Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has reached what many describe as epidemic levels in the Veteran population.  Every day, there are new reports of the emotional and psychological toll the wars are having on our Veterans.

More disturbing still is what appears to be the toll that PTSD is taking on active duty and reserves.  It is reported that in July 2012 alone, there were 38 suicides among active duty and reserve soldiers.  These numbers do not bode well for the soldiers that will soon return to civilian life.

PTSD is an extremely serious condition.  It can affect every aspect of a PTSD sufferer’s life.  It can destroy families.  It can lead to alcohol and drug abuse.  It can lead to loss of employment and employability.  And it is relentless without treatment.  Sadly, even with treatment, in many cases it may cause permanent emotional and psychological harm.

It does not take much of an imagination to see how PTSD can plunge a Veteran out of control.  For instance, many Veterans resort to drug and alcohol as a means of self-medication to cope with PTSD.  The abuse of alcohol and drugs leads to all manners of problems for Veterans.

First, and most obvious, drug and alcohol lead to drug and alcohol related criminal charges such as possession of controlled substances and DWI.  Drug and alcohol abuse also leads to domestic violence.  In fact, it is safe to say that where there is domestic violence, there is almost always drug or alcohol abuse.

These issues, in addition to the challenges of everyday living caused by PTSD, can make it very hard to keep a job or maintain a stable home environment.  These issues quickly lead to a downward spiral with the Veteran.  This can be seen by very high levels of unemployment and homelessness among the Veteran population.

In short, PTSD can be catastrophic to a Veteran and his or her family.  And it need not be that way.  PTSD is treatable and Veterans are entitled to treatment.  They are also entitled to disability benefits for what is far too often permanent harm caused by PTSD.  They have earned these rights through military service and they should not be denied.

The good news is that the VA and the various branches of the military have begun to recognize the seriousness and pervasiveness of PTSD.  In turn, some of the prior hoops necessary for PTSD related disability benefits have been removed so that it is now far easier than in the recent past for a Veteran to obtain the treatment and benefits to which he or she is entitled.

It is often possible to obtain these benefits own your own or with the help of the many very able Veterans Service Representatives throughout the State of New Mexico.  In the event that you cannot, then it might be time to enlist the assistance of an attorney.

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