Showing posts with label traumatic brain injury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traumatic brain injury. Show all posts

Sunday, March 8, 2020

TBI and PTSD aren't usually diagnosed until long after those other than honorable discharges are handed out

A new insult to veterans: Thousands are unlawfully being denied medical care | Vince Bzdek


The Gazette
Vince Bzdek
March 7, 2020
Just because a discharge is “other than honorable” doesn’t mean that a vet doesn't qualify for medical benefits, according to the VA’s own rules. But the new study by the Veterans Legal Clinic at Harvard Law School says the VA has unlawfully turned away thousands of veterans with other-than-honorable discharges because officials at the VA systematically misunderstood the law and didn’t review the vets’ applications properly.
A new study has discovered that the VA has unlawfully turned away thousands of veterans with other-than-honorable discharges because officials at the VA systematically misunderstood the law and didn’t review the vets’ applications properly. Associated Press file photo. Ted S. Warren
Veterans call it “bad paper.”

In a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of stories reported in 2013, The Gazette found that more soldiers than ever are receiving “bad paper”, which means they are receiving “other than honorable” discharges for some sort of misconduct ranging from drug use to insubordination.

The Gazette investigation, based on data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, found that the annual number of misconduct discharges was up more than 25% Armywide since 2009. At the eight Army posts that house most of the service's combat units, including Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, misconduct discharges had surged 67%.

The Gazette discovered a Catch-22 about those discharges. Many “other than honorable” discharges stem from misconduct due to traumatic brain injuries received during service or to mental health issues caused by deployment. The problem is TBI and PTSD aren't usually diagnosed until long after those other than honorable discharges are handed out.
read it here

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Over 100 servicemembers with TBI from Iran bombs..,not just headaches

Over 100 US troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following Iran strike


CNN
Barbara Starr
February 10, 2020
Last month, Trump said he does not consider potential brain injuries to be as serious as physical combat wounds, downplaying the severity of the injuries suffered in Iraq.

(CNN)Over 100 US service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries in the wake of the January 8 Iranian missile attack on the al Asad military base in Iraq, according to a US official with knowledge of the latest information.
A picture of the destruction left at Al Asad base in Iraq after it was struck by Iranian missiles.


Later on Monday the Pentagon released a statement confirming that 109 service members had been diagnosed, an increase of 45 from the end of January when they said 64 service members had been suffered injuries.

The statement added that nearly 70% of the injured service members have returned to duty.
read it here

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Navy Seal Committed suicide after battle with PTSD and TBI...not just a headache

HIS NAVY SEAL SON COMMITTED SUICIDE, NOW HE FIGHTS FOR HIS NAME


SOFREP
by Stavros Atlamazoglou
59 minutes ago
Following President Trump’s statements about TBIs after Iran’s missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq, Mr Frank Larkin penned a letter to the President, explaining the hidden aspects of the problem.

On a Sunday morning of 2017, Ryan Larkin, a Navy SEAL with four combat deployments under his belt, committed suicide. He was just 29 years old.
He was haunted by a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that was caused by repeated exposure to concussive blows and explosions. But the Navy and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) thought he was crazy.

His father, Frank J Larkin, also a former Navy SEAL and the 40th United States Senate Sergeant at Arms, is now fighting to raise awareness about the multiple facets of brain injuries that can lead to behavior change, other medical problems, or even suicide.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Ryan Larkin had completed four combat deployments as a Navy SEAL to Afghanistan and Iraq. He had completed the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) course and the Navy SEAL Sniper course; he was also a qualified breacher.
After coming home from his third deployment, the Navy docs diagnosed him with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and referred him to a variety of programs. The common denominator between the different programs, some of which were helpful, according to his father, was the medication. Throughout the duration of his two-year treatment, the doctors prescribed him over 40 different medications. And yet he didn’t seem to get any better. In fact, they made him worse.
read it here

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

TBI is associated with a greater risk of mental health conditions

Critically injured soldiers have high rates of mental health disorders


by University of Massachusetts Amherst
JANUARY 28, 2020
In addition, Chin found that the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is higher—not lower, as previous investigators have assumed—among combat soldiers with more severe TBI.
This chart compares the incidence of various mental health diagnoses among soldiers with TBI vs other serious injuries. Credit: UMass Amherst

U.S. combat soldiers who suffered a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely than soldiers with other serious injuries to experience a range of mental health disorders, according to a new retrospective study by University of Massachusetts Amherst health services researchers.

"A central takeaway is that severe TBI is associated with a greater risk of mental health conditions—not just PTSD," says lead investigator David Chin, assistant professor of health policy and management in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. "Our findings suggest that patients who are critically injured in combat and sustain severe TBI have particularly high rates of mental health disorders."
Mining data from the U.S. Department of Defense, Chin found that 71% of all the severely injured soldiers were diagnosed in follow-up care with at least one of five mental health conditions: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and mood disorders, adjustment reactions, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and cognitive disorders.
read it here

UPDATE

Brain injuries from Iran air strike highlight military's failure to care for its own


USA Today
Stephen N. Xenakis Opinion contributor
Febuary 1, 2020

The medical campaign to treat psychological problems and brain injury has fallen short. Hundreds of thousands suffer the invisible injuries of war.
First the Pentagon said no U.S. troops were injured in Iran's missile strike last month on an Iraqi air base hosting Americans. Then it rose to 11 with brain injuries, then 34, then 50, and by Thursday the number was up to 64. That's upsetting, as was President Donald Trump's recent comment that "it's not very serious."
Shameful failure to help war fighters
Many years passed before the Pentagon acknowledged IED blasts as a game-changing combat injury. In 2004, I alerted the senior leadership in Army medicine. The young amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center complained of headaches, sleep problems and “not thinking right.” Any blast powerful enough to take the legs off a ground trooper would certainly rattle his brains. But, then again, the conventional mentality across the country did not acknowledge the damage from repeated concussions, as too many professional football players have tragically experienced.
read it here

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Dog taught veteran to heal PTSD

At $20,000 a pup, service dogs bark Philly military veterans back to life


Philadephia Inquirer
by Erin Arvedlund
June 5, 2019

After he considered suicide, Curtis Thompson finally admitted that he might need help.

