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  • Online Resources to Support Military Families

    Read the full story: Online Resources to Support Military Families
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Farrington

    When your son gets a tummy ache or scrapes a knee, you take him to the doctor. When your daughter chips her tooth, you take her to a dentist. But where do you go when your child’s woes are a result of parents who are away on deployment for months at a time; frequent moves that involve changing schools and leaving friends behind; and parents returning home with combat-related injuries?

    A behavioral health specialist is always a good choice. But you can also turn to online resources to help you help your children cope with whatever military life might bring their way. Military children have demonstrated courage, strength and resilience in challenging times. In honor of Month of the Military Child, we assembled resources that help encourage those instincts. And they support you, the caregivers, as you help the children you love adjust to military life and all it offers.

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  • ‘But, I Don’t Drink Every Day’

    April is alcohol awareness month; take screening at www.drinkingiq.org

    April is Alcohol Awareness Month — a good time to assess drinking habits. People may hear this and joke that they’re fully aware of their drinking, but problem drinking is no laughing matter. Although drinking is a legal and accepted part of our society, for many it can lead to broken relationships, brushes with the law and for some service members, major career setbacks.

    If drinking is so common and accepted, how do we know if we have a problem with alcohol? Many people mistakenly believe that if they don’t drink every day they don’t have a problem. Actually, both maintenance drinking (drinking every day) and binge drinking (drinking excessively when you do drink) can suggest a problem with alcohol.

    The effects of drinking on home or work life may also provide clues, although you may not see this. A problem relationship with drinking isn’t always clear to the person doing the drinking.

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  • Support for Coping with Tragedy

    Resources for Coping with Tragedy

    Today, military and civilian communities across the country share a common sense of sadness and grief in reaction to the tragic incident that took place yesterday at Fort Hood, Texas. This event, like other manmade or natural disasters, may place a tremendous burden on our resilience, self-esteem and ability to survive a disaster.

    Your individual response may differ in ways from how others respond to the tragedy. However, psychology experts have developed a deep understanding of the human condition when faced with a crisis and how we might cope with it. Dr. Vladimir Nacev, Deployment Health Clinical Center clinical psychologist, tells us it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotional, behavioral and psychological reactions to trauma. Allowing yourself to experience these feelings is necessary for healing.

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  • You’ve Got a Concussion ... What’s Next?

    Capt. Brian Daniels was playing a pick-up game of basketball on base when he tripped, fell and hit his head on the metal net-post. Though feeling a bit dazed, he finished the game anyway. Still feeling dizzy after the game, he passed if off as exercising on an empty stomach. So, he ate a protein bar and went to his duty station. His headache and dizziness worsened and following his duty shift, he went to the clinic on base. The doctor diagnosed him with a concussion.

    Daniels made several wrong decisions after that jolt to his head. But, he made a correct one also. Can you identify what Daniels did wrong and what he did right? Do you know what steps to take to give yourself the best chance of recovery after a head injury … or how to protect yourself from another concussion?

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  • Caregivers: What Seeds Are You Planting?

    Service member plants seeds in a garden
    U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps

    As a caregiver for a husband with traumatic brain injury (TBI), Rosemary Rawlins shares insights garnered from her own experiences along with insights from other caregivers and family members in her blog, “Learning by Accident,” on BrainLine.

    Creating a balance between caring for your loved one and yourself may be challenging. In this blog post, Rosemary reminds caregivers of the importance of taking some “me” time while managing caregiver responsibilities.

    So many of the caregivers I know are deeply entrenched in caregiving, and I was too, for many months following my husband’s brain injury. Life revolved around his needs and trying to fit in everything else — take care of the house, the kids, my job, the bills — it felt as if I needed an extra 24 hours tacked on to every day just to stay on top of things.

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  • 10 Tips for Better Sleep After Brain Injury

    Service member sleeps on bed
    U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann

    Does it really matter if you get enough sleep? Yes! It may matter even more if you’re recovering from a brain injury as sleep disturbances are common. This makes it harder for those with a TBI to get the quantity and quality of sleep they need.

    Any brain injury — mild to severe — can lead to changes in sleep. These changes can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Deepening depression and anxiety, increased irritability, lack of energy, problems remembering things and a drop in one’s sense of well-being are some effects of troubled sleep.

    Making simple changes to your behavior and environment — sleep schedule, bedtime habits, daily lifestyle choices — can resolve some sleep problems. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s tip sheet, “TBI Symptom Management: Healthy Sleep,” offers these practical tips:

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