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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

You may have heard of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the news or from friends and family, and wondered what it is, or whether you or someone you know has it.

After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have PTSD.

If you think you or a loved one might have PTSD, the Defense Centers of Excellence and Department of Veterans Affairs have information and tools to help you.

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Life with Lizzy

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11/1/2017
Army Master Sgt. Leigh Michel gets a kiss from her service dog Lizzy. (U.S. Army photo by Whitney Delbridge Nichels)

How a service dog is helping one combat veteran reconnect

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Magnets show promise in relieving depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms

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9/1/2017
A patient undergoes a procedure that stimulates the frontal part of the brain with a rapidly changing magnetic field. The treatment is seen as an alternative for techniques to treat post-traumatic stress. (Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Usher)

Some complementary and alternative techniques for treating post-traumatic stress were on display at the Military Health System Research Symposium.

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD game changer? Looking at brain molecules, sleep patterns for answers

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9/1/2017
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a significant or extreme emotional or psychological response to a shocking, dangerous, or traumatic event. Researchers discussed PTSD studies on sleep patterns and biomarkers at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Kissimmee, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen/Released)

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and mild traumatic brain injuries can have overlapping symptoms. Researchers continue to look for ways to distinguish the two to help with diagnosing and treating patients.

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

People with PTSD may have overactive ‘Fight or Flight’ response

Article
8/14/2017
Marines line up behind a ballistic blanket before performing a simulated door breach at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Imagine you are in a life-threatening situation. You survey your surroundings and play out various scenarios in your mind. You have seconds to decide how to protect yourself. Do you run away or do you fight your way to safety? How you react to this situation is your intuitive “fight or flight” response. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cutler Brice)

Although the fight or flight response is normal, service members and combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder may have an elevated fight or flight response

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD treatment confronts the trauma behind the disorder

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6/23/2017
Post-traumatic stress disorder is considered one of the “signature wounds” of the current conflicts in the Middle East. But many people may not know that there are highly effective treatments for this invisible wound. Scientifically researched and proven methods for treating PTSD work by getting the patient to confront and learn to process the trauma causing their symptoms. The process can start by talking with anyone, like a health care provider, chaplain or even just a friend. (U.S. Army photo)

Scientifically researched and proven methods for treating PTSD work by getting the patient to confront and learn to process the trauma causing their symptoms

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Medal of Honor recipient credits military medicine for helping him save lives on, off battlefield

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5/3/2017
Ty Carter courageously fought the enemy on the battlefield and received the Medal of Honor for his gallantry. Now he has a new fight: erasing shame from those seeking help after a tragedy. (Courtesy photo)

A recipient of the Medal of Honor credits military medicine for helping him save lives on the battlefield. Now, he says that same system can save more lives off the battlefield.

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Celebrate good times! No luck, charms or alcohol required

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3/17/2017
Marine Cpl. Edward Blodgett, wears a leprechaun hat at a regimental run in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar)

Unless you’ve been hiding under the Blarney Stone, you’ve seen the shamrocks — St. Patrick’s Day is upon us

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Yoga helps me manage PTSD

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6/29/2016
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Eder practices yoga, which he says helps with posttraumatic stress disorder

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Eder describes how yoga helped him with posttraumatic stress disorder

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PTSD awareness leads to positive treatment

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6/27/2016
If you, or someone you know, have been through a traumatic event, seek out a mental health provider and request a screening. PTSD does not usually go away on its own and the earlier you seek help the sooner you can start feeling better and return to the life you want to lead.

Treating PTSD has improved dramatically in the last 20 years

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Reclaiming your life is purpose of PTSD program

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6/8/2016
Army Medicine Logo

Brooke Army Medical Center’s Intensive Outpatient Program for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder program launched two years ago to offer short-term, focused care to service members with PTSD

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TBI patient recovers with help from a canine friend

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5/13/2016
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury staff members admire Lundy, a service dog, as his owner Jake Young (far right), a former Navy SEAL, looks on.

When Jake Young, a former Navy SEAL, was asked to train a service dog as a form of therapy, he wasn’t exactly sold on the idea

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Research key to progress in PTSD, TBI care, DoD experts say

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4/27/2016
Depressed soldier

Doctors updated a Senate Armed Services Committee panel on the Defense Department’s research, diagnosis and treatment for PTSD and TBI

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DCOE Annual Report 2014

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7/16/2015

Annual Report for the Defense Center of Excellence - 2014

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Guidance for Providers Prescribing Atypical Antipsychotic Medication 12-003

Policy

Articles in popular media, and the concern of several national and military leaders in recent months, have raised the question of whether certain psychoactive medications are inappropriately prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and commonly comorbid conditions.

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