By Drew MacKenzie
Former President George W. Bush has demanded changes in the way post-traumatic stress disorder is labeled so that the stigma can be removed surrounding the illness affecting many military veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaking at a summit on veterans at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in University Park, Texas, Bush urged that the word “disorder” be erased, that it should just be called “post-traumatic stress,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
“We are going to use our platform to make clear that veterans receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress are not damaged goods, they are not mentally shattered,” Bush said. “They are people who got hurt defending our country and are now overcoming wounds.”
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The former president said that by removing the “D” from PTSD will help veterans settle into civilian life and get jobs.
“Employers would not hesitate to hire an employee being treated for a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure,” Bush said. “And they should not hesitate to hire veterans with post-traumatic stress.
“Post-traumatic stress, or PTS, is an injury that can result from the experience of war. And like other injuries, PTS is treatable.”
Bush was the driving force behind the summit with the aid of the George W. Bush Institute, and he hoped it would show how Americans can help the 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans lead normal lives.
He was joined at the event by Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, and retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace, along with executives from Bank of America and 7-Eleven, the Morning News reported.
Bush, however, will find he’s facing a tough battle to get the PTSD name changed because doctors have previously resisted removing the “D.”
Last year, the American Psychiatric Association brought out a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for the first time in 13 years — and the manual kept the “disorder” in the PTSD psychiatric diagnosis.
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