The light went on in my head during a debate over PTSD nomenclature last year.
Then-president of the American Psychiatric Association, John Oldham, was chairing a session entitled Combat-Related PTSD: Injury or Disorder? Today’s Time Magazine carries a no-nonsense article about what PTSD is, exactly.
“A stellar panel of trauma experts — retired generals, senior researchers and key framers of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — debated whether the term, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should be changed to post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI).
“Supporters of the change to “injury” argued that it might help overcome the stigma that many military members and veterans associate with seeking treatment for PTSD. Service members aren’t happy to report “a disorder” but might be willing to admit an injury. Those in opposition argued that “injury” is too imprecise a term for psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. As I sat through the heated session, it struck me that they were also implying that the term, disorder, is somehow “more scientific” and, therefore, “more psychiatric.” Continue reading “PTSD explained”
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that, given the opportunity, they would vote “for” allowing women to serve in combat roles.These results are from a Gallup survey conducted just after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on women serving in direct combat. Gallup states that:”The findings, from a quick-reaction poll conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking on Jan. 24, also show that men and women are equally likely to favor allowing women to serve in combat roles.
“There are modest partisan differences. Democrats, including independents who lean Democratic, are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to support allowing women to serve in combat — 83% vs. 70% — although clear majorities from both parties favor it. Those who are younger are more likely to favor the policy than are those who are older. Among those aged 18 to 49, 84% favor the policy, compared with 63% of those aged 50 and older — a difference of 21 percentage points. Continue reading “Strong public support for women in combat”
“Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday,” reports the New York Times.
“The groundbreaking decision overturns a 1994 Pentagon rule that restricts women from artillery, armor, infantry and other such combat roles, even though in reality women have frequently found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, where more than 20,000 have served. As of last year, more than 800 women had been wounded in the two wars and more than 130 had died.
“Defense officials offered few details about Mr. Panetta’s decision but described it as the beginning of a process to allow the branches of the military to put the change into effect. Defense officials said Mr. Panetta had made the decision on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Continue reading “Women to serve in combat”