“I stereotyped myself. I wasn’t an old man, like in Vietnam and World War II,” says Army vet Thompson, 41, who lives in Burlington Township.
JAMES BLOCKER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Deployed to Kosovo in 1999 and three times to Iraq, Thompson was discharged honorably in 2006. He got divorced from his first wife, couch surfed, and endured panic attacks, nightmares and brief homelessness.

By 2013, he reconnected with a high school sweetheart (they have since married). She insisted he seek treatment at VA medical centers in Philadelphia and Marlton, N.J., where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and severe PTSD from his time in combat and exposure to a roadside bomb.

“My doctor said a service dog would really help, but I couldn’t afford to pay $20,000” — the going price for a fully-trained service animal that is attuned to veterans and their health issues.
read more here

Sunday, June 2, 2019

UK Iraq veteran crosses finish line with help from "brothers"

Emotional moment Hull's heroic wounded veteran walks across Hull 10k finish line


Hull Live
BySophie Kitching
2 JUN 2019

This is the joyous moment war veteran Chris Ashton, who lost the ability to walk after being hit by a grenade in Iraq, crossed the finishing line of the Hull 10k.
Mr Ashton, 35, had life-changing surgery after he was injured while serving in 2006. The incident has also affected his ability to talk.
Just as he did last year with the help of charity Hull 4 Heroes, Mr Ashton was pushed around the Hull 10k on Sunday morning, and managed to walk the final steps across the finishing line, cheered on by his supporters.

Mr Ashton was a radio operator with the Royal Logistics Corp and was attached to The Black Watch in Iraq in 2006 when a grenade hit his face at a speed of 1,500mph.

The grenade shattered his skull, and has left him blind in one eye.
read more here

Friday, May 24, 2019

SEAL TEAM got it wrong on TBI?

SEAL TEAM got it wrong on TBI? Yes they did!

I love this show...but it is because I got hooked on the characters and not technicalities. That is, until the last few shows this year. 

Never Out of the Fight

Bravo team's future is on the line when Commander Shaw (Peter Jessop) recommends they be split up, but Jason's unit has one final mission to prove him wrong. (TV-14 L, V) Air Date: May 22, 2019

DoD Issues Purple Heart standards for brain injury


American Forces Press Service
By Jim Garamone
April 28, 2011

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 -- U.S. servicemembers have long been eligible to receive the Purple Heart Medal for the signature wounds of the current wars -- mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions -- but now there is more clarity on how medical criteria for the award are applied, Defense Department officials said yesterday.

The criteria for the Purple Heart award state that the injury must have been caused by enemy action or in action against the enemy, and has to be of a degree requiring treatment by a medical officer.

But it may be difficult to determine when a mild traumatic brain injury, or TBI, or a concussive injury that does not result in a loss of consciousness is severe enough to require treatment by a medical officer.

“This is why we created this baseline standard,” DoD spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.

DoD allows the award of the Purple Heart even if a servicemember was not treated by a medical officer, as long as a medical officer certifies that the injury would have required treatment by a medical officer had one been available.

DoD officials said that as the science of traumatic brain injuries becomes better understood, guidance for award of the medal will evolve.

“The services are not able to speculate as to how many servicemembers may have received a mild TBI or concussion but did not seek or receive medical treatment,” Lainez said. “Therefore, each military department will establish its retroactive review procedures in the near future to ensure deserving servicemembers are appropriately recognized.”

Retroactive reviews would cover injuries suffered since Sept. 11, 2001, she added.

The Marine Corps has issued clarifying guidance to ensure commanders in the field understand when the Purple Heart is appropriate for concussions.

Army officials are preparing to issue their guidance and ask soldiers to wait until submission requirements are published through command channels and on the Human Resources Command website at http://www.hrc.army.mil before submitting or resubmitting nominations for the Purple Heart Medal for concussion injuries.

Once the Army publishes its requirements, officials said, soldiers should resubmit requests through their chains of command.


So, there you have it. It isn't as if it is a new rule. As you can see, this was released in 2011.




Maybe it would have been better if they stayed focused on how to prevent suicides...especially with real Navy SEALs and other Special Forces.

US Special Ops suicides triple in 2018, as military confronts the issue

Washington (CNN)Suicides among active duty military personnel assigned to US Special Operations Command tripled in 2018, in a disturbing and as yet unexplained spike, CNN has learned.
Special Operations units saw 22 deaths by suicide in 2018, almost triple the eight cases seen in 2017, according to figures provided to CNN by the command.
SOCOM, as it's known, is the unified combatant command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations component of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force that take on counterterrorism and other specialized missions.
Based in Tampa, Florida, the command includes some of the military's most highly trained and effective fighting forces, including the Army's Delta Force and the Navy's SEAL Team Six.
    While sudden spikes in suicide rates have been noted in both the military and civilian populations, military officials who spoke to CNN said what has happened at SOCOM is striking. The surge in SOCOM suicides comes as the Marine Corps and Navy are experiencing 10-year highs in the number of suicide deaths.

