Category Description:

Post traumatic stress (PTS) was formerly called post traumatic stess disorder (PTSD). It is often seen in service members and veterans exposed to blast injuries but can also occur in civilians hurt in car crashes, natural disasters and other life threatening events. These blogs on traumatic stress provide information on the signs and symptoms of PTSD, treatment options, and support for individuals, families and caregivers.

Supporting Wives of Wounded Warriors with Brain Injury and PTSD

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Retreats for wives of wounded warriors help women find support and address needs for emotional healing. As caregivers of veterans with disabling injuries and PTSD, they are experiencing compassion fatigue and secondary stress. Marilyn Lash is part of a team with Hope for the Homefront conducting weekend retreats across the country with the support of Operation Homefront.

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Driving, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury – New Dangers

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The combined effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD are creating new risks for service members as they come home and resume driving. Up to now, we’ve been focused on the risks of driving for adolescents and the elderly, but new concerns are arising for our veterans. Everyday traffic noises and sights can trigger flashbacks. Speeding, road rage and impulse control pose real dangers for the driver, passengers and pedestrians.

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Family Voices for Brain Injury and PTSD

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Family are direct witnesses to the needs of survivors of blast injury and traumatic brain injury. Their testimony can have an impact that is far greater and more powerful than any data or reports. Anna Freese, Director of Wounded Warrior Project’s (WWP) Family Support Program and liaison to family caregivers, knows this. She has given powerful professional and personal testimony to Congress on the critical support services that families need for our wounded warriors.

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PTSD and Your Children on the News

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As troops are returning home from deployments in Iraq, a regular feature on the evening news has become reunions with spouses, parents, and children. Because I live inNorth Carolinawhere there are multiple bases, I see this at least once a week – finally, some joy on the evening news in between the latest disaster, political campaign, or financial report. Especially touching are the reunions when a parent – still in camouflage uniforms – appears at school to surprise a child who has not seen mom or dad for many, many months or more than a year. It is impossible not to smile, and I admit to tearing up occasionally, at the incredible joy of this “parent and child reunion” to borrow a phrase from a Paul Simon song.

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Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy – How Are We Really Treating Our Service Members and Veterans with Brain Injuries?

Cognitive rehabilitation for persons with traumatic brain injury has been examined and questioned in terms of its outcomes and cost effectiveness. The civilian sector has worked long and hard with insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare to recognize the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation therapy. Now Tricare, the insurance program that covers service members and veterans, is refusing to cover cognitive rehabilitation at the time when brain injury is recognized as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Service Dogs Help Veterans with PTSD

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There’s some really interesting research being funded by the Department of Defense on the use of psychiatric service dogs to help veterans deal with the psychological wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many veterans who have received service dogs are reporting dramatic decreases in the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as the use of medications.

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Risky business!

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The United States military branches are now concerned over the level of suicides and accidental deaths occurring among returning combat veterans. Many of the returning vets are seemingly prone to risky behavior. One example is a of a Senior Airman caught speeding at 120 mph in Florida, on his new motorcycle, 2 months after returning to the states.

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Stress, PTSD and Mental Health of Veterans and Soldiers

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Symptoms ranging from mild anxiety to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are being seen in veterans. Depression, alcohol abuse, anger, and difficulty concentrating have been reported by returning troops from Iraq. Seeking mental health treatment carries a negative stigma that results in many veterans and service members denying symptoms, avoiding comrades, and delaying treatment. Stereotypes about mental illness and barriers to mental health counseling make it even more difficult for service members and veterans to seek support and obtain treatment in the military culture.

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Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion in Veterans

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Many veterans have undiagnosed brain injuries or concussions from blasts and explosions. Some soldiers have had multiple concussions. This free article lists the common symptoms of brain injury and gives tips for healing and managing symptoms. Veterans and soldiers with these symptoms should be evaluated for concussion and blast injury to receive early treatment and to help recovery.

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Blast Injuries and Concussions in Veterans

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Blasts and explosions are major causes of brain injuries in soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Concussion or mild brain injury is often not diagnosed since there is no loss of consciousness and soldiers return to duty. Post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) have been diagnosed among soldiers and veterans exposed to combat stress who have returned home.

The severity of a brain injury ranges from very minor concussion to extremely severe brain trauma. Service members are exposed to additional damage from the blast’s impact. They can be thrown or propelled by the blast, be burned and inhale toxic substances.

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