Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Civilians often don’t get PTSD help

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 1, 2011

Experts say if you’re having difficulty sleeping, experiencing nightmares, or having unexplained bursts of anger, you may be showing signs of PTSD and should probably seek professional help quickly – before you harm yourself or someone else.

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FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) — Troops returning from war zones go through a rigorous reentry screening to check for signs of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

But, there are thousands of civilian contractors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan without any check for mental health problems

Alice Redding is a computer systems engineer. She has spent more than a year in Iraq and Afghanistan as a civilian contractor setting up servers and computer systems for soldiers.

Redding has flown with the troops into combat zones wearing a flack jack and helmet and has come under fire. Now that’s she’s back home in Fayetteville, it’s emotionally tough.

“I would wake up and realize I’m not there anymore. But it would take me a moment to realize that. And speaking to some of my friends that are retirees from the military, that do have PTSD, they recognize – they say hey you’ve got a touch of PTSD,” she explained.

Redding recalls coming under attack in Afghanistan.

“The last encounter was recently – about three months ago. While I was there, a rocket came. It was in the middle of the day. I was walking to one location and you know it’s close when you hear the whistle sound,” she said.

But while there is help available for soldiers returning from combat zones, civilians mostly don’t get that kind of support.

“We don’t have any statistics of who’s exactly got Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. We just don’t know. We don’t know if they’re committing violent crimes. We don’t know if they’re having problems with relationships,” said Redding.

Experts say if you’re having difficulty sleeping, experiencing nightmares, or having unexplained bursts of anger, you may be showing signs of PTSD and should probably seek professional help quickly – before you harm yourself or someone else.

While some military contractors provide mental health assessments, the majority of civilians who volunteer to head to combat zones are expected to seek their own civilian mental health care.

2 Responses to “Civilians often don’t get PTSD help”

  1. […] Read more… […]

  2. Karl Tusing said

    I can testify to that myself. An after I went thru my crap, alone, which took years, I tried to get someone, anyone, interested in this aspect of our foreign military doctrine, even gov’t officials. No one seems interested in this. They’ve outsourced the work to DoD contractors, and thereby outsourced the problem. Good luck getting a civilian health insurance company to pay for PTSD related therapies.

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