New Study Shows Americans Have Many Misconceptions About Veterans with PTSD

man holding head

According to the results of a survey conducted by Cohen Veterans Network, most Americans still believe many myths and lack crucial information about veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Out of the 2,000 adults who responded to the survey, 67% were under the impression that most veterans struggle with PTSD and 74% thought that most combat veterans suffered from PTSD. However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says that 11% to 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are affected by PTSD, while 12% of Gulf War veterans and 15% of Vietnam War veterans have PTSD.

The survey results also revealed that 26% of respondents believe the majority of people with PTSD are violent or dangerous. 23% of respondents also said that PTSD could not be treated. Just like depression or anxiety, PTSD is recognized as a treatable disorder. In addition to anti-depressants and other medications, PTSD can also be treated with trauma-focused psychotherapies.

One study found that 44% of 81,000 patients with PTSD actually improved after undergoing treatment and eventually no longer met the criteria of PTSD. VA studies have found that 53% of patients who received trauma-focused therapies and 42% of patients treated with medications improved and no longer exhibited signs of PTSD.

Dr. Anthony Hassan, president and CEO of Cohen Veterans Network, said that the average American’s lack of understanding about PTSD and other mental health challenges creates a stigma that prevents people from seeking help when they need it most.

“Military-connected Americans,” such as service members, veterans, and people with a family member who has served on active duty or in the National Guard, also have many misconceptions about PTSD. 38% of respondents who were military-connected said that people with PTSD are dangerous. This was near twice as many as the respondents who didn’t have ties to the military. 35% of respondents connected to the military also said they believe PTSD is not treatable, which was nearly double when compared to respondents without any military affiliation.

Dr. Hassan stresses that despite the evidence that myths regarding PTSD persist, many people serving in the military with PTSD do so well and “go on to lead great lives and get promoted. They do wonderful things. So, it’s just a myth that keeps on going despite all of the efforts. There is still a lot more work to be done. Again, PTSD is treatable.”

Speak to Our Brain Injury & PTSD Attorneys

At Scarlett Law Group, we know that dealing with PTSD can be alienating and frustrating for many people who are seeking help. Our firm is committed to helping clients seek fair compensation for their PTSD trauma so they can get the right treatments and move on with your life as quickly as possible.

To speak to an attorney at our firm, please give us a call at (415) 688-2176 or contact us online.

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