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.