Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a debilitating condition that affects those directly in the line of fire and also those around the inflicted. Obtaining care from government support can be an extremely painstaking process, but a new study shows a relation between PTSD and compromised immune systems in Veterans. This means that there may be greater hope to Veterans afflicted with PTSD, making it earlier to identify the condition with less red tape.
The number of vets getting mental health care has increased to 1.2 million from 900,000 in the past four years. Last year alone, over 400,000 veterans who received mental health treatment had a diagnosis of PTSD.
Among troops still in the military, officials estimate 1 in 5 has suffered acute stress, anxiety, depression or other mental problems from a war zone deployment.
As research continues, novel methods for diagnosing and treating PTSD could be developed, says Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, the study’s lead researcher.
“This breakthrough in helping Veterans with PTSD is very encouraging. To take full advantage of these medical developments, it’s important for Veterans to apply for the benefits they deserve. Because the immune system and the nervous system interact closely with each other, dysregulation in one can severely affect the other, leading to the onset of clinical disorders associated with PTSD.”
PTSD impacts nearly 30% of Vietnam War Veterans and more than 35% of the Veterans returning from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, the Veterans Administration provides disability benefits to Veterans diagnosed with PTSD related to their active military service. Depending on the extent of a disability and the disability rating, the average amount of Veterans’ benefits can range from $123 to $2,613 per month.
To be eligible for the benefits, a Veteran must present a clear medical diagnosis of PTSD, evidence of a stressor event that occurred during military service, and evidence that the stressor event is a cause of the PTSD. With the relation to a weakened immune system, the standards to receive care may be easier to identify.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C., states that attorneys and claims representatives are available to help Veterans obtain benefits by counseling and representing them throughout the application process and any subsequent appeals. The condition traditionally has been marked by psychological symptoms, such as depression, anger and anxiety. But the new research has identified a connection between PTSD and an increase in certain types of cells that regulate immune functions.
“The application can involve complex paperwork, and appeals may be necessary if the VA denies the claim or rates it as less severe than it really is. This process can be especially burdensome for Veterans who are coping with a painful and debilitating condition such as PTSD. After they have sacrificed so much for our country, we believe that our Veterans deserve the best medical care available and quality legal assistance in order to help them to carry on with their lives.”
Source: Offical News Release
Written by Sy Kraft