Showing posts with label National Center for PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Center for PTSD. Show all posts

Monday, December 26, 2022

A civilian message to military members

Military suicides have become slightly less common, but are still a 'massive problem' American Homefront Project

By Steve Walsh
Published December 11, 2022

Though military suicide has been a problem for decades, critics say the Pentagon hasn’t come to terms with the fact that anyone can potentially be at risk.
More than 500 military personnel die by suicide each year, though the number dropped slightly last year. This summer a Pentagon Committee visited bases around the world including Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Naval Air Station North Island in California, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the North Carolina National Guard, and Camp Humphreys in South Korea. The panel also visited three bases in Alaska, where there have been several suicides.

Despite the scrutiny, another four suicides took place in November at the Navy’s Regional Maintenance Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Earlier in the year, in nearby Newport News, seven suicides were reported on the USS George Washington.

After visiting the ship, Master Chief Russell Smith told Congress in May that he once struggled with suicidal thoughts. He also recounted a story of a colleague - a Navy SEAL - who died by suicide.

“Suicide is a massive problem for us, because it’s the one thing we can prevent absolutely by getting inside people’s headspace and connecting to them,” Smith said.
read more here

Now that you read that, read this.

I never served, but I survived. I never fought in a war, but I fought battles to heal. I've listened to veterans for 4 decades but one conversation still sticks out in my mind.

A veteran, tough as they come, took offense when he asked me about my service. I told him I didn't serve. He started shouting at me about how I had no clue what it was like for him. I told him he was right. Then I listed the things I survived, all ten of them. I asked him if he had a clue what any of that was like for me. He said he didn't. Then I asked him if he could understand what all of that did to me. He was silent for a while, and I heard him sniffle. He said he did.

I can't understand what WWII did to my uncles, or Korea did to my Dad, or Vietnam to my husband. I can understand what surviving did to them because I survived what I did.

If you can't understand how surviving anything changes you, then do some basic research on all the others that end up fighting a battle with the demon PTSD, and know, you are not alone. You are human and survived something most people will never know. Don't expect them to understand. Don't dismiss them when they may be able to help you, even though you did not have the same experience cause it.

National Center for PTSD
We are the world's leading research and educational center of excellence on PTSD and traumatic stress.

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening or traumatic event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. The good news is that there are effective treatments.
Look over on the right for the dropdown menu. Read the lists of others that also fight their battles with PTSD. Then understand something. Most of the time, PTSD strikes after just one exposure. How many did you go through? 

Once you've learned more about #PTSD, consider something else. If you were willing to die to save someone else, are you willing to heal to save others too? If you share your healing with others, they will find the hope they can heal too and they are not alone. They will pass it on. Think of all the lives you'll be able to save by sharing your struggles with us, and we can do the same for those who serve this country. We may not all understand the cause but we can all speak the language of healing! Would be a great way to start the New Year!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Want to believe in miracles again?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 27, 2021

We walk away from what we survive one of two ways. Either God did it to us, or God saved us. It is human nature to want to know why something happened to us. I know I did everytime I faced death. People like me are nothing worth reporting on, even though reporters always manage to cover the events that cause our lives to change. They show up to report on crimes, accidents, along with anything else that is traumatic and violent. Then they are gone while we continue to rewrite the story of our own lives.

According to the National Center for PTSD, there are about 15 million of us every year yet we are forgotten about. With all we survive, we lose so much afterwards that it is hard to find a reason we did. There were times when I didn't want to. Like the main character in my 4th book, The Lost Son, God had other plans for me too!

From The Lost Son

The scars on his body were reminders of what he survived but the scars in his soul were reminders of why he didn’t want to anymore.

Chris Papadopoulos was tired of waiting for his life to get better while he grew more bitter. Tired of paying the price for covering suffering while working as a report for an LA newspaper. Tired of the seven years he survived the bomb blast that ripped through his body while covering the war in Afghanistan. Tired of watching all he had erode like the fire escape from his window. 

He lost everything. His job, the only one that gave him purpose in life was over and he was writing greeting card messages. The condo in LA with his office covered with awards, was no longer his and he was living in a studio apartment back in Salem Massachusetts. His marriage ended when his ex-wife tried to kill him and then stalked him. All his friends were out of his life except his favorite bartender at a local bar.

Seven years was long enough. He sat on his bed with a gun in his hand while a war between hope and despair kept him from lifting the gun to his head. He gave up and went to the bar figuring that if he got drunk enough, he wouldn’t have to think about anything much longer.

