Veterans, PTSD and Addiction

Veterans, PTSD and Addiction

A vulnerable class of Americans: Veterans, PTSD and Addiction Veterans often cope with stress after returning from multiple deployments. They may also suffer from illnesses and injuries that can contribute to a substance use disorder. Addiction delays an already complex social reintegration process and can have negative repercussions. However, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers treatment plans to support veterans as they recover from substance use disorders. Many veterans wrestle with stress from deployments to combat zones. The stressful military life coupled with injuries and illnesses puts them at an increased risk for substance use disorders. A growing number of veterans turn to drugs to cope with the pressure of societal reintegration after the military. With a 52.7 percent increase in outpatient veterans treated for substance abuse disorders from 1995 to 2013, it is undeniable that addiction is a major concern among the veteran community. Between 2006 and 2009, the army reported that more than 45 percent of the 397 noncombat related deaths investigated were the result of an alcohol or drug overdose. Substance use and abuse often starts during military service and can be exasperated by deployment cycles, combat and subsequent PTSD and other challenges after separation from…

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Living Joyfully Is An Art

Living Joyfully Is An Art

Are you living joyfully everyday? The art of living joyfully is created through our daily choices and actions. LivingSingleLivingWell is about the Art of Single Living, and specifically, joyful living. Our courage allows us to manifest optimism and confidence. This emboldens us to seek greatness. We recreate our lives each day allowing joyful living to be within our reach. Millions of people are learning, or relearning, how to live a healthy, happy and purposeful single-life. Being single today may be your choice; it may be a decision that was made for you. The reality is that you and I, and millions of others are learning how to be single, date, build new relationships and heal the past. We all work to communicate better, find peace, and create healthy, happy, purposeful lives. Each of us is on an individual journey toward understanding self, personal growth and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. It is my sincere hope that LivingSingleLivingWell is a springboard for thought and reflection.  LivingSingleLivingWell is an open, welcoming forum that may open the door to a deeper understanding of how we each choose to live an optimistic and happy single life. For at least today, you are single because you…

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PTSD Injury Not Disorder

PTSD Injury Not Disorder

PTSD should be categorized as a PTSD Injury, or PTSI. “Post-traumatic stress disorder” is a label given to a set of symptoms set forth in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association 1994), the clinical manual treatment providers used to determine diagnoses. DSM-5 was revised in 2013 as an update to the 1994 edition, but in many experts’ opinions, the draft model which was surrounded by controversy, did not go far enough. During the drafting and debate process, even experts in the field were unable to agree on diagnosis, and what characteristics and symptoms will be considered diagnostic for the disorder, as well as the future name for PTSD. The name, PTSD, was created in 1980 as a new diagnosis, and further codified in DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association 1994. PTSD was used most often in reference to victims of combat, the term was “shell shock,” “battle fatigue” and “soldier’s heart.” Diagnoses in any medical specialty are important because they allow for standardization of diagnosis and treatment by the medical and mental health communities as well as reimbursement and payment by insurers. Having the PTSD diagnosis has helped millions of people in various ways: It gave…

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22 Veterans Lives Lost Each Day At Home

22 Veterans Lives Lost Each Day At Home

22 Veterans lives lost each day to self-inflicted wounds For those who have served, these are like brothers and sisters, regardless of how well, or even if you knew them. Clay Hunt, US Marine Corps Veteran and sniper, was one of the casualties of war who survived the battlefield, but lost his life to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and emotional trauma. This weekend, there are a series of memorial runs sponsored by Team Rubicon around the country to commemorate Clay Hunt’s life, bring awareness to the tremendous cost and keep the matter of Veteran care on the front burner. Through efforts of IAVA, the nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in a rare convergence of human decency and common sense, Congress has passed a bill and President Obama will sign it. H.R. 203, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (Clay Hunt SAV Act), introduced by Rep. Timothy J. Waltz (D-MN), is named for a Marine Corps veteran and sniper who took his own life in 2011, after having served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was just one of the estimated 8,000 Veterans lives lost to self-inflicted wounds each year. This is the…

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The PTSD Workbook, 2nd Ed.

The PTSD Workbook, 2nd Ed.

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extremely debilitating anxiety condition that can occur after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal. Although many know that this mental health issue affects veterans of war, many may not know that it also affects victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, natural disasters, crime, car accidents and accidents in the workplace. No matter the cause of their illness, people with PTSD will often relive their traumatic experience in the form of flashbacks, memories, nightmares, and frightening thoughts. This is especially true when they are exposed to events or objects that remind them of their trauma. Left untreated, PTSD can lead to emotional numbness, insomnia, addiction, anxiety, depression, and even suicide. In The PTSD Workbook, Second Edition, psychologists and trauma experts Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula outline techniques and interventions used by PTSD experts from around the world to offer trauma survivors the most effective tools available to conquer their most distressing trauma-related symptoms, whether they are a veteran, a rape survivor, or a crime victim. Based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the book is extremely accessible and easy-to-use,…

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