HJR 30: Urging the American Psychiatric Association to change the term "post-traumatic stress disorder" or "PTSD" to "post-traumatic stress injury" or "PTSI"; and urging the governor to support usage of the term "post-traumatic stress injury."
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 30 01 Urging the American Psychiatric Association to change the term "post-traumatic stress 02 disorder" or "PTSD" to "post-traumatic stress injury" or "PTSI"; and urging the 03 governor to support usage of the term "post-traumatic stress injury." 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS the brave men and women of the armed forces of the United States who 06 proudly serve the nation and risk their lives to protect the freedom of its citizens deserve 07 empathy for and attention to their physical, mental, and emotional well-being; and 08 WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of American service members have been 09 clinically diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the injury affects an estimated 10 total of 7,700,000 Americans; and 11 WHEREAS it is estimated that thousands of Alaskans suffer from combat-related 12 post-traumatic stress injury; and 13 WHEREAS, during the American Revolutionary War, a post-traumatic stress injury 14 was called "nostalgia"; during the American Civil War it was known as "soldier's heart"; 15 during World War I, it was called "shell shock"; during World War II, it was called "battle
01 fatigue"; during the Korean War, it was called "gross stress reaction"; and during the Vietnam 02 War, it was called "Vietnam combat reaction"; and 03 WHEREAS a post-traumatic stress injury occurs after a person has experienced a 04 trauma and can result from the stress of combat, as well as rape, sexual assault, battery, 05 torture, confinement, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or 06 natural disasters, and is characterized by numerous symptoms, including flashbacks, 07 avoidance, hypervigilance, nightmares, re-experiencing, anxiety, emotional numbness, 08 alienation, cognitive deficits, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and thoughts of suicide; and 09 WHEREAS post-traumatic stress can occur at any age, including in childhood; and 10 WHEREAS post-traumatic stress has historically been viewed as a mental illness 11 caused by a preexisting flaw in the person's brain or character; and 12 WHEREAS many people still believe post-traumatic stress injury is incurable; and 13 WHEREAS, in fact, post-traumatic stress is a very common injury to the brain that is 14 treatable and repairable; and 15 WHEREAS the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department 16 of Veterans Affairs, and the National Institute of Mental Health have made significant 17 advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of post-traumatic stress injury and its 18 symptoms; and 19 WHEREAS the term "post-traumatic stress disorder" carries a stigma of 20 misconceptions that the injury is a disorder that is not repairable or treatable; and 21 WHEREAS that stigma discourages people who suffer from post-traumatic stress 22 from seeking proper medical treatment; and 23 WHEREAS service members, veterans, first responders, and victims of abuse, crime, 24 and disaster, as well as their family members, see that the negative associations of having a 25 psychological disorder keep some people from seeking treatment; and 26 WHEREAS efforts should continue to be made to make the condition less 27 stigmatizing and more honorable to increase the number of those affected voluntarily to seek 28 help and assistance; and 29 WHEREAS proper and timely treatment can reduce suicide rates among all citizens, 30 particularly veterans; and 31 WHEREAS all citizens who suffer from post-traumatic stress injury deserve
01 recognition, and those who have received those wounds while serving to defend the right to 02 freedom deserve respect and special honor; and 03 WHEREAS the American Psychiatric Association uses the term "post-traumatic 04 stress disorder" in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental 05 Disorders; 06 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature believes that the term "post- 07 traumatic stress disorder" should be universally changed to "post-traumatic stress injury"; and 08 be it 09 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the American 10 Psychiatric Association to change the term "post-traumatic stress disorder" to "post-traumatic 11 stress injury" in the next revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental 12 Disorders; and be it 13 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to 14 support usage of the term "post-traumatic stress injury." 15 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of 16 the United States; the Honorable Ashton B. Carter, United States Secretary of Defense; the 17 Honorable Robert A. McDonald, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs; General Joseph 18 F. Dunford, Jr., Chair, United States Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Honorable Bill Walker, 19 Governor of Alaska; Brigadier General Laurel J. Hummel, Commissioner, Department of 20 Military and Veterans' Affairs; the Honorable Valerie Davidson, Commissioner, Department 21 of Health and Social Services; the Honorable Craig Stowers, Chief Justice of the Alaska 22 Supreme Court; Renée Binder, M.D., President, American Psychiatric Association; and the 23 Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the 24 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.