Published: Aug 15, 2010 8:15 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 15, 2010 5:15 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of soldiers who were discharged from the Army for personality disorders may actually have been suffering from the traumatic stresses of war.

According to figures provided by the Army, the service discharged about 1,000 soldiers a year between 2005 and 2007 for having a personality disorder.

But after an article in The Nation magazine exposed the practice, the Defense Department changed its policy. It began requiring a top-level review of each case to ensure post-traumatic stress or a brain injury wasn't the underlying cause.
      
After that, the annual number of personality disorder cases dropped by 75 percent, while the number of post-traumatic stress disorder cases soared. By 2008, more than 14,000 soldiers had been diagnosed with PTSD - twice as many as two years before.
      
Advocates for veterans say many troops may still unfairly bear the stigma of a personality disorder, making them ineligible for military health care and other benefits.