Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 31, 2014 — The U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan comes to an end this month, but the fight continues for a huge number of veterans, according to a new report in the National Journal.
A major new study has found that more than one in six post-9/11 veterans may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study, which included the participation of 60,000 veterans, was sponsored by the Veteran’s Administration (VA).
Untreated PTSD can cause a broad range of physical, mental, social and financial problems, and it has been linked to the high suicide rate among U.S. veterans.
“Up to now, VA has moved far too slowly in facing up to the PTSD crisis,” said Jim Fausone, a veterans disability attorney. “As this new study shows, PTSD is a big problem for a lot of veterans. And we need to mobilize more resources more quickly in order to deal with it.”
Pharmacological treatment remains problematic. Experts say that traditional antidepressants and antianxiety medications are not well-adapted to the PTSD brain, according to a report in Capital New York. Pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer are hard at work on the problem, but the first PTSD drug is said to be more than five years away.
Still, said Fausone, any veteran with symptoms of PTSD should consider applying or reapplying to VA for existing benefits. “VA offers many types of therapy, all of which have been shown to help. And VA is making an effort to designate a service connection to more veterans with PTSD.”
Many believe that the one in six figure is likely to rise over time. The National Journal report pointed out that nearly one in three Vietnam veterans suffers from PTSD. According to advocates, this is because veterans can experience a delayed response to trauma.
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