Chris thought everyone he knew burned down the bridges between them and him. He couldn’t see he was the one with all the matches and his friends were trying to find the firehose. He was right about one thing. Seven years was too long for him to be suffering instead of healing, but God had other plans for him. That night, Chris was sent on a mission to save himself and millions of others when he discovered a secretive society changing the world one soul at a time.

Chris had been a "good guy" most of his life. He welcomed a new family to Salem when he was in the 6th grade. Bill Gibson became his best friend. Up until they were planing their futures as adults, they did everything together. Chris wanted to be a reporter so he could travel and let people know what was going on in the world. 

Bill wanted to join the Army, like his Dad did during Vietnam, and his grandfather, and his great grandfather. They all served willingly no matter how they were treated by some because they were black. Bill was half black and half white but he never saw people by the color of their skin. He always saw them by what was in their souls.

By the time September 11th happened, Bill and Chris were established in their new lives. Chris was a reporter for an LA newspaper and Bill was stationed at Fort Drum. Bill's sister Brenda ended up marrying Chris because she knew his job would have his traveling most of the time. She could do what she wanted, whenever she wanted to do it. Chris was back in Salem for his mother's funeral when the planes hit the towers but Brenda had another excuse to make his go by himself. Chris drove to New York as the only reporter close enough for the newspaper to get there with all planes grounded.

When Bill was deployed to Afghanistan, Chris had enough clout to get assigned to covering the war so he could watch over Bill. He became very close to Bill's buddy, David. They spent as much time as possible together like brothers.

September 13th 2012, a bomb blew up and Chris was torn up by shrapnel. Bill and David saw it happen. They saved his life until the medics took him away. That was the last time they saw him until seven years later when they walked into the bar and back into Chris's life. 

If you want to believe in miracles again, this may be what you need to open your eyes to how miracles happen all around you.

Keep checking back for more news about when you can read it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Healing PTSD Stamp has issues...

The USPS 'Healing PTSD' Stamp Will Raise Money for Veterans
By James Barber
3 Dec 2019

The United States Postal Service has just issued a "Healing PTSD" semipostal stamp that will raise money to be distributed to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for the National Center for PTSD.
The First-Class stamps will sell for 65 cents, a ten-cent premium over the standard price. A semipostal stamp is one designed to fund causes in the public interest and in this case that interest is post-traumatic stress. The extra money will be donated to the cause.

The "Healing PTSD" stamp features a photo illustration of a green plant sprouting from ground covered in fallen leaves, symbolizing the PTSD healing process. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with original art by Mark Laita.

After an unfortunate first-day computer glitch that delayed early sales of the stamps on December 2nd was corrected, the "Healing PTSD" stamps should be available at all post offices nationwide. You can also order them in sheets of twenty directly from the USPS at their website.
read it here
Linked from Task and Purpose

Considering the track record...maybe this time there will be some accountability but, as for me, I am not buying this!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Holidays and PTSD

Holidays and PTSD
National Center For PTSD

The holiday season is often difficult for people with PTSD, but there are healthy ways to cope and manage stress.
Here are some tips from our clinicians that can help you manage your PTSD symptoms over this holiday season:

Don't overschedule. Leave time for yourself.

Make a plan to get things done. Set small, doable goals.

When stressed, remind yourself of what has helped in the past.

Use the tools from PTSD Coach app or PTSD Coach Online to help you manage stress.

Reach out for support if you need it. Know you can rely on for help. If your symptoms are getting worse or you feel down, reach out to your provider or Call the Crisis Line.

If you know someone with PTSD, there are things you can do to make sure the holiday season is pleasant and enjoyable for everyone.

Educate yourself: Download and read Understand PTSD and PTSD Treatment (PDF), to learn more about how PTSD affects your loved one.

Talk to your family member about what they need to feel comfortable during the holidays. If your loved one needs services, call Coaching into Care for advice in talking to them about treatment.

Keep important resources at hand, such as the Veterans Crisis Line, a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Deployed During Insurgency, Iraq Veterans Double Likelihood for PTSD

Study: Iraq War insurgency led to rise in PTSD rates
By Brooks Hays
Dec. 29, 2015
"Assessment of the nature of combat may be useful in research and in clinical settings," researchers wrote in their study.
A bomb-sniffing dog from the U.S. Air Force is led by a soldier with the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division. The pair are seen searching for IEDs during a raid in Iraq in 2006. Photo by U.S. Air Force
BOSTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A new study suggests the insurgency phase of the Iraq War caused an uptick in instances of post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

The research was conducted by scientists at the National Center for PTSD, a collaborative effort between the VA Boston Healthcare System and the Boston University School of Medicine.
When they used these phases to analyze the mental health diagnoses of Iraq War veterans, they found men deployed during the insurgency phase were more than twice as likely to have developed PTSD. The same correlation was not found among women.
read more here

Thursday, June 5, 2014

National Center for PTSD Awareness

PTSD Awareness Month is a good thing as long as people are aware of facts and don't settle for what is all too common online.

