The Mayer Law Blog

Some Notes on PTSD

Posted June 23rd, 2015 in Military Advocacy, Military Law

Post-traumatic stress disorder is suffered by many, many former servicemembers. It can arise from many different sources. It is a sad byproduct of combat and military service.

However, many individuals are becoming callous to these claims. After all, many claim PTSD, and some are merely seeking to get money from the federal government. It is not unusual to for PTSD claims to be made by individuals in basic training who state that they suffer because their drill sergeant talked loudly to them. These questionable claims cause all claims to be viewed with a certain degree of skepticism. Ask any military lawyer, using PTSD as a defense is getting harder every year.

Knowing this, using PTSD as a defense (during court-martial, a discharge upgrade application, or other administrative procedure) requires proving the legitimacy of the claim, the condition, and the evidence. It isn’t impossible, but it is increasingly difficult.

Here are a few random observation after presenting a handful of PTSD defenses:

  • Documentation is key. The documentation needs to be clear and complete.
  • Self-diagnoses always fail.
  • The best diagnosis comes from a psychologist or psychiatrist.
  • Some licensed counselors and social works are very competent, but their diagnosis is not as compelling as those from a Dr.
  • If you feel that you are suffering from PTSD, seek medical/professional attention immediately. You may feel like being a “tough guy.” However, being a “tough guy” means you won’t have any documentation.
  • The most persuasive records of PTSD are those that are generated while a person is still in the military.
  • You may be tempted to use a “hired gun” (someone who says whatever they are paid to say). They are easier to spot than you think. Beware these types of witnesses/professionals.

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