Dubious value of SGAs as add-ons for PTSD
soldier ptsd story.jpgThe recent spike in treating soldiers with PTSD relied mostly on off-label with second generation antipsychotics. A study in JAMA showed that when compared to a placebo, the drug being study, Risperidone, had little effect, raising the question of whether the substantial side effects justified any benefit. []
Gov't Watchdog Criticizes Pentagon Center for PTSD, Brain Injuries
The Pentagon's Defense Centers of Excellence has been slow to deliver on its obligations to soldiers who bear the invisible wounds of war. Why? A joint report from ProPublica and NPR explains the mess described by the Government Accounting Office (GAO). []
PTSD Coach -- an iTunes app helps vets
PTSDapp.jpgThe Veterans Administration (VA) has gone digital. A free app can be downloaded from iTunes to smart phones and walk someone through exercises to reduce stress, find help, and maintain a self-reported profile to assess PTSD. . . []
Going AWOL to get help "a walk of courage," writes Lorre Leon Mendelson
The following comment comes from a reader who refers to a story about a soldier named Jeff Hanks who was deployed in Afghanistan and now faces disciplinary action. It appeared in the Tennessean on Veterans Day. "It was the desperate act of a father/husband/soldier: going awol to obtain mental health assistance: not borne of fear but a walk in courage. Millions are diagnosed with anxiety disorders, one of which is PTSD. Many of us try to "pass" as someone without... []
Veterans Day -- a reminder of mental health prioirities
salute-flag.jpgWith Veterans Day comes a salute to soldiers. And a reminder of the obligations to meet the inner wars many bring home. From a selection of articles addressing the mental health scars of battle, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and suicide. . . []
Sol Wachtler's essay, "When the Scars of Battle"
. . .a recurring theme []
Sol Wachtler's essay, "When the Scars of Battle"
. . .a recurring theme []
VA low balls mental health budget at $4.4 billion
On the heels of congressional hearings about military sexual trauma (MST), the Government Accounting Office (GAO) asked the Veterans Administration (VA) to fold funding for MST treatment into overall budget requests for mental health services. . . []
Witnesses spar at hearings over anti-depressant -- suicide risks
Filner.jpg
Calling PTSD and Traumatic brain injury "the signature wounds of the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Rep. Bob Filner who opened House committee hearings about military suicides. . . []
Brain scans detect PTSD
A highly technical study with remarkably optimistic rates of accuracy for confirming a diagnosis of PTSD was explained in Scientific American. Magnetoencephelography (MEG),. . . []
House packages hate crimes bill with defense spending
The House tucked language for a hate-crime bill (HR 2647) including disabilities into the $680 authorization bill for the Pentagon and Department of Defense spending. . . []
Chronic PTSD affects brain functions
Can time alone heal the impact of combat in Iraq? Not likely, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. . . . []
Psychosis and understanding risk
Understanding psychosis for risk, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders is not as straightforward as it was once thought to be. . . []
Military shifts ideas about mental health
soldiersdeployed(iStock).jpg
The military is preparing soldiers to anticipate the mental health impact of combat and multiple deployments, writes Benedict Carey of the New York Times.. . . []
Medical care for military women
Improvements in mental health treatment for women veterans were part of a bill (HR 1211) the House passed by unanimous vote, 408 to zero. Among the provisions are special training for mental health professionals to treat women for sexual abuse and PTSD, and a study of the barriers, including stigma, to seeking treatment. Reports indicate sexual harassment of military women has increased and is often unreported.... []
June in the journals
Journals(istock).jpg
Children of war carry the trauma long after power has shifted and the ink has dried on peace treaties. An editorial in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine laments PTSD, a long-term consequence of trauma for children has received little attention. . . []
Military launches site for PTSD
The normalization of stress around military matters, such as the length and number of deployments, may ironically reduce seeking help for problems such as PTSD, according to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. When a mental health provider is part of a treatment team, the burden on patients or families to ask for help is greatly reduced. To make it easier for soldiers to seek help, the defense department launched a website, Real Warriors outside the military's domain.... []
APA: May is Borderline Personality Disorder month
. . .John Gunderson, M.D., lecture []
Women's mental health patterns
Anxiety disorders, phobias and major depressions are more common in women than men according to a report from the Office on Women's Health. And while it has long been said that schizophrenia was a male disease, the rates are actually fairly close (1.26 percent for males compared to 1.0 percent for women), in comparison to PTSD, which appears to be twice as common in women and prevalent in women vets. The findings are part of a more intense effort to... []
Defining PTSD and combat burden
In uncommon combat where injuries do not always take place on a formal battlefield, criteria for assessing combat-related disability may be outdated. A bill to change the meaning of "combat with the enemy" (HR 952) was introduced by Rep. John J. Hall (D-NY) who opened congressional hearings by noting "an unnecessary burden on veterans diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder - PTSD and other conditions - to prove their combat stressors." ... []
Brain scans for PTSD
If the results of preliminary studies hold up, brain imaging could be used to diagnose PTSD the way a chest x-ray shows TB. That's the hope based on research conducted on 42 soldiers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq who showed two patterns distinctly different from subjects who were not suffering from PTSD. The research was presented last week in Italy at the meetings of the World Psychiatric Association. ... []
Awards for stories about mental illness
The Association of Health Care Journalists announced five of its annual awards will go to reporters who have written about mental illness. They are: •Mary Carmichael of Newsweek for a story detaiiling how bi-polar disorder dominates the life of one youngster and his parents. •Randy Dotinga, of Voice of San Diego, for a story about the bridge in San Diego which has been used by people intending suicide since 1973. •Sharon Salyer and Alejandro Dominguez, of the Daily Herald in... []
Vet groups say "no" to Obama plan
"Betrayal," "dead on arrival," and "unacceptable" are just a few of the objections to Pres. Barack Obama's proposal to shift financing of service injuries from the Veterans' Adminsitration (VA) to private insurers. This proposal, which senior members of congress have widely criticized, includes treatment for service related injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression. It also seems incongruent with the testimony of Sec. Erik K. Shinseki at hearings last week about extensive mental health needs and the... []
Study of trauma, PTSD, and suicide
Not all assaultive trauma results in PTSD, but when it does, research indicates, there are greater risks for suicide. Results (n=1698) of a study of youth who were enrolled in a study when they entered first grade 15 years earlier indicated females made more suicide attempts than males. The youth came from Baltimore and the sample was nearly half male and 71 percent African-American. Suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for people 15 to 24 years old,... []
Trauma with Australia's fires
Anxiety Insights reports that the Australian Psychological Society alerted clinicians and survivors of Australia's fires to watch for signs of trauma including PTSD.... []

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