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Sep

19

More veterans are using PTSD as defense in criminal cases – Los Angeles Times

Posted By: wbhazel1 on September 19, 2011 at 11:20 am

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  is a diagnosis frequently attached to people who have undergone a trauma in their life which deeply affected them and has lingering after effects which significantly hamper one or more of their major life areas. When I say major life areas I refer to eating, sleeping, walking, breathing, socialization, cohabitation, working or study. It affects relationships and general peace of mind.

The types of trauma which often induce PTSD in individuals can generally be described in one of two ways: Type 1 or Type 2 trauma. These can be explained as per the following terms developed by Lenore Terr to describe different types of trauma. A single traumatic event such as a fire or single rape episode is considered to be Type I Trauma. Repeated, prolonged trauma, such as extensive child abuse, is considered to be Type II Trauma. According to Terr’s clarification of this concept, these two types of trauma result in different coping styles.

Individuals with Type I Trauma receive support from family and friends and usually remember the trauma event. Individuals with Type II Trauma are more likely to have severe PTSD symptoms, such as psychic numbing, and dissociation. Type II Trauma is often kept a secret and support from family and friends may be absent.

The following LA Times article is one in which the perpetrator of a heinous crimes (sexual abuse and infanticide) and his legal team attempt to utilize PTSD as an affirmative defense or in other words he states “I did it but here is the reason why.” An affirmative defense is known, alternatively, as a justification, or an excuse, defense. Consequently, affirmative defenses limit or excuse a defendant’s criminal culpability or civil liability.

In this case, this defendant attempts to utilize California’s Insanity plea by virtue of having PTSD. In California the standard applied is called the Mc’Naghten rule . Under the Mc’Naghten rule, as applied to California law a defendant is adjudicated as legally insane if he is incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong or doesn’t understand the nature of his acts. In cases of insanity, a defendant is determined not guilty of the crime and is committed to a state mental hospital rather than prison.

Please read the LA Times article and lets continue our discussion as comments on this site are extremely welcome.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/14/nation/la-na-ptsd-20110915

    Filed Under: Abuse , Anger , Anger Management , Anxiety / Stress , Anxiety Therapy , Depression , Depression Therapy , Difficult Emotions , Family Treatment , Group Treatment , Identity Issues , Individual Treatment , Low Self Esteem , Marriage & Relationship , Marriage and Family Therapist , Mood Fluctuation , Panic Attack Therapy , Parenting , Pre-Marital Counseling , Professional Counselor , Psychiatry , Psychology , PTSD / Trauma , Reality , Relationship Problems , Social Phobia Treatment , Social Work , Trust Issues , Unresolved Childhood Issues , Violence , Work Related Issues
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