DCoE Blog

  • Back to School: Resources Available for Teachers, Military Kids
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

    From grade school to high school, children in military families face unique challenges when starting a new school year. By maintaining a watchful eye, teachers can serve as their first lines of defense to help students avoid academic pitfalls.

    New School, New Standards, New Friends

    On average, military children move six to nine times during a school career, making them more susceptible to academic challenges and emotional stress. By high school, they might have attended more than four different schools with four different sets of education standards and curriculums.

  • People with PTSD May Have Overactive ‘Fight or Flight’ Response
    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua

    Imagine you are in a life-threatening situation. You survey your surroundings and play out various scenarios in your mind. You have seconds to decide how to protect yourself. Do you run away or do you fight your way to safety? How you react to this situation is your intuitive “fight or flight” response.

    What is ‘Fight or Flight’?

    Your fight or flight response occurs when tough situations or stressors challenge or threaten your mind and body. Although the fight or flight response is “normal”, service members and combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have an elevated fight or flight response.

  • Improve Your Mental Health with Time Away from Work
    Sailboat sailing between two naval vessels
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan B.Tabios

    If you caught the flu or broke your arm, you would probably take time off to rest and recover. Your mental health requires the same amount of care and attention. While taking a day off may present challenges, especially if you’re on active-duty, planning a vacation is a good way to maximize mental health self-care. Studies show that taking time off can benefit you and your loved ones. It can also increase your work performance and job satisfaction.

    You may think that you can’t afford to take time off, but overworking yourself can be worse for your mental health. Most of us build up stress day to day, and constant stress can have negative impacts on your health.

     

     

     

  • Updated PTSD Clinical Guidelines Feature New Research, Recommendations
    Thumbnail of the PTSD guidelines with the word updated stamped across it.
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    Medical research results often lead to changes in health care. The Deployment Health Clinical Center recently released a Clinician’s Corner article to highlight the most recent clinical guidelines for adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Future Medicine: Can Biomarkers Predict Mental Health Disorders?
    Drawing of a head filled with cogs and DNA strands behind it
    Graphic courtesy of Deployment Health Clinical Center

    Scientists use biology to predict medical conditions and clinical outcomes. In the future, the study of biological markers may help inform mental health treatments. In a recent article, Deployment Health Clinical Center senior research psychologist Dr. Maria Morgan explains what biomarkers are, what they can tell us about different psychological disorders, and what’s next for the field.

  • Opioid Treatment: New Guidance for Providers on Risks, Recommendations
    Graphic by Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Heath & Traumatic Brain Injury

    Doctors may prescribe opioid medications to treat severe or chronic pain. But using them comes with notable risks – especially for those coping with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or substance misuse.

    The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA) recently updated clinical guidelines on opioid therapy. These guidelines recommend assessing the risks of using opioid therapy, and address concerns such as managing withdrawal, misuse and overdose in the military.

    Overdose is of particular concern for anyone who uses opioids. Certain mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety and substance use disorder, present additional risk factors. One study found significantly higher rates of opioid misuse in veterans with PTSD.

     

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