PBS has a very short description of the effects of PTSD and TBI by several authors that might help in sorting out why the diagnosis is important both for policy, treatment, and moral judgements we as Americans are prone to use to avoid costs of war.
As you stand with other parents watching the kids play soccer, discussing sports or the weather, and your body screams danger. Or a light touch makes you mentally jump a foot into the air as you return the caress. It is a hard tightrope to walk even when you know what is going on. Lack of sleep makes it impossible for some.
Assessments of the many ways in which transitioning from high-stress combat war zones to a peaceful home community environment can be the hardest part of military service. Explaining the difficulties and what can be done to help are psychiatrist and author Jonathan Shay; VA psychiatrist Andrew Pomerantz; retired Navy psychologist Dennis Reeves; Col. Thomas Burke, director for mental health policy for the Dept. of Defense; Vietnam vet and VA counselor Jim Dooley; and Fred Gusman, a director of the VA National Center on PTSD. These excerpts are drawn from their extended FRONTLINE interviews.