In the wake of last week's tragic shooting at the Fort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas, many have focused their attention on posttraumatic stress disorder or "PTSD" and its symptoms.
According to reports, the Fort Hood gunman was being evaluated for PTSD, leading many to believe that this condition was the culprit. However, research indicates that the majority of people diagnosed with PTSD do not have a tendency toward violence.
In fact, violence is so uncommon in people with PTSD that it is not even included on the list of "common problems" associated with the condition.
Acting executive director of VA's National Center for PTSD, Paula Schnurr, put it this way: "Rambo is not the face of PTSD." Schnurr warned of the dangers of equating PTSD with violence, explaining that this stigma often makes it more difficult for people with PTSD to seek help.
Many service members, for fear of being labeled a "crazy Veteran," are wary of diagnosis and therefore do not seek medical help or counseling.
In an attempt to rationalize events like the Fort Hood shooting, the media can wrongfully equate PTSD with bad behavior. This is not only unhelpful – it's wrong. Research has shown that the majority of individuals diagnosed with PTSD do not engage in criminal acts or violent behavior.
Veterans aren't the only ones to suffer from PTSD. Any horrific experience, such as a car accident, can cause a person to be affected by it.
We encourage any veteran who may be living with PTSD and has not been diagnosed to see a doctor. Service members and former service members diagnosed with this condition may qualify for veterans disability benefits. To learn more about these types of claims and how our firm can help, call 888-612-7001 for a free case review.