Suicide rates in the general U.S. population rose to their highest level in 30 years in 2014, but among both active-duty servicemembers and veterans, the rates were higher still.
What are the patterns over time of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use among individuals receiving medical care, and when are integrated screening and treatment strategies warranted?
While an association between combat exposure and post-deployment behavioral health problems has been demonstrated among U.S. military servicemembers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq in predominantly male samples, few studies have focused on the experiences of women.
Self-reported cognitive impairment, such as problems with attention, concentration and memory in veterans, is more likely to occur with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than with combat-related traumatic brain injury (TBI).
By Brenda L. Mooney SANTA MONICA, CA – Can enhanced primary care treatment help alleviate the stigma some military servicemembers fear when told to seek mental healthcare? A new study suggests it can. Military members who visited a primary care… Read More
How Effective Will Therapy Be for Complex Mental Health Profiles? By Annette M. Boyle PALO ALTO, CA — At one point during the 20th century, the idea of using “shock treatment” on patients who failed to respond to medications or… Read More
Suicide Rate Six Times Higher Than Civilian Peers By Annette M. Boyle DENVER — Suicide among women veterans is six times higher than among their civilian peers, according to a recently published study, and Congress wants to know why. The… Read More
In the wake of record-high suicide rates, the Army instituted a number of programs to identify and treat mental illness among soldiers.
IRVINE, CA — Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are much more likely to have their tempers erupt if they also are depressed, according to a new study. The study, led by researchers from the University of California Irvine, appeared… Read More
By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – When the first Infectious Disease Clinic took place at the Washington, DC, VAMC in 1985, only a handful of HIV-infected patients took advantage. In fact, the disease hadn’t even been named “human immunodeficiency virus;” that… Read More
SALT LAKE CITY – The roots of the rising suicide rates in servicemembers and veterans reach back into childhood home environments and pre-military experiences, according to a quartet of recent reports.
ST. LOUIS – Chronic use of pain-relieving medication can increase in the risk of developing major depression, according to a new veterans study. The study, led by researchers from Saint Louis University and published recently in the Journal of General… Read More
DURHAM, NC – In the general population and among veterans, women suffer from depression at a substantially higher rate than men, and the mood disorder often occurs concurrently with other mental health conditions.
By Brenda L. Mooney Cynthia A. Leardman, MPH SAN DIEGO, CA – Despite common misconceptions, increasing suicides by military servicemembers do not appear to be related to combat experience or deployment – or even multiple deployments, according to a new… Read More
By Stephen Spotswood Benjamin Breyer, MD, Urologic Surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center SAN FRANCISCO – One of the most important realizations by VA physician researchers in the past decade has been that mental illnesses such… Read More
Tool Can Help Prevent Compassion Fatigue or ‘Secondary Traumatic Stress’ By Stephen Spotswood JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCHORD, WA— One of the most insidious things about trauma is that its effects can spread far beyond the initial event. A traumatic event can… Read More
By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — For nearly two years, the Food and Drug Administration has been issuing safety advisories about the risks of abnormal heart rhythms with higher doses of the antidepressant citalopram hydrobromide. A new study… Read More
By Sandra Basu Then-Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki WASHINGTON — Then-Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki asked for a plan to speed up integration of electronic health… Read More
By Stephen Spotswood Col. Kris Peterson, Chief of the Psychiatry Department at Madigan, Tammy Williams, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Dr. Murray Raskind of the Puget Sound VA, want to help soldiers deal with combative nightmares. Photo by Melissa Renahan… Read More
By Annette M. Boyle Staff Sgt. Roger L. Whaley speaks with future soldier Phillip McDonald at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station in Radcliff, Ky. About three-quarters of potential recruits fail to meet enlistment qualifications, primarily because they are obese or… Read More
Non-Pharmacologic Approaches Being Tested, More Data Gathered By Annette M. Boyle PITTSBURGH – Antidepressants and antipsychotic medications are being overused or prescribed inappropriately for residents of VA Community Living Centers (CLCs), according to recent research. That problem is especially significant… Read More
By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON —VA’s announcement that 1,900 mental-health staff will be added to its roster is more reactive than proactive, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told legislators at a recent hearing. “A certain number of folks walk in the… Read More