    Friday, May 3, 2019

    SEAL TEAM Sent wrong message on TBI

    SEAL Team needs to check facts first


    Wounded Times
    Kathie Costos
    May 3, 2019

    I love SEAL Team...or at least I did until the last few weeks.

    This time the got the wrong information out about having TBI and how it is diagnosed and treated by the VA.


    If they had bothered to go into the VA site, they would have discovered all this, but it wouldn't have matched their story line that the VA sucks...and apparently the Navy too.

    Department of Defense
    From the VA
    Traumatic Brain Injury
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by exposure to explosions is common among Veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. TBI is an injury to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain.

    If you suspect that you have a TBI, go to your nearest VA health care facility for TBI screening.

    OEF/OIF/OND Veterans’ risk for TBI
    An X-ray of a person's brain
    For Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND), the sources of blast injury most often are improvised explosive devices (IED), also called roadside bombs; artillery, rocket and mortar shells, traps, aerial bombs, and rocket-propelled grenades. TBIs also can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls or any incident involving a sudden blow or jolt to the head.

    Even a mild TBI, also known as a concussion, can affect a person’s physical functioning and mental health.

    About 90 percent of TBIs are mild, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

    Symptoms of TBI
    Immediately after the incident, common symptoms include dizziness, confusion, or “seeing stars;” no memory of the incident; and loss of consciousness or feeling “knocked out.”

    Later on, symptoms include:
    Persistent headache or neck pain
    Sensitivity to light or noise, blurred vision
    Loss of balance
    Tiredness, lack of energy
    Ringing in the ears
    Chronic depression, anxiety, apathy
    Slowness in thinking, speaking, reading
    Problems with concentration, organizing daily tasks

    TBI screening
    You should be screened for TBI if you experienced any of the following during your military service:
    Close proximity to a blast or explosion
    Fragment wound or bullet wound above the shoulders
    Blow to the head
    Vehicle accident or crash
    Fall
    We know there are problems at the VA, but why did they have to make this stuff up? Guess they hit "Rock bottom"

    Saturday, April 27, 2019

    "War is bad for the brain"

    Two sides of death


    Wounded Times
    Kathie Costos
    April 27, 2019

    Tonight I finally had time to watch one of my favorite shows, Seal Team and I have been having trouble getting this one out of my head.

    Brett Swan was having a hard time coming to terms with having PTSD, yet when he thought it was more a matter of TBI, he was not ashamed of saying he thought that was his problem.

    At the same time, the Team was searching for a fallen service member. They were risking their lives to recover his body. They knew he was already dead, yet, not leaving him behind was a priority to them.

    SEAL TEAM MEDICATE AND ISOLATE
    While Bravo Team is on a recovery mission in Mali, their friend, former Navy SEAL Brett Swan (Tony Curran), continues to struggle with his mental health. (TV-14 L, V) Air Date: Apr 24, 2019
    Clay, (Max Thieriot) still trying to recover from being blown up, had been trying to help Brett as he was being overcome by memory loss.

    As the TEAM was trying to locate the remains of Capt. Washington, Clay was getting Brett to the VA.

    The VA scenes were typical of a lot of VA hospitals, but not all of them. Long lines, long waits and "soldier's reward for serving" the country.

    Watching the TEAM go through the recovery efforts, then watching Brett and Clay at the VA, stuck with me.

    How is it that we seem to accept every effort being made to recover the fallen to honor their lives lost in service, yet, cannot manage to do the same for those who are wounded while serving?

    How is it that, as Brett seemed to find no problem with being in the grip of TBI, he had such a hard time with PTSD? That happens all the time...still and it shows that after decades of research, education and claiming they are doing all they can to get rid of the stigma, it is still stronger than PTSD itself?

    Clay was there for Brett, but Brett gave up. It is obvious that the writers had been paying attention to the latest news reports of veterans committing suicide at the VA. It would have been great if they had paid attention to the rest of the things going on at the VA...like what they have been getting right.

    Brett's doctor said he could not treat him for TBI without medical evidence he had it and could not order and MRI since it was not documented in his service record.

    Well, that is wrong and frankly, BS. No veteran would be treated and compensated for PTSD, or a long list of other disabilities, if that was how they were determined.


    They also got the "therapy" session wrong. That would be more like a first session, not one that happens after multiple visits. Since Brett was on a lot of medications, it would not be a first for him.

    He kept getting upset with "mental disorder" term being used, and then tried to change it to TBI because he understood that to be a wound. As Brett was trying to explain that he was sure he had TBI instead of PTSD, he said "war is bad for the brain" and he was right.

    This again, shows that is also a problem for too many veterans because they still do not understand what PTSD actually means. It means after they were wounded. "Post" is after and "Trauma" is Greek for wound.

    The TEAM found Capt. Washington and continued to risk their lives to bring his body home, while Brett was planning on leaving his body behind.

    Clay found him in the parking lot.

    This is one of those shows that will not be easy to just let go of.

    After the episode, CBS did a message about needing help and that was great too. At least, they are talking about a lot of things that happen and I hope as the series goes on, they cover more of what really happens at the VA that does work.

    They need to know they matter just as much as the fallen and no one gets left behind.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    Virtual Reality for PTSD or VD?

    Montana veterans testing groundbreaking virtual reality software
    KULR 8 News
    Katlin Miller
    Posted: Jan 23, 2018

    MISSOULA- A virtual reality software created in Western Montana is diagnosing veterans with a disorder that’s often mistaken for PTSD.

