I truly believe the military medical system was ordered to limit the number of PTSD diagnoses they gave out for fear of the massive cost ramifications to the government and the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Health System after all the folks got out of the service. I know this exact scenario was taking place in the VA itself. Some of the major newspapers even ran stories in 2009 about the cover-up and the VA’s attempts at minimizing the number of diagnosed cases of PTSD.

Later in 2008, as I was preparing to leave the military following nearly 14 years of service, I was sent to see a civilian psychologist as part of my service-connected disabilities claims process. I drove to the office, located about 12 miles from the military base, and readied myself so as not to say something nasty to the guy if he added his name to the long list of “mental health professionals” that felt like I simply had anxiety or a passing case of “adjustment disorder.” Maybe this guy would be different since he wasn’t part of the system. Maybe he would objectively listen to my symptoms and tell me what was really going on.

I arrived about 15 minutes early and sat in the waiting room of the sparsely furnished upstairs office. I could hear him in the adjoining office rustling through papers and pulling drawers open, only to quickly slam them shut. The secretary, in her tight brown skirt and cheap blouse, nonchalantly walked over to his door and peered in.

“Sir, Mr. Dan is here to see you.”