Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Name for PTSD?

First it was called "shell shock." Then "battle fatigue." Now it's PTSD -- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But is this still the wrong name?

Speaking at a meeting of the American Psychoanalytical Association, Dr. Jonathan Shay says we should lose the word "disorder" and just call it "Post-Traumatic Stress" -- or maybe just call it a "Psychological injury."

Shay says that the word "disorder" mis-characterizes the damage of PTSD, and creates a stigma that makes people who have it less likely to seek treatment.

Is this just semantics? Maybe. But words do have power, as Shay discusses here:

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