    Brian Barnes spent three years in the US Army. He worked for a specialized group that trained for combat in extreme climates and terrain. After serving overseas in Afghanistan, he came back, as so many do, with unseen injuries.

    “I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD,” Barnes says.

    Now, he’s testing a new product that was designed to help him better identify and treat his issues. Jason Zentgraf, a health and human performance specialist with the nonprofit group RIVER, says sometimes veterans suffer from another disorder related to PTSD.

    Vestibular disorder is damage to the inner ear caused by loud noises. Left untreated, it can cause problems for everything from balance to mood.

    “In December of 2016, there was a test conducted by the VA that out of this group of veterans with PTSD, 81 percent of them also had an undiagnosed and untreated vestibular disorder,” Zentgraf said.

    The symptoms of vestibular disorder are so similar to PTSD that many veterans have it and don’t know, Zentgraf said.

    Until now. A new virtual reality system called Virtual Mind is helping diagnose and treat vestibular disorder. The test uses multiple sensors and controllers to test visual and auditory reaction time, mobility and working memory, using eight tests that ask the viewer to move through a realistic virtual environment. It also includes tests for eye-tracking and balance.
    read more here

    Also

    CONCUSSION
    The Vestibular Concussion Connection
    THINKING/REMEMBERING
    Difficulty thinking clearly
    Feeling slowed down
    Difficulty concentrating
    Difficulty remembering new information

    PHYSICAL
    Headache
    Fuzzy or blurry vision
    Nausea or vomiting (early on)
    Dizziness
    Sensitivity to noise or light
    Balance problems
    Feeling tired, having no energy

    Emotional/Mood
    Irritability
    Sadness
    More emotional
    Nervousness or anxiety

    SLEEP
    Sleeping more than usual
    Sleeping less than usual
    Trouble falling asleep

    Saturday, January 6, 2018

    Afghanistan Veteran "...can focus on healing" after war

    Army veteran, family get new home mortgage free

    WFXL FOX 31
    Alexandria Ikomani
    January 5, 2018

    “I can focus more on my healing, take care of me and take care of my family now that we have a home.” Sgt. Chad Turner

    An army veteran and his family have somewhere to call home.
    Operation FINALLY Home is an organization that gives free homes to veterans in need.
    Sergeant Chad Turner and his family can't put their feelings into many words.
    Turner was diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, short-term memory loss, post-traumatic stress disorder and more after an explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
    read more here 

    Saturday, November 25, 2017

    PTSD and TBI, Not Broken, Just Dented

    I didn't break my head, it was just dented
    Combat PTSD Wounded Times
    Kathie Costos
    November 25, 2017

    Reminder: Combat PTSD is about fighting to take your life back!

    Yesterday I was at the Oviedo Hospital Emergency room. I have to tell you, great people work there!!! 


    Orlando Business Journal
    (They had no clue who I was, so no special treatment. In other words, I was just like everyone else they help every single day.) I have a history of head injuries.(Yes, I know, heard it all before. Now you know what's wrong with me.)

    Tuesday I had the shots into my spine and didn't sleep well. Went to work, stopped at the supermarket and when I went to take the bags out of the car, I dropped the apple pie as I was shutting the hatch and hit myself in the head. Came close to passing out, but I was more upset about breaking the pie instead of my head.

    By the time I got into the house, I already had a bump. Anyway, I felt ok Thursday, just a bad headache. Yesterday morning I was having an "aura stage" migraine. Not worrying, I popped a couple of Tylenol, chugged down some coffee and waited for it to stop. It faded, like it always does but then hit came back a lot stronger than ever.

    I got frightened about something really being damaged in my head this time, so I called my doctor and was told to go to get it checked out. At the Ovideo ER, they kept asking me what was going on and I kept saying, "I broke my head." Considering I actually did break my head when I was 5 and had TBI before they were calling it that, head injuries are something I worry about.

    A CT scan was taken and the nurse came in to tell me that I didn't break my head, it was just dented. (Yes, we were kidding around! She also told my husband no housework for me until Christmas because I needed the rest. He didn't get the joke.)

    When I hear someone say that "veterans are either considered heroes or broken" I get angry. To me, they are all heroic simply because when someone actually puts their life at risk for someone else, that is the definition of hero. As for broken, I never met one of them who was broken. The third of Vietnam veterans with PTSD are dented and there is nothing "broken" about them.

    With a diagnosis of PTSD, they can start to recover with the right kind of help. The trouble is, getting them to figure out when they need to worry about not simply getting over "IT" and then go an get it.

    For all the "awareness" BS, why aren't they getting the message that PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of? Why don't they know that it is a wound and the term TRAUMA IS GREEK FOR WOUND? I am a klutz. I always have been. I never felt ashamed of getting wounded. I know what it is like to face death, far too many times, just from regular living and I know what it is like to suffer from what the wound did physically, as well as mentally.

    PTSD didn't hit me for one simple reason. The way my family dealt with everything traumatic was to talk it to death as soon as it happened. Bingo! That is what Crisis Intervention does. It gets the survivor to bring the trauma into the "safety time" and they begin to take control back over what just happened.

    I was not in control over what happened to me but I was in total control the second I went from "victim" to "survivor" and there was no way in hell I was going to let "IT" rob one more second of my life. Several times Doctors said I was lucky to be alive, but twice they said I should have been dead according to their understanding of humans. There was no logical way to explain why I was still here. The thing is, I didn't need one. I just ended up coming to the conclusion that for whatever extra time I had, it was going to be spent doing stuff for other people and it changed the way I look at a lot of things.

