Over the last several years there has been an increased emphasis on providing evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) in military and Veteran healthcare environments to treat PTSD. The Institute of Medicine (2007) produced a report indicating that the DoD and VA lacked evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of the treatments they are providing. The report was not suggesting the treatments themselves were not effective, but simply that both the VA and DoD did not have a system in place for measuring the effectiveness of the treatment in those environments. Further inquiry in a variety of studies indicated that only a small portion of individuals diagnosed with PTSD even received EBPs.
Blog posts with the tag "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
One of my first memories from my deployment to Fallujah, Iraq was seeing the phrase “Complacency Kills” spray-painted in red on large concrete barriers and signs around the base. This simple phrase was a sober reminder to all who read it to be on guard at all times and men and women in theater rapidly internalized and adapted their behaviors to accommodate its warning. For many, it not only shaped their mindset and behaviors in theater, but continued to impact their post-deployment lives through the adoption of war-related safety behaviors.
In Part 1 of this blog titled, Pondering the Question of Prescribed Cannabis Use and the Potential Effect on Trauma and Stressor-Related Treatment, I closed by saying that while research is being conducted currently on this issue, there is no study of marijuana use in the Veteran population. I am happy to report that research with 76 Veteran participants who have treatment-resistant PTSD was approved by the DEA and is underway.
In 2010, Congress designated the 27th of June as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. This has now expanded to the month of June as a whole. Even though more of the public has become aware of PTSD in recent years, there is still much work to be done. Many people still have only a vague understanding of what PTSD is, its causes, symptoms and potential treatments.
Over the past several years I have seen the same bewildered expression on the faces of numerous Veterans as they struggle to understand and explain their own actions. After several months of treatment, one such client was finally able to articulate, “It’s like there’s a switch in my head that suddenly turns on and it takes everything I’ve got to fight the impulse to do something crazy.”