PTSD and the Defense Base Act
Working for your country overseas can be a very stressful and difficult experience. Even if you end up having a successful tour, chances are you will have still gone through a lot during the process. However, those who aren’t as fortunate to escape unscathed have it even tougher. Many people who experience injury overseas may end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems. It is a very real problem, and presents complicated issues that physical injuries generally do not.
When a Defense Base Act case is opened with someone suffering from PTSD, most don’t openly discuss that they are suffering from this condition. Actually, one of the key criterion of PTSD is avoiding talking about the trauma. The afflicted party may even be treating with a doctor for depression or anxiety, but not associating the symptoms to their work overseas.
In addition, injured workers may complain about physical pain, even when there is no identifiable medical problem. This can be caused by underlying PTSD, where they will focus on a body part that hurts, sometimes converting a psychiatric problem into a tangible one. Though this is an unconscious process by the injured worker, it is a key coping mechanism for PTSD. They are not purposefully exaggerating the pain – they actually do feel that something exists, and they want to get better.
Unfortunately, insurance companies accuse the injured worker of intentionally exaggerating their physical symptoms for economic gain. However, psychiatrists generally agree that intentionally faking things is quite uncommon. On the contrary, the injured worker is simply trying to cope with their injuries.
Your Defense Base Act attorney needs to be able to ask treating doctors about the possibility of PTSD. Doctors need to go through and differentiate physical injuries from psychiatric ones. Some psychiatric conditions are compensable, but not permanently disabling. In these cases, many workers are able to return to the workforce after undergoing treatment with medication and counseling. If you have any questions about the process, you can feel comfortable reaching out to Kenneth G. Franconero, PLLC. He has dealt with the Defense Base Act for a long time, and can answer your questions. Contact Kenneth G. Franconero, PLLC, today, and get started with a free case review.
For more information visit https://www.defensebaseinjury.com or call (855) KGF-PLLC.