Vets Gain Easier Access to PTSD Treatment

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KCBS)- There’s positive local reaction to a new rule that will affect hundreds of thousands of veterans.

Service members will gain easier access to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. David Spiegel is a psychiatrist at Stanford Medical Center. He applauds the Department of Veterans affairs for dropping a requirement for service members to document specific events that may have caused PTSD.

“If you’ve got the symptoms; the nightmares, the flashbacks, the irritability, and sleep disturbance, you’ve got the disorder and it’s less important to document what the trigger was that set it off,” said Dr. Spiegel.

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In some cases PTSD can linger for 10 years. Spiegel calls it a chronic illness.

“Some people get better on their own, but there are treatments that involve various kinds of psychotherapies,” added Spiegel.

The new rule, which takes effect Monday, applies to veterans who served in all wars and is estimated to cost over several years some $5 billion.

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