Members of the military risking life and limb to defend their country deserve the best care we can give them. In many cases, this hasn’t been happening. It is imperative for Ohio veterans to receive Ohio PTSD benefits.
PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is one area where, again and again, soldiers with legitimate disabilities have been cut off without the appropriate VA benefits. In response, strong legal advice is beneficial to determine whether an injustice has been done, and to present the most favorable argument.
The issue tends to turn on whether a dismissed soldier is dismissed due to PTSD, or whether they were considered to have been suffering from a ‘personality disorder.’ Ohio PTSD benefits are essential.
Army figures show that up to 1,000 soldiers a year were being diagnosed as having personality disorders between 2005 and 2007. After adverse publicity about the issue, the Defense Department brought in more rigorous procedures designed to better identify whether a ‘personality disorder’ could be the result of post-traumatic stress or brain injury instead.
By 2009, the figures had fallen very dramatically, with only 260 being dismissed. The number of those diagnosed with PTSD doubled in the space of two years. While that’s good news, it still suggests a lot of soldiers were earlier unfairly deprived of benefits due to them.
Even with Sabo v United States sweeping through the system, many veterans with PTSD have been left to fend for themselves due to a simple matter of misdiagnosis.
Contact an experienced VA claims Claims Attorney and VA Hospital Negligence Lawyer to learn more about options for compensation, injury settlements and PTSD benefits.
After a traumatic event, PTSD can last years if not diagnosed and treated. Veterans showing PTSD symptoms should seek counseling, and should be compensated by the VA for their service-related injury. Symptoms of PTSD can get worse if not treated. PTSD symptoms may include:
- Flashbacks—reliving a traumatic event again and again
- Bad dreams and difficulty sleeping
- Frightening thoughts
- Avoidance—avoiding people, places or thoughts that remind you of an event
- Being startled easily
- Feeling tense
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
If you are experiencing one or more of the PTSD symptoms described above, you are encouraged to talk to family and friends, a mental health professional, or someone from VA center. Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within 3 months of a traumatic incident, but sometimes are delayed and can start years afterward.
Symptoms that continue more than a month and interfere with relationships or a job can be considered PTSD. To be diagnosed with PTSD, and qualify for VA PTSD benefits, a veteran must have the following for at least 1 month:
- A re-experiencing symptom—you may be triggered by a word, a thought or a sound.
- An avoidance symptom
- Arousal and reactivity symptoms—constantly stressed or angry.
- Cognition and mood symptoms—depression, guilt, loss of interest in life or activities
PTSD Diagnosis & VA Benefits
PTSD isn’t confined to those with military experience. Around five percent of Americans currently suffer from it, with as many as eight percent having had it at some stage in their lives.
Some of the symptoms of PTSD are felt by the majority of us in the aftermath of a trauma (either directly experienced or witnessed), such as a car/plane crash, rape or kidnapping, child abuse, terrorist attack, or war. We’ll generally be affected by feelings of fear and of being overwhelmed, and will experience difficulty sleeping.
The majority of us will recover and get back to some sort of normality within days or weeks. But these symptoms won’t merely come to an end for PTSD sufferers, who have often seen not one single event, but have experienced a long sequence of crises, often involving acts perpetrated by humans rather than ‘Acts of God’ – these circumstances explain why soldiers in war zones and child abuse sufferers are particularly prone to PTSD.
For PTSD suffers, the after-effects of the trauma will carry on affecting them again and again, and will often intensify rather than abate. For the purposes of diagnosis, the symptoms must have been exhibited for at least a month.) A vivid re-experiencing of the traumatic event time after time is common in PTSD sufferers.
Withdrawal from life, particularly from anything that might remind them of the event, is also a common symptom. Irrational mood-swings, bursts of anger, and an exaggerated sense of alertness and inability to sleep are frequent. These last symptoms are particularly problematic with a view to diagnosing PTSD, as they bear a strong resemblance to those seen in personality disorders.
Defining Personality Disorder
The dictionary definition of a personality disorder is anything ‘characterized by deeply ingrained maladaptive patterns of behavior and personality style’. The mood-swings, anger, jumpiness, and poor sleeping experienced by PTSD sufferers make it easy to confuse such people with those suffering with personality disorders.
PTSD Treatment & Compensation
It’s important that PTSD sufferers get proper treatment, as the mental health disorder tends not to go away if left unaddressed. The key is to confront the troubling thoughts, coming to terms with feels of guilt or blame (where present), and examining how they have affected your life.
