Study: Removing Word “Disorder” From PTSD Won’t Remove Stigma.

USA Today (8/22, Zoroya) reports that, according to the results of a RAND study released yesterday, “researchers found no scientific proof supporting an Army idea to drop the word ‘disorder’ from the term post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] as a means of removing the stigma from the disease.” USA Today points out that “the Army asked the American Psychiatric Association to change the name in its official manual of mental illnesses,” claiming that soldiers would be more willing to seek treatment for PTSD if the word “disorder” were replaced instead by the words “stress” or “injury.” In 2011, the APA declined making that change.

Former Army Sergeant: PTSD Is Not A “Catchall” For All Behavior By Veterans. In an op-ed for the Washington Post (8/22, Van Reet), Brian Van Reet, a former Army sergeant who served in Baghdad from 2004 to 2005, writes that science is suggesting that “the link between war, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self-harm is not what many expect.” According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “exposure to combat does not increase the likelihood that a service member will take his or her own life.” Reet argues that these findings “demonstrate the need for further examination of war’s effects on those who fight it.” Reet adds that PTSD “is a valuable concept but not if it is used as a catchall for the myriad ways that war, peace, genetics and institutions all shape the behavior of veterans.”

Related Links:

— “Dropping the D from PTSD won’t change stigma, study says, “Gregg Zoroya, USA Today, August 22, 2013.

Posted in In The News.