Diagnosis: Personality Disorder, not sexual assault

This CNN piece suggests a pattern among women in the U.S. military branches who attest to being sexually assaulted: “women in all branches of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, tell stories that follow a similar pattern — a sexual assault, a command dismissive of the allegations and a psychiatric discharge.”

Interesting, if depressing, is the persistence of the diagnosis of “personality disorder.”

In the military’s eyes, a personality disorder diagnosis is a pre-existing condition and does not constitute a service-related disability. That means sexual assault victims with personality disorder discharges don’t receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help with their trauma. They can still apply for benefits, but it’s considered an uphill battle.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, says the military has used personality and other psychiatric diagnoses “almost robotically” to force women who report sexual assaults out of the service.

The numbers further into the article do raise this possibility: “In the Army, 16% of all soldiers are women, but females constitute 24% of all personality disorder discharges.”

(Thanks to David Slutsky for the link.)

One thought on “Diagnosis: Personality Disorder, not sexual assault

Comments are closed.