Explaining what happened and why is an important part of the treatment of PTSD, and if family members are involved and can come to understand what the sufferer has been through, that can contribute enormously to healing.
Many Veteran Care Centers and VA hospitals offer the opportunity to undergo individual and, crucially, group therapy, involving sessions with other veterans who have been through the same problems. Some treatment options include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)—this form of therapy assists patients in learning healthier ways of coping with distressing emotions, and to reduce avoidance behaviors and other dangerous actions, including substance abuse.
- Exposure Therapy is one form of CBT designed to reduce the level of fear and anxiety associated with specific “triggers” which serve as painful reminders of the original traumatic event. The reduction of fear is accomplished by exposing patients to their particular triggers and working through the associated fears and anxieties.
- Stress Inoculation Training is a similar treatment in that it helps a PTSD patient gain confidence in his or her ability to deal with triggers and the anxiety and fear that accompany reminders of their original trauma.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a multi-stage therapy treatment designed to first identify patients’ sources of stress, discussing their specific symptoms, perform hypnotic treatment, and then discussing again with the counselor until improvement is attained.
PTSD Medication Injury
Medication (typically antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft) may be prescribed, although they tend to mask the problems rather than tackle them, and should never be seen as a solution in themselves. PTSD medication issues have been abundant.
ctims of PTSD medication injury have filed lawsuits against those responsible for their condition, though liability may be difficult to prove and an experienced attorney is recommended to weigh legal options available.
Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder regularly involves counseling and an anti-anxiety drug regimen, which may alleviate symptoms in the near-term, but some PTSD medications are associated with dangerous side effects, and may do more harm than good in some patients.
Drugs like Paxil, Risperdal and Lexapro may be prescribed to PTSD patients, even though studies have linked them to harmful side effects. Drug companies have been sued in recent years for marketing and distributing certain pharmaceuticals when they have not been properly tested and are released to the public anyway.
PTSD Disability Benefits
The therapy needed to tackle PTSD tends to be longer term, and can be expensive. Even for those not affected by PTSD, military life tends to leave a profound effect.
A survey conducted by the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) covered over 5,800 service-members and veterans, and found that only 8% had not experienced any concerns over mental health, while as many as 62% had suffered from depression – as opposed to just 8.6% in the general population. Life for more extreme cases, such as veterans with PTSD, is bleak unless they get the necessary treatment.
Luckily, greater awareness of the issue is helping to rectify the years of misdiagnosis, and the new regulations passed in 2010 have made it easier to get justice. The case of Sabo v United States has helped enormous numbers, but there are still many out there who have been denied access to the care their service merits and deserves. It’s important that this is put right.
PTSD Disability Lawsuits
A lack of understanding of PTSD in earlier years resulted in many soldiers being wrongly diagnosed, with doctors believing they were simply exhibiting symptoms of a naturally held disorder, and that they would have suffered from such problems even in the absence of military action.
As a result, many were placed on very low compensation rates of 10 percent. Now PTSD generally commands a rate of 50 percent or more, but that wasn’t the case for those diagnosed years ago.
It’s vital that those who may be suffering from PTSD can inform themselves of the full facts, so that they can decide whether or not they received the correct diagnosis, and what action they should take next. Without a doubt, Ohio PTSD disability benefits help in recovery. Veterans may be able to recover the following damages:
- Physical and Psychological Injuries Leading to PTSD—victims of PTSD may suffer from several physical and psychological issues requiring very expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Long-term therapy, counseling and prescription drugs may cost thousands of dollars each year, and a successful claim against the responsible party may recover much of these costs.
- Lost Wages & Loss of Future Income—when PTSD affects every aspect of a person’s life, they are often unable to work in the same capacity as they once did. In severe cases of PTSD following a traumatic event, victims are not able to return to work for long periods of time. These lost wages and potential lost future earnings can be calculated by experts, and a negligent party that caused the original trauma may be liable for certain financial recovery.
- Pain & Suffering—in most cases of PTSD, victims of psychological trauma are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering.
- Punitive Damages—many courts and juries will numerate punitive damages when defendants are shown to exhibit a reckless disregard for safety, or where there is a proven intent to cause harm. Punitive damages exist to punish irresponsible parties so that they will alter their behavior or actions in the future.