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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.

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Seizures among Active Component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007 – 2016

Infographic
1/25/2018
This retrospective study estimated the rates of seizures diagnosed among deployed and non-deployed service members to identify factors associated with seizures and determine if seizure rates differed in deployment settings. It also attempted to evaluate the associations between seizures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by assessing correlations between the incidence rates of seizures and prior diagnoses of TBI and PTSD. Seizures have been defined as paroxysmal neurologic episodes caused by abnormal neuronal activity in the brain. Approximately one in 10 individuals will experience a seizure in their lifetime. Line graph 1: Annual crude incidence rates of seizures among non-deployed service members, active component, U.S. Armed Forces data •	A total of 16,257 seizure events of all types were identified among non-deployed service members during the 10-year surveillance period. •	The overall incidence rate was 12.9 seizures per 10,000 person-years (p-yrs.) •	There was a decrease in the rate of seizures diagnosed in the active component of the military during the 10-year period. Rates reached their lowest point in 2015 – 9.0 seizures per 10,000 p-yrs. •	Annual rates were markedly higher among service members with recent PTSD and TBI diagnoses, and among those with prior seizure diagnoses. Line graph 2: Annual crude incidence rates of seizures by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and recent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis among non-deployed active component service members, U.S. Armed Forces •	For service members who had received both TBI and PTSD diagnoses, seizure rates among the deployed and the non-deployed were two and three times the rates among those with only one of those diagnoses, respectively. •	Rates of seizures tended to be higher among service members who were: in the Army or Marine Corps, Female, African American, Younger than age 30, Veterans of no more than one previous deployment, and in the occupations of combat arms, armor, or healthcare Line graph 3: Annual crude incidence rates of seizures diagnosed among service members deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008 – 2016  •	A total of 814 cases of seizures were identified during deployment to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 9-year surveillance period (2008 – 2016). •	For deployed service members, the overall incidence rate was 9.1 seizures per 10,000 p-yrs. •	Having either a TBI or recent PTSD diagnosis alone was associated with a 3-to 4-fold increase in the rate of seizures. •	Only 19 cases of seizures were diagnosed among deployed individuals with a recent PTSD diagnosis during the 9-year surveillance period. •	Overall incidence rates among deployed service members were highest for those in the Army, females, those younger than age 25, junior enlisted, and in healthcare occupations. Access the full report in the December 2017 MSMR (Vol. 24, No. 12). Go to www.Health.mil/MSMR

This infographic documents a retrospective study which estimated the rates of seizures diagnosed among deployed and non-deployed service members to identify factors associated with seizures and determine if seizure rates differed in deployment settings. The study also evaluated the associations between seizures, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post ...

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Health Readiness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

Life with Lizzy

Article
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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Warrior Care | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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

Article
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

Article
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

Article
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

Article
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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Mental Health Care | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Celebrate good times! No luck, charms or alcohol required

Article
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

Article
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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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Reclaiming your life is purpose of PTSD program

Article
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

Article
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

Article
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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Conditions and Treatments | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury

DCOE Annual Report 2014

Report
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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