    Like the aura migraine, all the bad stuff faded away and "I" was still left as "me" as klutzy as before. If you have TBI, know this. It isn't something WRONG with you. It is what happened after you survived something. Get help to heal what can be healed and what can't, you can manage it. I had spelling and memory problems. (I still do. If you read Combat PTSD Wounded Times, that is something you are well aware of.) I just don't let it stop me from doing anything, including speech problems, which stopped me from talking when I was young. Now, I embrace it, especially living in Florida with a think Bostonian accent. It is all part of me and I am happy to have some fun with it. Joy is surviving but bliss is thriving.

    If you have PTSD, again, I get it because I know what trauma can do to a person. I know how it can eat away at you and make you question everything, including your faith in everything. Do not think of yourself as a "victim" but know yourself as a survivor. You defeated the sucker when you stood up after it happened. Don't let it win now. 

    Just because you didn't get help to start recovering right after it happened, doesn't mean you can't get it now. It is never too late to take back control of your next moment.

    I have the memories of all the stuff I survived in this dented head of mine. It is all a part of me, but so is everything else about me. 

    The same for you! Your ability to care about others to the point where you were willing to die for them is beyond what "normal" people are willing to do. Embrace that!

    Your history as a survivor is something few others know, stand tall with it!

    Your endurance level is beyond human understanding considering all you had to do, to do your job! Flex your muscles!

    If you are still ashamed of having PTSD, then one last thing to consider. If you have PTSD because of your job, there is nothing weak within you. It was the strength of your emotional core that made you care enough to risk your life in the first place. It is that same strength that makes you grieve now.

    So take some advice from an older lady with a dented head. Stop living with a dented head and open your eyes to what you are having trouble seeing!





    Friday, November 24, 2017

    Army Career Lasted 16 More Years Thanks to VA

    Veteran completes Army career thanks to rehab at Tampa VA

    VAntager Point
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    November 20, 2017

    When Patrick Stamm woke up at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, his first thoughts were, “What’s going on?”

    Tampa VA occupational therapist Kerri Martin works with Army Veteran Patrick Stamm during his recent reevaluation at the hospital.
    He didn’t know it at the time, but he’d suffered major injuries – including a traumatic brain injury – after falling four stories from a hotel balcony in Hawaii on Labor Day Weekend 1996. He’d been celebrating his reenlistment in the Army when the accident happened, and spent the next 40 days in a coma before waking up in Tampa.
    While most people would be grateful just waking up at all after a four-story fall, that wasn’t enough for Stamm. With the help of the Tampa’s rehabilitation and therapy programs, the soldier recovered enough that he was able to remain in the Army and complete 16 more years as a military intelligence specialist, including two deployments to Iraq, a stint as an instructor and going back on jump status as a paratrooper, before retiring in 2012.
    Stamm was an infantryman and Ranger during his first enlistment, but realized after getting out of the Army that he missed it. He eventually reenlisted and was stationed in Hawaii.
    “We were celebrating my being back in the Army and I fell from the fourth floor of the Hale Koa Hotel and Resort,” Stamm said. “I don’t remember exactly what happened, but my fall was broken by the air conditioning unit for the kitchen.  That’s how they found me.  They said something’s wrong with the AC or something, so they went out to check and there I was.”

    Monday, November 6, 2017

    What Happens To Betrayed Veterans?

    Kicked Out Instead of Helped?
    Combat PTSD Wounded Times
    Kathie Costos
    November 6, 2017

    One more thing some think about on Veterans Day, is the day they got kicked out and became part of the forgotten veterans we never acknowledge.

    If you were kicked out of the military for having PTSD or TBI, you are far from alone! If your family doubts what you've been telling them, show them this!

    To everyone else, what do we owe to the men and women kicked out of the military because they received the "unseen" wounds of PTSD and TBI?

    That is yet one more thing we never really talk about when we read about the numbers of veterans we think committed suicide on any given day.

    We don't think about the data the VA is missing from their suicide counts, like some states do not track military service, and were not included in on any count. 

    What makes that even worse is when someone served in the military but ended up kicked out and left out of all accounts. How many of these veterans decided to commit suicide?  
    GAO: DOD HEALTHACTIONS NEEDED TO ENSURE POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY ARE CONSIDERED IN MISCONDUCT SEPARATIONS
    Our analysis of DOD data shows that 91,764 servicemembers were separated for misconduct from fiscal years 2011 through 2015; of these servicemembers, 57,141—62 percent—had been diagnosed within the 2 years prior to their separation with PTSD, TBI, or certain other conditions that could be associated with misconduct.



    More specifically, 16 percent, or 14,816 of the 91,764 servicemembers who were separated for misconduct, had been diagnosed with PTSD or TBI.  
    Looking at the conditions individually, 8 percent had been diagnosed with PTSD and 11 percent had been diagnosed with TBI, while other conditions, such as adjustment and alcohol-related disorders were more common.



    The 57,141 servicemembers who were separated for misconduct and diagnosed within the 2 years prior to separation with PTSD, TBI, or certain other conditions had, on average, 4 years of active military service. Almost all, or 98 percent, were enlisted servicemembers, rather than officers, and two-thirds had not been deployed overseas within the 2 years prior to separation.


    We will probably never know what we let happen to them after they were willing to die for the sake of others.

    It is bad enough most of the charities should be sued for deceptive advertising when they avoid mentioning most of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50, which they heartlessly ignore, but they dare to talk about PTSD as if it didn't exist until now.

    Some talk about 1 out of 5 OEF and OIF veterans with PTSD but none talk about how it was 1 out of 3 Vietnam veterans.