First is, veterans are not stuck where they are. There is help to heal and there are generations of other veterans living proof of that fact. There are sadly far too many who never found what they needed to heal. Those two facts are something the leaders need to become aware of so they can finally do something that will clue everyone in that after war does not have to be more dangerous to them.

Families are key to helping veterans heal but they need to be aware of what PTSD is and why someone they love is suffering so much.

Friends need to stop being stupid and stop saying things because they read something online or because they felt they had to say something. Stop talking and start listening. Most of the time your buddy just needs to talk about what is going on and feel supported, not judged. Be aware of they are in need of more support than you can give and clue someone in on it. If you are wrong, then you may lose your buddy but at least they'll know you cared about their life. If you're right, you can save their life.
Learn. Connect. Share. Raise PTSD Awareness, June 2014

About PTSD Awareness

The National Center for PTSD promotes awareness of PTSD and effective treatments throughout the year. Starting in 2010, Congress named June 27th PTSD Awareness Day (S. Res. 455). Since then, during the month of June, we ask everyone to help us raise PTSD awareness.
Following trauma, most people experience stress reactions but many do not develop PTSD. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others do not. However, if stress reactions do not improve over time and they disrupt everyday life, help should be sought to determine if PTSD is a factor.
The purpose of PTSD Awareness Month is to encourage everyone to raise public awareness of PTSD and its effective treatments so that everyone can help people affected by PTSD.

Raise PTSD Awareness

Learn. Connect. Share.
  • Learn: PTSD treatment can help
  • Connect: Reach out to someone
  • Share: Spread the word
You can make a difference!
"There are many barriers that keep people with PTSD from seeking the help they need. Knowledge and awareness, however, are key to overcoming these barriers. For those living with PTSD, knowing there are treatments that work, for example, can lead them to seek needed care.
Greater public awareness of PTSD can help reduce the stigma of this mental health problem and overcome negative stereotypes that may keep many people from pursuing treatment." - Dr. Matthew Friedman, Former Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD

Commitment to Veterans and Others

VA provides effective treatment for our Nation's Veterans and conducts research on PTSD, including the prevention of stress disorders.
"As Americans, every day of the year should be focused on assisting those who have served this nation so bravely," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "But in June, we take special care in focusing on those with PTSD."
This started in 2010 but suicides went up so be aware, more has to be done but the right stuff not just anything. Be aware that as VA Secretary Shinseki had to resign over a few deaths, there are thousands more no one seems to think about. 12,000 veterans attempt suicide every year and over 8,000 succeed. Most of them are Vietnam veterans. Another topic no one seems to want to talk about.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The different levels of PTSD leave people confused

NATIONAL CENTER FOR PTSD has a list of the 5 different levels of PTSD. Normal stress response, acute stress disorder, uncomplicated PTSD, comorbid PTSD and complex PTSD.

It begins with this one
Normal Stress Response
The normal stress response occurs when healthy adults who have been exposed to a single discrete traumatic event in adulthood experience intense bad memories, emotional numbing, feelings of unreality, being cut off from relationships or bodily tension and distress. Such individuals usually achieve complete recovery within a few weeks.

Often a group debriefing experience is helpful. Debriefings begin by describing the traumatic event. They then progress to exploration of survivors’ emotional responses to the event.

Next, there is an open discussion of symptoms that have been precipitated by the trauma.

Finally, there is education in which survivors’ responses are explained and positive ways of coping are identified.

This is the one where intervention does in fact help prevent PTSD. "Help" is the key word because if it is done right, even if PTSD does develop, they have the tools to fight against it and the results are not as bad as the last one on the list.

Complex PTSD
Complex PTSD (sometimes called “Disorder of Extreme Stress”) is found among individuals who have been exposed to prolonged traumatic circumstances, especially during childhood, such as childhood sexual abuse. These individuals often are diagnosed with borderline or antisocial personality disorder or dissociative disorders.

They exhibit behavioral difficulties (such as impulsivity, aggression, sexual acting out, eating disorders, alcohol or drug abuse, and self-destructive actions), extreme emotional difficulties (such as intense rage, depression, or panic) and mental difficulties (such as fragmented thoughts, dissociation, and amnesia).

