Category: PTSD

DoD Mobile App Helps Healthcare Providers Track Own Resilience

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

Army Seeks to Improve Troop Resilience as Suicides Increase

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Against the backdrop of an uptick in suicides in its ranks, the Army announced that it is developing a campaign to increase mental health resilience among troops. Secretary of the Army John McHugh said he… Read More

Blast Injury Without TBI Diagnosis Can Affect PTSD Development

By Brenda L. Mooney BUFFALO, NY – Blast injury might be a factor in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by servicemembers in combat, even if mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is never diagnosed. Research published recently in The… Read More

DoD, VA Seek Earlier Joint EHR Rollout

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

Alpha Blockers Tested as Potential Treatment for PTSD Symptoms

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

Free Mobile App Offers Tools to Enhance PTSD Treatment

Source: National Center for Telehealth and Technology WASHINGTON — For servicemembers and veterans suffering from PTSD, support is as close as their smartphone. Thanks to a free mobile application known as PE Coach, available on Apple and Android devices, it… Read More

Proposed Rules Would Help Veterans with Brain Injuries Claim Benefits

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The VA published a proposed regulation in the Federal Register last month that would make it easier for veterans with certain diagnosable illnesses associated with brain injuries to claim benefits. Specifically, VA proposed to add… Read More

Complementary Therapies Highly Effective for PTSD

By Annette M. Boyle “This is a gentle approach. Desensitization or exposure therapy is a rough thing; medications have side effects. Some people don’t want to see a counselor for [cognitive behavioral therapy]. In contrast, this is pleasant to do.… Read More

Front-Line Clinicians Get Practical Advice To Help Combat Military Suicides

By Brenda L. Mooney ROCHESTER, MN — With sweeping new initiatives from the White House and elsewhere in response to the burgeoning military suicide rate, little guidance has been offered to the clinicians in the trenches who are best positioned… Read More

Potential Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs for PTSD Patients is Under Review

By Annette M. Boyle FORT DETRICK, MD — In the wake of a memo from Assistant Secretary of Defense Jonathan Woodson, MD, expressing concern about potential over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, the Army and VA… Read More

Army: Forensic Psychiatry No Longer Used for PTSD Disability Evaluations

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The Army will no longer use forensic psychiatry to evaluate soldiers diagnosed with PTSD in the disability evaluation system, military officials announced. The announcement came after a firestorm of controversy erupted earlier this year at… Read More

Sergeant Major of the Army Recounts How He Overcame PTSD: IoM Report Calls for Annual Screening by DoD

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON —Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III said he was faced with his “own mortality” in Iraq in 2004, when a rocket blew up in the room where he was. At first, Chandler recounted, he… Read More

Telemental Healthcare Beneficial For Rural Vets with PTSD

A new study suggests that providing more telemental health could have an especially beneficial effect on treatment of rural veterans with PTSD.1 The study published in the June issue of Psychiatric Services concluded that health-service use by veterans with PTSD… Read More

VA Seeks to Gather More Information on Women Veterans to Improve Care

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — With more women leaving the military and becoming healthcare-eligible veterans, VA is focusing more energy and funding than ever into women’s health research.. Despite spending more money on women’s healthcare research in the last few… Read More

Better Imaging Techniques Show Promise in Improving TBI Diagnosis and Treatment

By Stephen Spotswood BETHESDA, MD — A number of drugs have been shown to have neuroprotective benefits in animal models of TBI. When studies have moved on to human subjects, however, most have had poor results. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, MD, PhD… Read More

Single IED Blast Can Cause Degenerative Brain Condition

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON — Compelling evidence that a degenerative brain condition can be caused by a single blast, equivalent to a typical improvised explosive device (IED), raises troubling questions about the future healthcare needs of servicemembers returning from… Read More

VA Claims Backlog Also Caused By High Error Rate, Not Only Processing Speed

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — VA’s goal within two years is to have a claims-adjudication system that gets a first-time claim decision to a veteran within 125 days with 98% accuracy. The agency has a long way to go. It… Read More

What’s In a Name? – Name Change Proponents Say Labeling PTSD a ‘Disorder’ Prevents Treatment

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — What’s in a name matters for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to proponents of changing what the condition is called, because the word “disorder” keeps some sufferers from getting the treatment they need. The issue… Read More

VA Seeks Increased Mental-Health Staff to Respond to Growing Needs Among Veterans

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

Servicemembers Lose Benefits after Improper Discharges for Alleged Personality Disorders

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — The U.S. military continues to use improper processes to diagnose significant numbers of servicemembers with pre-existing personality disorders (PD) and then discharge them, according to government documents obtained by an advocacy group. The Vietnam Veterans… Read More