    One more thing we don't talk about when Vietnam veterans are being pinned and given parties, is that there were,
    "... approximately 250,000 Vietnam-era veterans received less-than-honorable discharges, and as many as 80,000 of those service members could be eligible for PTSD-related benefits.

    Monday, August 7, 2017

    Pentagon Says TBI and PTSD Troops Not Getting Proper Care...Again

    Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on suicides is one of those videos that everyone needed to watch, but hey, Facebook is more fun. Right? Then again, August 14, 2007 I was wondering why the press wasn't on suicide watch so that maybe, just maybe someone would have done something that would have actually worked. Then again, that was assuming they wanted to do what would work instead of what was easiest.


    Troops at risk for suicide not getting needed care, report finds
    USA TODAY
    Tom Vanden Brook
    Published Aug. 7, 2017

    WASHINGTON — Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.

    Just 30% of troops with depression and 54% with PTSD received appropriate care after they were deemed at risk of harming themselves. The report, commissioned by the Pentagon, looked at the cases of 39,000 troops who had been diagnosed in 2013 with depression, PTSD or both conditions. USA TODAY received an advance copy of the report.

    “We want to ensure that they get connected with behavioral health care,” said Kimberly Hepner, the report’s lead author and a senior behavioral scientist at RAND, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization. “The most immediate action — removal of firearms — can help to reduce risk of suicide attempts.”
    The report, titled Quality of Care for PTSD and Depression in the Military Health System, also found that one third of troops with PTSD were prescribed with a medication harmful to their condition.
    From 2001 to 2014, about 2.6 million troops have deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Estimates on how many have been affected by post-traumatic stress vary widely — from 4% to 20%, according to the report. Meanwhile, suicide among troops spiked crisis proportions. The rate of suicide doubled between 2005 and 2012, according to the Pentagon. It has stabilized but has not diminished; the rate remains about the same for the part of the American public that it compares with, about 20 per 100,000 people.

    The key intervention to prevent suicide involves talking to the service member about their access to firearms, Hepner said. It’s also one of the most sensitive, given the nature of their work and that many troops own their own guns.

    “This is important for service members because suicide death by firearms is the most common method,” Hepner said. “So the provider needs to have that discussion about access to firearms. Not only their service weapon but their access to personal weapons.”
    read more here
    Then again, all you had to do was read THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR, but don't feel bad. No one else read it, or did anything about any of it.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Researchers Still Stuck on Redoing PTSD Research?

    Why do researchers fail to see what has been done before? When it comes to PTSD, after 35 years of tracking reports, I keep hoping, praying, they discover something new. I've seen too much suffering with this but as long as they keep redoing what has already been done, we may never see the day when they can cure it.

    Take heart though, because you can live a better life and heal but researchers will never take it seriously since spirituality is nothing they can get billions to research.


    PTSD may be physical and not only psychological Brain's emotional control center shown to be physically larger
    AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY
    July 11, 2017

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The part of the brain that helps control emotion may be larger in people who develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after brain injury compared to those with a brain injury without PTSD, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., July 14 to 16, 2017.

    "Many consider PTSD to be a psychological disorder, but our study found a key physical difference in the brains of military-trained individuals with brain injury and PTSD, specifically the size of the right amygdala," said Joel Pieper, MD, MS, of University of California, San Diego. "These findings have the potential to change the way we approach PTSD diagnosis and treatment."

    In the brain there is a right and left amygdala. Together, they help control emotion, memories, and behavior. Research suggests the right amygdala controls fear and aversion to unpleasant stimuli.

    For this study, researchers studied 89 current or former members of the military with mild traumatic brain injury. Using standard symptom scale ratings, 29 people were identified with significant PTSD. The rest had mild traumatic brain injury without PTSD.

    The researchers used brain scans to measure the volume of various brain regions. The subjects with mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD had 6 percent overall larger amygdala volumes, particularly on the right side, compared to those with mild traumatic brain injury only.
    read more here

    The question is, why redo the same research? The following took about 3 minutes to find.

    Amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampal function in PTSD

    LM Shin, SL Rauch, RK Pitman - … of the New York Academy of …, 2006 - Wiley Online Library
    Abstract: The last decade of neuroimaging research has yielded important information
    concerning the structure, neurochemistry, and function of the amygdala, medial prefrontal
    cortex, and hippocampus in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Neuroimaging research 

    Noradrenergic signaling in the amygdala contributes to the reconsolidation of fear memory: treatment implications for PTSD.

    J DebiecJE LeDoux - Annals of the New York Academy of …, 2006 - europepmc.org
    Abstract Intrusive memories resulting from an emotional trauma are a defining feature of
    posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Existing studies demonstrate that an increase of
    noradrenergic activity during a life-threatening event contributes to strengthening or" 

    A meta-analysis of structural brain abnormalities in PTSD

    A Karl, M Schaefer, LS Malta, D Dörfel… - Neuroscience & …, 2006 - Elsevier
    ... Received 20 October 2005, Revised 16 March 2006, Accepted 21 March 2006, Available online
    26 May 2006. Abstract. ... Meta-analyses also found significantly smaller left amygdala volumes
    in adults with PTSD compared to both healthy and trauma-exposed controls, and ...

    Trauma modulates amygdala and medial prefrontal responses to consciously attended fear

    LM WilliamsAH KempK Felmingham, M Barton… - Neuroimage, 2006 - Elsevier
    ... of Psychological Medicine, Western Clinical School, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia;
    ... Effective fear processing relies on the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex ... Post-traumatic
    stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with excessive amygdala and a lack of ...

