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Survivors of abuse and trauma are vastly more likely than other people to develop alcohol use disorder (AUD); according to some estimates, as many as three-quarters of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report drinking problems. Now, Scripps Research scientists have identified a class of drugs that might break this link.
Symptoms of mental disorders are common, are underrecognized, and contribute to worse outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Post-TBI, prevalence of anxiety disorders and prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are comparable with that of depression, but evidence-based treatment guidelines are lacking. The investigators examined psychotropic medication use and psychotherapy patterns among individuals diagnosed with anxiety disorders and PTSD post-TBI.
Veterans taking part in Warrior Care Network receive a year’s worth of mental health care during a 2-3 week intensive outpatient program (IOP) using evidenced-based treatments and alternative therapies.
Dr. Erin Fletcher describes what exactly happens at Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)'s Warrior Care Network, what types of treatments and other services are provided, and what the veteran and their family will experience.
After fighters' cessation of RHI exposure, cognitive function and brain thickness measures may stabilize and blood NfL levels may decline. This study could be a starting point to identify potential predictors of individuals who are at a higher risk of RHI-related long-term neurologic conditions.
“Long COVID is an umbrella term for the many post-acute consequences that result from COVID-19. The more we learn, the more we see that COVID-19 can affect nearly every organ in the body — from the heart and brain to the lungs, kidneys, skin, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We are still learning, but we need to listen to our patients, validate their experiences, and treat their symptoms.”
Doing something kind for another person, no matter how big or small, not only positively impacts our own mental health but it can also bring joy to someone else. Even tiny actions go a long way. It feels good to do good. And, in my experience, good begets good.
This is the month that I mark 12 years as a brain injury survivor. These “crash anniversaries” have pushed me to reflect; it’s hard not to look back at the “before and after” chapters of my life — sifting, shuffling, and reinterpreting the contents of each.
I almost died giving birth. I don’t talk about it much because I didn’t die. I am here. Baby just turned 6 and her little sister is 4. They are thick as thieves and their dad and I are over the moon. But I almost died.
I am a big believer in working through what I walk through. If I have learned anything from everything that has come from the day of the crash, it is that we are each responsible for how we respond — and heal from — what happens in our lives. We must learn to heal our way.
Almost 12 years ago my life changed forever as I joined the brain injury club, a club that no one ever expects — or wants — to be part of. And early on, the phrase “recovery is lifelong” completely and totally annoyed me. I had always been and remain a classic Type A personality. So, it comes as no surprise that I wanted no part of the “recovery is lifelong” model of living out the rest of my life. My plan was to get over my brain injury and move on.
“During pregnancy, a mother celebrates the journey with family and friends — think baby names, baby showers, nurseries, tiny clothes … smiles from strangers and proud hands on an ever-expanding belly. The journey of being pregnant is both personal and public. So, what should be one of the most magical experiences shared with family, friends, and colleagues becomes one of private emotional and physical trauma in a closed room, an experience that is then often not acknowledged nor spoken about. The mother returns home still looking pregnant, her hormones still acting as if she is pregnant, but her arms and heart are empty.”
Meta-analysis (9 articles) revealed that partnership with an assistance dog had a clinically meaningful, significant, and large effect on PTSD severity scores. Increasingly prevalent research on assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD provides support for the impact of this complementary and integrative health intervention on PTSD symptom severity, and signs of meaningful improvements in adjacent domains including mental and social health.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you are military-connected then you know the 22-veterans-a-day average. You’ve seen the blue ribbons plastered everywhere on base/post. If you are a veteran or caregiver, you’ve seen similar posters at the VA. You’ve probably gone to an annual suicide prevention training or two. You know the signs, you know what to look for and what to do if you are worried about someone’s safety. But nothing can truly prepare you for when it happens.
Trauma can be a strange and often insidious beast. We can be traumatized by directly being impacted by an event like a violent physical attack, a rape, a natural disaster, or an experience in combat, but we can also be traumatized indirectly by caring for, hearing about, or witnessing the intense suffering of others. Both the direct and indirect impact of traumatic events can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Over the last 10 years ago, since my sons, Aaron and Steven, were involved in a fatal car accident, in which Aaron did not survive and Steven sustained a severe TBI, my life has resembled a lost-and-found bin, filled to the top, running over with more emotions than I could ever imagine sorting through.
Last month, Sarah and I took a trip to rural Maine for another first-time life experience. I was more excited than fearful when I jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet and I can now add skydiver to my life résumé! Had I listened to the advice I received from doctors a decade earlier, the thought of jumping out of a plane would have seemed preposterous.
Many people with disabilities use a service animal in order to fully participate in everyday life. Dogs can be trained to perform many important tasks to assist people with disabilities, such as providing stability for a person who has difficulty walking, picking up items for a person who uses a wheelchair, preventing a child with autism from wandering away, or alerting a person who has hearing loss when someone is approaching from behind.