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).
Updated PTSD Clinical Guidelines Feature New Research, Recommendations Future Medicine: Can Biomarkers Predict Mental Health Disorders?
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
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.
Mom, Psychologist Shares How Laughter Can Strengthen Relationships
Laughing with a service member, family member or friend can be a fun and healthy way to connect. Julie Kinn, deputy director of the National Center of Telehealth and Technology Mobile Health Program, shares a family experience that makes her laugh until this day in a recent AfterDeployment blog post.
Laughing about shared circumstances builds a sense of connection. Just be sure the shared memory is one that everyone finds funny (and not one that will make someone feel embarrassed or ashamed).
6 Ways to Avoid Isolation This Summer
Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues can leave you feeling disconnected, isolated, disengaged and lonely. Here are some ways to reconnect with yourself and others this summer:
Engage and Reconnect
Make time to spend with family and friends. Take a summer day trip or vacation with your family. Stay local and hang out with friends at a barbecue. The National Center for Telehealth and Technology developed the Positive Activity Jackpot app as a tool for pleasant event scheduling in your area. The app allows you to plan group activities in a simple, helpful way. Give yourself permission to leave if an event becomes overwhelming, but make the commitment to go connect for a bit.
Military Health Experts Tweet to Raise Awareness for PTSD
“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is treatable.” Military health experts shared this message with more than 250,000 Twitter users during a live chat June 27. Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) hosted the event to connect with members of the military community to talk about stress and PTSD.
June 27 marked the 7th annual National PTSD Awareness Day recognized by the president. This is noteworthy because until recently, medical information or treatment for PTSD was very limited.
Today, we know that 149,000 active-duty service members received a PTSD diagnosis in the Military Health System from 2000 to 2014. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women twice as likely as men to develop the disorder.