    Fear extinction in rats: implications for human brain imaging and anxiety disorders

    MR Milad, SL Rauch, RK Pitman, GJ Quirk - Biological psychology, 2006 - Elsevier
    ... 7004, Ponce, Puerto Rico 00732. Accepted 4 December 2005, Available online 13 February
    2006... be fundamental to elucidating the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders, such as PTSD,
    and could ... A large body of evidence from rodent studies indicates that the amygdala plays a ...

    [HTML] Resolving emotional conflict: a role for the rostral anterior cingulate cortex in modulating activity in the amygdala

    A EtkinT Egner, DM Peraza, ER Kandel, J Hirsch - Neuron, 2006 - Elsevier
    ... conflict for the response to fearful versus happy faces (p = 0.51) or fear versus happy words (p =
    0.76; Figure 3B). This is consistent with previous studies that have shown comparable amygdala
    activations to fearful and happy facial expression (Fitzgerald et al., 2006 and Yang ...

    A review of neuroimaging studies in PTSD: heterogeneity of response to symptom provocation

    RA Lanius, R Bluhm, U Lanius, C Pain - Journal of psychiatric research, 2006 - Elsevier
    ... Volume 40, Issue 8, December 2006, Pages 709–729. Cover image Cover image. ... Liberzon et
    al. (1999), SPECT, Combat-related sounds [white noise], Combat veterans PTSD [14], PTSD
    group only showed activation in the left amygdaloid region, PTSD group had ...

    Neuroimaging studies of emotional responses in PTSD

    I Liberzon, B Martis - Annals of the New York Academy of …, 2006 - Wiley Online Library
    ... Search for more papers by this author. First published: 26 July 2006 Full publication ... suggest the
    presence of hyperresponsivity of subcortical structures, specifically the amygdaloid region that
    is ... of higher regulatory structures to modulate the activity of the amygdala and related ...

    [HTML] Altered amygdala resting-state functional connectivity in post-traumatic stress disorder

    CA RabinakM AngstadtRC Welsh… - Frontiers in …, 2011 - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    ... Patients with PTSD not only experience intense negative emotional reactions when reminded
    of their trauma ... to fear-relevant probes and other abnormalities in a broad aberrant
    amygdala-linked circuitry ... Rauch and Shin, 1997; Pitman et al., 2001; Nemeroff et al., 2006; Rauch ...

    Clarifying the origin of biological abnormalities in PTSD through the study of identical twins discordant for combat exposure

    RK Pitman, MW Gilbertson, TV Gurvits… - Annals of the New …, 2006 - Wiley Online Library
    ... Issue online: 26 July 2006; Version of record online: 26 July 2006... system: an initial analysis of
    auditory response properties of neurons in the lateral amygdaloid nucleus and ... Amygdala central
    nucleus lesions attenuate acoustic startle stimulus-evoked heart rate changes in rats. ...
    AND 5 YEARS BEFORE THAT

    Amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampal function in PTSD

    LM Shin, SL Rauch, RK Pitman - … of the New York Academy of …, 2006 - Wiley Online Library
    ... 2001. Hippocampal inactivation disrupts contextual retrieval of fear memory after extinction. J.
    Neurosci. ... 2004. Regional cerebral blood flow in amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex during
    traumatic imagery in male and female Vietnam veterans with PTSD. Arch. Gen. ...

    Investigating the pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder with neuroimaging.

    RK Pitman, LM Shin, SL Rauch - The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 2001 - psycnet.apa.org
    ... M.; Rauch, Scott L. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol 62(Suppl17), 2001, 47-54. ... PTSD, or
    may be a consequence of traumatic exposure, PTSD, and/or PTSD sequelae ... measurement of
    regional cerebral blood flow have shown greater activation of the amygdala and anterior ...

    [HTML] Amygdala response to fearful faces in anxious and depressed children

    KM Thomas, WC Drevets, RE Dahl… - Archives of general …, 2001 - jamanetwork.com
    ... PI Physiological evidence concerning importance of the amygdaloid nuclear region in the
    integration of circulatory function and emotion in man. Science. 1954;120949- 950Article. 5. LaBar
    KSGatenby JCGore JCLeDoux JEPhelps EA Human amygdala activation during ...

    Relationship between acute morphine and the course of PTSD in children with burns

    G Saxe, F Stoddard, D Courtney, K Cunningham… - Journal of the American …, 2001 - Elsevier
    ... the National Center for PTSD, Boston VA Medical Center. Accepted 22 March 2001, Available
    online 4 ... exactly the levels that Pitman (1989) proposed as a potential preventive agent for PTSD...
    attenuates noradrenergic activity at the level of the LC and, probably, at the amygdala...

    Brain imaging in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    G Villarreal, CY King - Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 2001 - europepmc.org
    ... your current search. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry [2001, 6(2):131-145]. 2001/05. Type ...
    studies document different patterns of limbic and paralimbic structure activation in PTSD compared
    with ... of failure to activate the anterior cingulate as well as amygdala activation during ...

    Longitudinal MRI study of hippocampal volume in trauma survivors with PTSD

    O Bonne, D Brandes, A Gilboa… - American Journal of …, 2001 - Am Psychiatric Assoc
    ... Subcortical gray matter and limbic structures (septal area, hippocampus, and amygdala) show
    an increase in volume until the third decade of ... 7, 2001... FW, Nagy LM, Kaloupek DG, Gusman
    FD, Charney DS, Keane TM: The development of a clinician-administered PTSD scale. ...

