Of course, the “PTSD for profit” problem is not confined to the veteran community. The easily-offended, everyone-is-a-victim, “trigger-warning” culture of America has its share of sketchy PTSD claims as well. But within the veteran community, it has becoming increasingly acute. For a small, but growing segment of veterans, fueled by perverse incentives including VA payouts, sympathy, and attention, a PTSD claim is a badge of honor, whether earned or not. And for many outside of our community, PTSD is now not only accepted, but expected. The attitude almost seems to be, “if you went to war and didn’t come back with PTSD, did you even deploy at all?” That’s not a healthy perception for the American people, or for vets themselves, to have of the veteran community.
Before I wrap this article up, I want to make a couple of things clear. First of all, I whole-heartedly agree that PTSD is a real condition that genuinely affects many people, including several of my personal friends. People should continue to get help for their conditions, and if a diagnosis of PTSD is confirmed (by multiple doctors!), then they should follow the treatment regimen accordingly. But the problem of misdiagnosis and false PTSD claims has become so widespread that it is seeming more and more like “everyone” has it. And if everyone has it, then no one has it, and that’s really, really bad for those few who genuinely suffer from the disorder. That pisses me off, and it should piss you off as well.
So yeah, I’m skeptical when I hear people, especially veterans, trot out claims of PTSD to explain away their criminal actions, boorish behavior, or poor life decisions. Bogus, weak, or misdiagnosed PTSD cases are overloading the system at a time that it should have been laser focused on those with real problems.
And that should concern all of us.