Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

PTSD can strike those even on the periphery of combat

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 6, 2011

Paul Fattig The Mail Tribune

Although U.S. military policy does not officially allow women in combat, many who served in Iraq and Afghanistan experienced battlefield conditions.

Bullets and bombs don’t differentiate between men and women, experts say.

Women in combat are just as vulnerable to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as men,” explained psychologist Judith Emerson, associate chief of staff for mental health at the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics inWhite City.

“PTSD is an anxiety disorder, but it is one of the more treatable disorders.”

Female veterans can experience depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms, leading to substance abuse and even suicide.

Emerson said a study published in December by the American Psychiatric Association reported 112 veteran suicides in Oregon between 2000 and 2005. Of those, four were women.

“Women come back with different role expectations,” said Emerson, who teaches classes on PTSD. “And people may be less understanding what they are going through.”  Please read the entire story here

One Response to “PTSD can strike those even on the periphery of combat”

  1. I’m certain that the families of injured and deceased war zone contractors are experiencing PTSD from the unbelievable and unjust actions of the insurance companies who are delaying and denying valid claims. Making the damages much worse is what appears to be gross incompetence and/or betrayal of the Department of Labor and Department of Justice who fail/refuse to stop the reckless endangerment of the lives of claimants and their families !!

    I told my own Psychologist that there is also Current Traumatic Stress that should be considered a disorder when the PTSD patient continues to be subjected to the same or different stress such as crimes committed by the insurance company.

    My case is a disability case in the U.S., but I think the following quotes from my Psychologist about my PTSD may help some injured war zone contractors and their families to further realize how the insurance companies can actually cause PTSD in the injured contratcors and their family members.

    It is also important to note that the Department of Labor “is responsible” for stopping reckless endangerment like this according to their website, but I just received a letter from a DOl director in Washington who wrote that they will do nothing at this time !!

    Here’s how an insurance company caused my PTSD and continues to recklessly endanger my life :

    One of my cancer doctor’s requested that I see a Psychologist because of the extreme stress and depression that I experienced as Metlife and my employer ignored my eye cancer. I was forced to work with pains that felt like I was being jabbed in my eyes with a needle.

    Here are quotes from my Psychologist’s four page report :

    “It is my impression that three medical doctors paid by Metlife appeared to have ignored medical evidence. For example, Metlife’s paid consultant, Dr. Yanik, “evaluated” Mr. Schmittou without ever having seen him or his medical record from 2004 through 2008.

    In fact, from the time he filed the claims in 2002 until the Court ordered a review in 2008, Metlife ignored both his claims for long-term disability based on vision impairments and on psychological impairments. In treatment, I have observed that the impact of such actions by Metlife has resulted in exacerbation of Mr. Schmititou’s psychological symptoms and periods of significant destabilization.”

    “While being diagnosed with cancer was itself traumatizing, the subsequent nine-year struggle with Metlife has proved even more devastating to Mr. Schmittou. His COBRA insurance expired. He had no money for food, housing, insurance, medical treatment, or medication for four years until he received Social Security Disability benefits.

    His credit has been ruined. He has had to move in with his parents. He has developed desperate fears about homelessness. Understandably, his mental health deteriorated, traumatized by this threat to his life, his well-being, his sense of wholeness.

    Now, in addition to his impaired vision, he has intense psychological distress, impaired concentration, impaired frustration tolerance, fitful sleep, irritability, and hypervigilance, all hallmarks of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a result, he is at greater risk for impulsive acts against himself or others.”

    “At various times, Mr. Schmittou has informed Metlife how desperate he has become. He has begged Metlife to stop the delays and obfuscations, because they added to his stress and depression, even to the point he often wished he were dead. Currently, he is so demoralized he is not seeking treatment for suspicious skin lesions or disturbing GI symptoms.”

    “In light of the violations Metlife has committed against Mr. Schmittou and Metlife’s awareness of the additional harm caused him, Metlife’s actions seem irresponsible, inhumane, dangerous, and reckless.”
    (end of quotes)

    Here are quotes from another urgent letter that my Psychologist wrote to Assistant Secretary of Labor Ms. Borzi and Metlife Senior Management on December 2nd, 2010.

    “His intense emotional misery is a daily struggle. His thoughts and emotions are so troubled he describes feeling “like my brain is on fire”. I think he struggles to express the fullness of his distress. The fact that he has not sought recommended medical treatment for a variety of physical symptoms because he “doesn’t see the use” is evidence of the severity of his depression, in my opinion.”

    “I have deep concern for my patient if he has to repeat the appeals process. He needs for this claim ordeal to be over.”

    (end of quotes)

    If you click on my name you will see how the same types of insurance company crimes that are destroying the lives of injured war zone contractors are also being inflicted on disabled American workers. The Department of Labor will do nothing to stop them !!

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