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Veterans facing PTSD 'moral injury' symptoms

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

With an increase over the years of those entering combat zones in service of their country, more and more service men and women are suffering from both physical and mental injuries upon returning home. For some veteran's these injuries are not easily labeled to fit within the parameters of veterans' benefits since they fall within what some label "moral injuries." A moral injury is where someone violates their moral code in some manner and is now struggling to deal with the consequences.

One East Coast former Marine Captain recently opened up to the New Jersey Herald and said that he carries his moral guilt every day over some of the events that took place over in Iraq and Afghanistan. While a moral injury does is not your typical injury associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, some are looking to evolve their understanding of PTSD to incorporate such psychological trauma.

A moral injury for a veteran tends to slowly torture the individual through internal turmoil that leads to great shame, guilt, and often times rage. Since it is not a medical problem, but one of an overstepped moral boundary, psychiatrists and other medical professionals are having trouble figuring out how to best help veterans cope with these issues. Luckily, the Defense Department has approved further studies and funding in order to better understand this new facet of PTSD that seems to be affecting many veterans.

If you are a veteran and suffering from some debilitating disease or injury and would like to further explore the veterans' benefits available to you, please contact an attorney practiced in veterans' benefits. They will be able to help guide you through the application and collection process as well as provide legal options should you have trouble receiving those benefits owed due to service.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "War zone killing: Vets feel 'alone' in their guilt," Pauline Jelinke, Feb. 22, 2013

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