The level of mental health problems for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan due to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) is staggering. These problems were completely unanticipated and therefore were not able to be properly treated. The treatment for soldiers and veterans with TBIs is in a perpetual state of playing catch up. As long as that is the case, the possibility of an epidemic of veterans with psychological damage developing is very likely.
The Department of Defense (DoD) claims 332,000 soldiers have had TBIs since 2000. Most estimates put that number over 400,000, although many are given the misnomer of being mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs).
Most would agree there is no TBI that is mild. Almost every TBI has the potential to develop into not only physical issues rooted in chronic pain, but can also cause insomnia and sexual performance issues.
The chances of any TBI, “mild” or not, resulting in one of the following is very high:
- changes in personality; and/or
- anxiety disorders.
Roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are commonplace and rampant in Iraq and Afghanistan. MTBIs occur whenever a soldier is either rendered unconscious for at least 30 minutes or experiences an “altered state of consciousness.” It is easy to see why there are so many soldiers being diagnosed with such mental conditions.
The majority of soldiers recover from MTBIs. Soldiers being exposed to multiple blasts compound their issues and lower their chances of fully recovering. MTBIs, however, are difficult to diagnose, and therefore difficult to treat. New technology, however, does not make either one impossible.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.