Social Injustice and Stigma Regarding the Diagnosis and Compensation

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Running Head: POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: SOCIAL INJUSTICE

Social Injustice and Stigma Regarding the Diagnosis and Compensation For Patients who Present with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
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October 16, 2007

Social Injustice and Stigma Regarding the Diagnosis and Compensation For Patients who Present with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Introduction

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe chronic mental illness associated with psychiatric distress, social maladjustment, poor quality of life, and medical comorbidity. Yet, for the past twenty years it has been a controversial mental illness diagnosis not only due to its subjectivity but also, because of factors that have increased its prevalence and sudden onset, such as compensation for long-term disability and withdrawal from combat duty (Schlenger, Kulka, Fairbank, Jordan, Hough, Marmar, & Weiss, 2006). Despite the severity of the syndrome, people with PTSD tend to receive inadequate mental health services in the public sector and their symptoms often go unrecognized. Impediments to mental health treatment, in general, have included: concerns about cost, lack of time to seek care, stigma, or feelings among affected persons that they can take care of mental health symptoms independently or other people need the mental professionals services more than themselves (altruistic concerns in times of disaster) (Stuber, Galea, Boscarino, & Schlesinger, 2006). Although high health care costs must be contained and services increased, the value system that provides the foundation of nursing must be preserved; nurses have an ethical obligation to respect clients and provide or obtain needed health services for them.

Research

PTSD is currently a diagnostic category under the



References: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.) Guy, Nicola, & Guy, Keith. (2007). In traumatic times. Occupational Health, 59(8), 23. Retrieved October 5, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry database. Keltner, Norman L., & Dowben, Jonathan S. (2007). Psychobiological Substrates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – Part I 101. Retrieved October 5, 2007, from Research Library Database. McEwen, B. S. (1999). Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. New England Journal of Medicine, 338, 171-179 Stuber, Jennifer, Galea, Sandro, Boscarino, Joseph A., & Schlesinger, Mark. (2006). Was there unmet mental health need after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks? Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 41(3), 230-40. Retrieved October 19, 2007, from Research Library database

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