognized symptoms, denial now extends to suspicions that the afflicted are faking symptoms.