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39 States and both Houses of Congress drop the “D” to diminish stigma


     The diagnostic term PTSD was first crafted in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association to commonly describe severe traumatic combat stress in Vietnam veterans. As a result of intensive research and recent developments in electro-magnetic imaging, it has been shown that severe post-traumatic stress can cause physical, and reversible, changes within the brain which more accurately describe an injury than a disorder – a treatable wound calling for timely care.

     Beyond the harmful affect it has on cure, the dispassionate use of the word “disorder” assails the sense of honor due the brave men and women who have received these wounds in action against an enemy of the United States and similarly fails to acknowledge the gallantry exhibited by first-responders while putting themselves at risk on a regular basis. At the community level, its use can inadvertently disparage the character of victims of crime and abuse, as well as survivors of life-threatening accidents and natural disaster.

     Plainly, there is room for advancement here. Under the premise that an elevation in recognition and compassion can translate into a reduction in stigma and the subsequential loss of life, our goal is to eliminate the word “disorder” from the vernacular when referring to this very common human experience and replace it with the more honorable less stigmatizing term post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI)

     We do not support merely dropping the word “disorder” from the title, leaving it as Post-Traumatic Stress or PTS.

     We do not want to counteract the APA’s existing distinction between common post-traumatic stress and the more debilitating form of that condition.

     As specified in DSM 3 through 5, it is normal to have post-traumatic stress (PTS) after directly or indirectly experiencing  a traumatic event, a stressor, as defined under paragraph A of the PTSD Criteria. When symptoms persist, and the brain does not reset itself, meeting all Criteria  A through H the components signify debilitation. A traumatized, yet uninjured, brain stays in appropriate alarm mode as needed, returning to normal within a month. An injured brain has been physically altered and needs medical attention.

     Although we are a veterans organization, our concern is with all who suffer from the psychological and moral injuries now grouped together under the term Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For individual Bills, Resolutions and Proclamations in 2018 go to *Supporters*. 




WHEREAS, all citizens of the United States possess the basic human right to the preservation of personal dignity;

WHEREAS, all citizens of the United States deserve the investment of every possible resource to ensure their lasting physical, mental, and emotional well-being;

WHEREAS, the diagnosis known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was first defined by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980 to more accurately understand and treat veterans who had endured severe operational combat stress;

WHEREAS, combat stress injuries have historically been unjustly portrayed as a mental illness caused by a preexisting flaw of character or ability, and that the word “disorder” carries a stigma that perpetuates this misconception which can discourage the injured from seeking proper and timely medical treatment,

WHEREAS, referring to the complications from combat operational stress as a disorder perpetuates the stigma of and bias against mental illness;

WHEREAS, that rather characterize the condition as a disorder, it has been shown though electro-magnetic imaging that it is more accurately described as an injury;

WHEREAS, severe post-traumatic stress is a very common, and treatable, injury to the brain which can occur following exposure to extremely traumatic events such as, but not exclusive to: interpersonal violence, combat, life-threatening accidents or natural disasters;

WHEREAS, referring to the condition as post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) is less stigmatizing and viewed as more honorable, and this designation can favorably influence those affected and encourage them to seek treatment without fear of retribution or shame;

WHEREAS, all citizens suffering from post-traumatic stress injury deserve our compassion and consideration, those brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have received these wounds in action against an enemy of the United States further deserve our special tribute and acknowledgement; and

WHEREAS, post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) is an injury that is repairable, and that timely treatment can diminish complications and prevent suicides among the injured:


NOW, THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED that the (Senate/House/Assembly):

designates June 27th of each year is designated as (state) Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day;

designates June as (state) Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month;

respectfully urges our Departments of Public Health, Military and Veterans Affairs to continue working to educate victims of interpersonal violence, combat, life-threatening accidents or natural disasters and their families, as well as the general public, about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of post-traumatic stress injury and

respectfully directs that this resolution be transmitted to the Governor for appropriate proclamation and execution and to the Secretary of State for appropriate publication and preservation.