DoD Accused of Wrongfully Diagnosing Service Men and Women

by Levi Newman on September 28, 2010

Chairman of the House of Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Bob Filner, accused the Department of Defense with wrongfully discharging over 22,000 veterans for personality disorders between 2002 and 2007.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not grant disability benefits to service members diagnosed with personality disorders as these types of disorders are not equated with service. Chairman Filner believes the DoD is misdiagnosing veterans to avoid the distribution of benefits.

“DoD reports that the use of personality disorder discharges has decreased and that no soldiers have been wrongfully discharged,” stated Chairman Filner on Monday. “I cannot help but suspect that our men and women are not getting the help that they need and are struggling with PTSD, TBI, and other stresses of war on their own because of wrongful personality disorder discharges.”

Although the DoD states that service men and women suffering from service-related mental illnesses are not discharged and are being diagnosed and treated accordingly, not everyone is convinced. “A personality disorder discharge is a contradiction in terms,” stated investigative reporter, Joshua Kors. “Recruits who have a severe, pre-existing illness like a personality disorder do not pass the rigorous screening process and are not accepted into the Army.”

Chairman Filner continues to press the DoD about its use of the personality disorder discharge. “I remain extremely concerned that our dedicated service members struggle to get the proper mental health care and support while fighting America’s wars,” he stated. “I hope that the military’s inattention to this particular issue is not the typical manner which the services address the needs of its troops, although I’m not optimistic that is the case.”

Photo thanks to 60in3 under creative common license on Flickr.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacky G February 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

If it is at all possible for Mr Kelley to email me I would greatly appreciate it. I am an Army vet who was discharged in 2002 under personality disorder. I strongly believe that my command either made a mistake or made up a story to get me kicked out because they knew I was gay but because I never actually went to them and said it they came up with their own way to get me out of the Army. I have requested documents and records from the DOD and Army HR and have yet to get anything supporting a personality disorder discharge. I am looking for someone to help me go against them and to get this fixed so that I may reenlist or at least be able to look back on my service with some dignity. It’s embarrassing to have people ask me why I’m no longer serving and not really know the answer. Anyway, if there is someone out there who can offer some help I would forever appreciate it.

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Karl C. Rankin Jr. May 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Sir,
I was discharged in 1988 with personality discharge. I’ve been homeless on the streets of S.L.C. Utah, Florida, Wyoming Montana, Kentucky, Tennessee and other states since, then. I recently got treatment in Ky. for Bi-polar disorder at VAMC. I’ve been an alcoholic for 23 years. The army discharged me after I re-enlisted for 6 yeaqrs. I served 4 years honorably before that. They never gave me treatment until I became suicidal 4 years ato. Now, they say after I filed for disability, I can’t expect it. I have to take meds. for disorder. I am functional, now. and living in a homeless per diem prgm. in Lexington, ky. I am one of the first discharged under this P.D. I just need continued medical attention. It doesn’t go away. I fear my reaction if I don’t get continuing treatment.

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Audrey Beebe May 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Karl, it has taken an incredible amount of personal strength for you to make it through the trials of life since your discharge. It is good to hear that you have found that program in Lexington to help you take a step up from your situations. As for the VA saying you can’t expect benefits, fight this! See if you can contact the local VFW, or the VSO at the VA to have someone help you file an appeal for any denied claim. We wish you as much luck as possible in continuing to regain your footing.

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Dawn February 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I was also discharged with PD.. after I was raped and sodomized by fellow navy servicemen. This was diagnosed after I had already served 3 years and 10 months into my 4 year enlistment! Since the incidents, I have suffered from MTS and PTSD and have had a hard time keeping a job. I am getting help at the VAMC in NC now, but had gone almost 20 some years before getting any help. I have filed for disibility, and it has taken the VA or DOD over a year now to pay up any compensation or disibility. I feel I’ve been let down.

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