Wednesday, March 21, 2012

War Veterans Unfairly Mislabeled as "Dangerous"

The idea of the “dangerous” war veteran, disabled by posttraumartic stress disorder (PTSD), appears to be making a comeback. A staple of popular media and public opinion after the Vietnam War, the image has only minimal basis in reality but still hampers job prospects for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an article on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) blog.

Only a small minority of veterans have broken the law, but since only 1 percent of the U.S population has served in uniform in recent years, too many civilians only know about military personnel through often-sensationalized headlines. "As long as such language remains prevalent and acceptable, college admission offices [and] future employers. . .can peg todays veterans as ‘running amok’. . .widening the divide further between veterans and civilians,” said the author.

VA officials emphasize that treatment for PTSD and other war-related problems can help returning vets adjust to a productive place in civilian life.

To read more in Psychiatric News about public-health approaches to treating returning troops for PTSD and other conditions, click here.
(Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/


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