June is PTSD Awareness Month. What health manual did the Legion help get PTSD into in 1980?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), first published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952 (and which actually evolved partly from an Armed Forces classification system developed during World War II). In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the Legion and other veterans groups had lobbied for PTSD’s addition so more health-care attention and resources could be directed to veterans suffering from it. When the disorder made it into DSM-III in 1980, military personnel were listed as being at increased risk for developing it, and war was listed as a potential source of trauma along with rape, surviving a disaster, etc.

The Legion’s advocacy of PTSD research and treatment continues today. At the 2013 Spring Meetings, the National Executive Committee passed a resolution making the TBI/PTSD Ad Hoc Committee a permanent part of the Legion. Click here for more background on this combat health problem.