Government Analysis Finds Veterans With PTSD Can Suffer from Condition for Decades

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 9, 2014 – A study from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) underscores the findings of earlier reports that drew attention to combat-related disorders.

This year marks the 100th-year anniversary of the beginning of World War I, the so-called war to end all wars.

Sadly and ironically, a study released on August 8 has found that the after-effects of combat stress among veterans can linger for decades, just as the consequences of the “Great War” affected (and is still affecting) conflicts many years later.

The VA-commissioned study tracked veterans from as far back as the Vietnam War. Researchers found that, no matter how old the conflict, veterans who served in it and experienced war-related traumas (specifically, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD) have, at best, only minimally recovered. In many cases, Vietnam vets with PTSD have died, many of them before retirement age.

This study was particularly comprehensive because it followed service members through their adult lives. It buttresses many of the arguments that were made in the wake of the VA’s first analysis on the subject of mental injuries as a result of war, which was released in 1992.

That landmark study surveyed 2,348 Vietnam veterans and ushered in the acceptance of PTSD as a potential consequence of the traumatic experience of military service during a war.

“The government’s acknowledgment of PTSD as a plausible danger is, perhaps surprisingly, a relatively recent development,” said David W. Magann, a prominent attorney in Tampa, Florida who specializes in serving the legal needs of veterans.

“But while Washington’s acceptance of the condition has legitimized PTSD-linked disability claims, there remain many veterans suffering from PTSD who have yet to avail themselves of the benefits they have earned and could use to help them cope with the disorder.”

According to the VA study, a vast majority of veterans with PTSD do learn to cope with the disorder, but most of those who do not — accounting for 11 percent of all Vietnam vets who were surveyed — would endure the deleterious effects of PTSD for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, the study also found that the lives of more than 18 percent of veterans afflicted with PTSD are cut short before retirement age, a percentage that is about double that of those vets not suffering from the disorder.

“The VA’s study has shed more light on the number of veterans who have been impacted by PTSD for extended periods of time – sometimes lifetimes,” Magann said. “More research on the causes of long-term affliction with PTSD is welcome, but in the meantime, there is an immediate need for all vets with PTSD to seek the benefits they are entitled to, regardless of when they served in the armed forces.”

Learn more at David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548