The Washington Post (5/6, Jaffe) reported that debate is under way about whether to change the name of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to “post-traumatic stress injury” to “reduce the stigma that stops troops from seeking treatment.” The debate moves to a public hearing Monday in Philadelphia by a psychiatric working group and also “is coming to a head because the American Psychiatric Association is updating its bible of mental illnesses, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for the first time since 2000.” The request comes from the US Army and “has raised new questions over the causes of PTSD, the best way to treat the condition,” insurance coverage, and federal disability designations.
Army Surgeon General’s Office Has New Policy Discounting Use Of Psychological Tests For PTSD. The Fayetteville (NC) Observer (5/5, Barnes) reported that Army’s Office of the Surgeon General has a new policy that “discounts the use of psychological tests” in diagnosing PTSD among service members. The Army surgeon general’s policy also addresses a complaint by Fort Bragg soldiers that “they are being overmedicated for their PTSD symptoms” and “encourages the use of intensive counseling and other alternatives, including yoga, acupuncture and massage therapies.”
Psychiatrist Praises APA Meeting’s Focus On Military Matters. In the Time (5/5) “Battleland” blog, psychiatrist Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH, wrote that the APA’s meeting this week in Philadelphia is “exciting because of the prominence military matters are going to get.” She pointed out, “As you might expect, there will be a lot of focus on diagnosing and treating PTSD. But there are also sessions on what it is like to work as a civilian at a military base, personal reflections of psychiatrists who have worked in war zones, research on the long-term effects of combat exposure from the experts at the Rand Corp., and a symposium on complementary and alternative treatments.” In addition, “The APA is also heavily involved in the White House Joining Forces initiative and the Give an Hour program (links). Their efforts make me proud to be a member.”
— “New name for PTSD could mean less stigma,”Greg Jaffe, The Washington Post, May 5, 2012.