    [HTML] Regional cerebral blood flow in the amygdala and medial prefrontalcortex during traumatic imagery in male and female vietnam veterans with ptsd

    LM Shin, SP Orr, MA Carson, SL Rauch… - Archives of general …, 2004 - jamanetwork.com
    ... 1996;53380- 387 PubMedArticle. 7. Shin LMMcNally RJKosslyn SMThompson WLRauch SLAlpert
    NMMetzger LJLasko NBOrr SPPitman RK Regional cerebral blood flow during script-driven
    imagery in childhoodsexual abuse–related PTSD: a PET ... 2001;1581920- 1922.

    Disruption of reconsolidation but not consolidation of auditory fear conditioning by noradrenergic blockade in the amygdala

    J DębiecJE Ledoux - Neuroscience, 2004 - Elsevier
    ... Propranolol may therefore be effective in the treatment of PTSD, which appears to involve the
    amygdala (Rauch et al ... National Institute for Mental Health grants R37 MH38774 and K05
    MH067048, VolkswagenStiftung grant I/77376, and the HFS grant RGP0094/2001-B. ...

    Memory processes in post-traumatic stress disorder

    CR Brewin - International Review of Psychiatry, 2001 - Taylor & Francis
    ... and corticosterone and that the sympathetic nervous system, together with the amygdaloid
    complex, constitute a ... on the neuroanatomy of pathways subserving fear and memory (see Brewin,
    2001, for a ... It is now thought that the amygdala is a key structure responsible for the ...

    Corticotropin-releasing hormone in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder

    JW Kasckow, D Baker, TD Geracioti - Peptides, 2001 - Elsevier
    ... 28 June 2000, Accepted 22 November 2000, Available online 30 April 2001... of restraint stress
    in rats increases CRH messenger RNA expression in the amygdala... Post-traumatic stress disorder
    (PTSD) is a syndrome whose development is intrinsically related to the experience ...

    AND 5 YEARS BEFORE THAT

    [HTML] Response and habituation of the human amygdala during visual processing of facial expression

    HC Breiter, NL Etcoff, PJ Whalen, WA Kennedy… - Neuron, 1996 - Elsevier
    ... emotional expression (see Figure 1). Based upon human lesion data, we hypothesized that,
    compared with neutral faces, fearful faces would induce increased activity within the amygdala
    (1, 2 and 16), while happy faces would induce no amygdala activation (Calder et al. 1996 ...

    Neuroimaging findings in post-traumatic stress disorder

    AM Hull - The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2002 - RCP
    ... the wide-ranging neurobiological changes in trauma survivors who develop post-traumatic stress
    disorder (PTSD). ... functional and structural neuroimaging studies of subjects with PTSD was carried ...
    functional changes include increased activation of the amygdala after symptom ...

    Why stress is bad for your brain

    RM Sapolsky - Science, 1996 - go.galegroup.com
    ... showed hippocampal atrophy after correction for whole-brain volume, with no atrophy in the
    amygdala... Finally PTSD individuals, before joining the military, had high rates of learning disorders
    and delayed developmental landmarks that could reflect cerebral ... 16, 3534 (1996). ...

    Disruption of reconsolidation but not consolidation of auditory fear conditioning by noradrenergic blockade in the amygdala

    J DębiecJE Ledoux - Neuroscience, 2004 - Elsevier
    ... amygdala. Propranolol may therefore be effective in the treatment of PTSD, which
    appears to involve the amygdala (Rauch et al., 1996; Shin et al., 2004), even
    after symptoms have developed. Acknowledgments. We ...

    Magnetic resonance imaging study of hippocampal volume in chronic, combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder

    TV Gurvits, ME Shenton, H Hokama, H Ohta… - Biological …, 1996 - Elsevier
    ... Received 31 October 1995, Revised 8 April 1996, Available online 22 March 1999. ... The
    development of a clinician-administered PTSD scale. J Traumatic Stress, 8 (1995), pp. 75–90. ...
    Hippocampus-amygdala volumes and psychopathology in chronic schizophrenia. ...

    Topiramate attenuates exaggerated acoustic startle in an animal model of PTSD

    S Khan, I Liberzon - Psychopharmacology, 2004 - Springer
    ... acoustic startle is a highly prevalent behavioral symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    (Shalev et ... When administered into the basolateral amygdala, it attenuates both phenomena
    (Walker ... kindling properties in rodent models (Wauquier and Zhou 1996) and produces ...

    Exaggerated amygdala response to masked facial stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder: a functional MRI study

    SL RauchPJ Whalen, LM Shin, SC McInerney… - Biological …, 2000 - Elsevier
    ... employing overt presentation of emotional faces do (eg, Morris et al 1996). ... Because we predicted
    amygdala activation to the present experimental manipulation, our a priori significance ... level based
    on the approximately 76 voxels that make up the amygdaloid region (Filipek et ...

    Functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in posttraumatic stress disorder

    A GilboaAY Shalev, L Laor, H Lester, Y Louzoun… - Biological …, 2004 - Elsevier
    ... Animal research shows that the amygdala is crucial in encoding and retrieval of conditioned fearful
    memories Armony and LeDoux, 1997 and Grillon et al., 1996Amygdala hyperactivity in human
    PTSD was observed in some neuroimaging studies Liberzon et al., 1999, Pissiota ...

    Amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampal function in PTSD

    LM Shin, SL Rauch, RK Pitman - … of the New York Academy of …, 2006 - Wiley Online Library
    ... al . 1996. A symptom ... Carson, et al . 2004. Regional cerebral blood flow in amygdala
    and medial prefrontal cortex during traumatic imagery in male and female Vietnam
    veterans with PTSD. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 61: 168–176. ...