It’s PTSI — Not PTSD

Let’s remove the stigma associated with “disorder” and save lives.

A composite from the new PSA, sponsored by Erase PTSD Now, reflecting a movement for change. In the coming months, there’s a good chance it will be aired via broadcast television in PSA spots. View the PSA in its entirety below.

With great passion and determination, Dr. Eugene Lipov advocates for “PTSI” (short for post-traumatic stress injury) to replace the clinical diagnosis of PTSD, (post-traumatic stress disorder). He, along with many other leaders, within the medical community and beyond, believe that a successful change in the labeling of the condition will help remove the stigma that comes with the diagnosis — and, it will save lives in the process.

Dr. Lipov’s friend and colleague, Dr. Frank Ochberg, is among those leading voices for change. Dr. Ochberg is one of the founding fathers of modern psychotraumatology and served on the committee that originally defined PTSD. He argues that this is an important matter of construct — not, simply, semantics — in recognition that the condition is indeed physiological in nature, evidence of which can be seen on advanced brain scans.

VIDEO THUMBNAIL: One of founding fathers of modern psychotraumatology who and served on the committee that originally defined PTSD makes argument for “PTSI.”
Play Video about VIDEO THUMBNAIL: One of founding fathers of modern psychotraumatology who and served on the committee that originally defined PTSD makes argument for “PTSI.”

From the foreword, The Invisible Machine

“A searing event changes our neuroanatomy and our neurophysiology. Fifty years ago, we could not detect these changes through routine neuroimaging. Now we can. These visible changes affect our thoughts, actions, and reactions. Post-traumatic stress symptoms are a natural, biological response, built into our DNA as a survival mechanism — one that can be turned on but not always turned off.”

~ DR. FRANK OCHBERG, M.D., a founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and recipient of their highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. He edited the first text on treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and served on the committee that defined PTSD. He was associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health and director of the Michigan Mental Health Department. At Michigan State University, he is clinical professor of psychiatry.

Joining Dr. Lipov and Dr. Ochberg, in this push for “PTSI”:

  1. Dr. Charles Figley, a psychologist and trauma expert who has been a proponent of using the term “post-traumatic stress injury” since the 1990s.

  2. The Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that provides services and support to injured veterans, has supported the use of PTSI as a more accurate description of the harm caused by trauma.

  3. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), a veteran and former teacher who introduced a bill in 2017 to change the name of PTSD to PTSI in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system.

  4. The National Center for PTSD, which is part of the VA, has also considered the use of PTSI in its research and clinical work.

  5.  Retired United States Army General, Peter William Chiarelli, served as the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army and retired from the United States Army on January 31, 2012 after nearly 40 years of service, succeeded as Vice Chief of Staff by General Lloyd J. Austin III. Chiarelli worked vigorously to reduce suicide rates in the Army. Out of concerns for stigma, he began using the term “post-traumatic stress,” dropping the word “disorder” from the medical name post-traumatic stress disorder. His term had subsequently become standard use in the armed forces, but was not taken up by the medical community. In a 2011 interview with PBS NewsHour, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said that the term “disorder” perpetuates a bias against the condition and “has the connotation of being something that [was] a pre-existing problem” for an individual before enlisting in the Army, adding that the label “makes the person seem weak.” He continued, “It seems clear to me that we should get rid of the ‘D’ if that is in any way inhibiting people from getting the help they need,” Chiarelli said. Calling it an injury instead of a disorder “would have a huge impact,” encouraging soldiers suffering from the condition to seek help, according to the four-star general.

  6. Gloria Steinem: “The simple act of changing the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Injury would help make clear that the injured party is not at fault. Naming reality is the first step toward making it visible—and changing it.”

  7. Erase PTSD Now, a 501c3 non-profit that is passionate about eradicating PTSD from the lives of those impacted by it. We desire to see individuals, as well as affected families and communities, restored to a pre-trauma state. We understand that hurt people hurt others, and we are committed to breaking the cycles of pain that plague our society through proper treatment of trauma, research, and awareness.

Dr. Lipov is the Medical Advisor at Erase PTSD Now and he encourages folks who can, to donate to the organization to support its mission of funding/coordinating life-saving treatment for those most in need.

itsptsi web promo

It’s about time! is a collaborative effort between Dr. Eugene Lipov and his team, along with Erase PTSD Now! (a 5013c non-profit). It’s mission is to facilitate a change to the label of post-traumatic stress from “PTSD” to “PTSI.” Successfully persuading the American Psychiatric Association to change the diagnosis is key, but shifting the way society and thinks and talks about post-traumatic stress must occur, too. Thus, the website seeks to bolster  the campaign by evolving into a de facto clearinghouse to educate the general public of a movement for change that began, at least, 15 years ago.

Watch the new PSA, sponsored by the non-profit, Erase PTSD Now

psa3 lipov thumbnail for website
Play Video about VIDEO THUMBNAIL IMAGE: PSA sponsored by Erase PTSD Now, advocating for for “PTSI” ( short for post-traumatic stress injury) to replace the clinical diagnosis of PTSD, ( post-traumatic stress disorder).