Post-traumatic stress disorder could be in for a name change as some Army and Department of Veterans Affairs officials push to redefine its diagnosis as an injury, rather than a disorder.
In a Nov. 4, 2011, interview with PBS Newshour, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who was then vice chief of staff but is now retired from the Army, said renaming PTSD could encourage more soldiers to seek help when they’ve exceeded their capacity to cope with a traumatic event.
Chiarelli’s call for a name change comes at a time when the American Psychiatric Association is updating its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which “classifies and defines the criteria for mental health conditions.”
Responding to questions about the possibility of such a name change, Fort Stewart’s Winn Army Community Hospital’s public affairs officer Michelle Gordon contacted the Army Medical Command’s Office of the Surgeon General.
“That is not up to the Army Medical Command,” said Maria Tolleson, media relations specialist for the Office of the Surgeon General Public Affairs, Directorate of Communications. “Right now, PTSD is a defined disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So the decision to re-define it will be made by the august body that makes up the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the DSM.”
Read more in the June 6 edition of the News.