As clinicians who veterans and active service members, many of us see residual symptoms following successful treatment. We have patients who have successfully completed exposure treatment who were very capable of rehearsing their traumas and reducing their anxiety, yet some of them continue to show stubborn residual agitation. Their stories have become more coherent as they work through successive exposures, they progress through in vivo experiences, and their functioning improves. Their description sounds like their baseline anxiety level has gone from 3 to 5.
Blog posts with the tag "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
I recently watched a very powerful video by famed author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger, entitled “Why veterans miss war”. As part of the TED Talk series, he discusses his experiences in Afghanistan and what he learned about the soldiers he spent time alongside.
Working with Veterans with PTSD is an intense experience where all focus can be on helping alleviate the Veteran's symptoms. What can sometimes get lost in this process is how the Veteran's family and relationships are surviving. PTSD does not happen in a bubble and can have very harsh impacts on relationships. These relationships will be changed even in the best case scenarios. On the flip side, aspects of close relationships will impact how the Veteran's PTSD symptoms are experienced. Following is a review of a recent research article which develops a multi-dimentional model of how relationship qualities can both be impacted by and affect the experience of PTSD.
Does anyone else have their fingers crossed that researchers will start finding evidence of which PTSD treatments work best with which specific patients? Happily, it seems like researchers are starting to ask those questions as well, and the recent article comparing Cognitive Processing Therapy standard protocol to Cognitive Processing Therapy - Cognitive Only may have inadvertently started to answer this question.
A colleague of mine recommended I read the book "Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War" after a discussion on the topic of moral injury. In this article, I review the book from my perspective as a clinician who has worked with service members who likely had moral injuries and as a former active duty Service member.