The treatment of such patients often takes much longer, may progress at a much slower rate, and requires a sensitive and highly structured treatment program delivered by a team of trauma specialists.

Where it says "childhood" you have to be aware of the fact most of the men and women serving in the military are under 25 so when they were exposed to prolonged events, the emotional part of their brain was not fully developed.

Do we help them right now or do we wait?

Reflections from conflicts past: No PTSD, but returning can still be a challenge
Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network
April 24, 2013

Editor’s note: This is the second post in our series on veterans, reintegration and mental health.
One thing Zack Geneseo wants people to know is that not all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are crippled by their experience.

“Sometimes I think people are surprised that I’m not an alcoholic, covered in tattoos, self-medicating for PTSD, living on the streets,” he says.

Geneseo joined the Army in March 2005. Now a captain in the Army Reserve, he spent much of 2010 and 2011 in Iraq.

Geneseo recently received his law degree from Boston University. He hopes to work in criminal law some day, but with the poor hiring climate in the legal field these days, he says he’ll take what he can get.

Despite his own successes with returning to life after war, Geneseo says he sympathizes with those veterans who have been unable to put the war behind them. He admits that he, too, struggled psychologically and emotionally when he first returned from active duty.

“No matter how many times the Army told me that people have a hard time adjusting, I thought – I knew – that it wasn’t going to happen to me, that I would be just fine because I’m so self-aware,” he says. “I couldn’t have been more naive.”

read more here

Tuesday, January 29, 2008



January 25, 2008


WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT), a member of the Committee, sent a letter this week urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to dedicate additional funding to the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD).

Congress last year passed an unprecedented budget increase for VA in Fiscal Year 2008 which included funds for the NCPTSD. In their letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake, Senators Akaka and Sanders called for an additional $2 million for the NCPTSD above the previous year's funding level. The Center is a leader in research and education on PTSD, and provides clinical tools and guidance to clinicians around the country.

"The National Center for PTSD continues to make valuable contributions to the understanding and treatment of PTSD, and America's veterans are better off thanks to their work. Additional funding will enable them to address critical issues and facilitate better care for veterans. It is my hope that Secretary Peake will support the Center for PTSD with adequate funding in the years to come," said Chairman Akaka.

In recent years, the Center for PTSD has been called on to dramatically expand its mission and conduct research on a larger scale. At the same time, an increasing number of servicemembers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD. However, the Center's budget has increased by less than 10 percent in the past half-decade. Due to limited funding, the Center's capacity to continue its work is severely restricted, and staff levels have been reduced since 1999.

click here back to VAWatchdog for the rest

Thursday, August 23, 2007

PTSD number game still playing at a trauma center near you

Battle Continues Over Vietnam PTSD Numbers
Forbes - NY,USA
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder involving nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks linked to event "triggers" that develop ...

but wait,,,don't believe it. As posted many times, the DAV had a study in 1978 and they placed the number of PTSD Vietnam Vets at 500,000. The number in this release are false. All you have to do is look back at what was found and how the figures were found to know what is or was real. They are forgetting one huge factor. How many we lost because of PTSD and suicide and homelessness causing early deaths.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Feds Ridicule Vet Diagnosed with PTSD

Feds Ridicule Vet Diagnosed with PTSD
At the US Dept for Federal Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD website, a veteran is given information on whom to contact for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) problems:

You can contact your local VA Hospital or Veterans Center located in your telephone book, or call the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS. In addition to its medical centers, VA also has many CBOCs (Community Based Outpatient Clinics) around each state so you can look for one in your community.

But as Vietnam-era Air Force veteran Keith Roberts found out, that doesn't mean you should actually file for PTSD-related benefits.In an appellate brief filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on July 29, the US Atty's office mocks Roberts for seeking help with his diagnosed mental health and other medical ailments.

Reads the brief filed by Steven Biskupic's office:

A layperson can gather information about PTSD's causes and symptoms from public libraries, the Internet, and the VA's National Center for PTSD ... After Roberts' personality disorder claim failed, he changed course. In February 1994, Roberts notified the VA for the first time that he suffered from PTSD, and that it was connected to his military service. His claim, however, did not say what his in-service stressor was, and he offered no PTSD diagnosis.

So, this veteran did not fill out the complex VA forms properly. But after jumping through hoop after hoop, Roberts was eventually diagnosed with PTSD by several medical professionals and began receiving PTSD-related benefits in 1999.

click post title for the rest