DCoE Blog

  • Coping with Flashbacks

    Some service members with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have flashbacks that can limit their quality of life. The Real Warriors campaign shares tools and valuable information for dealing with this particular hurdle of PTSD:

    Flashbacks happen when you feel like you are reliving a traumatic experience or memory. They can occur day or night, and can occur recently or even years after the event. You may remember the entire event or only details such as sounds and smells.

    Flashbacks can occur in veterans who have experienced a traumatic event. While not always, flashbacks are often a symptom of PTSD. They can occur as a result of combat, a training accident, sexual trauma or other traumatic events.

  • Partner with DVBIC to Promote Brain Injury Awareness Month

    As the Defense Department’s center of excellence for traumatic brain injury (TBI), the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center focuses on conducting and synthesizing TBI research to ensure it translates into the best possible care for service members, veterans and their families. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and DVBIC needs your help to spread an important message about prevention: Think Ahead.

    Think ahead means being safe by taking the precautions necessary to prevent brain injuries, knowing the signs of concussion (another word for a mild traumatic brain injury), and accessing care when necessary. It is important to seek help as soon as possible after a TBI because early detection and treatment can facilitate recovery.

    Since last year, we have run a social media campaign during March to remind everyone to “#ThinkAhead” to avoid brain injury. The goal is to get as many people as possible to use social media to remind friends and family to be safe, know the signs of concussion, and seek care.

    To help DVBIC spread the word, print a hashtag card from the DVBIC A Head for the Future website, share a personal message, and take a selfie to share on social media with the hashtags #ThinkAhead and #BIAmonth. DVBIC will retweet and share many of these messages.

  • Why I Give: Stories on Volunteering, Giving Back (Olivera Teodorovic)
    Photo courtesy of Olivera Teodorovic

    When people hear “Superwoman,” the words justice and strength may come to mind. This cherished comic book character positively affects the lives of those she encounters, but who’s to say she isn’t real? This is the final article in a four-part series that shares how four superwomen change lives and take on unique, yet rewarding, challenges as they offer their time as community volunteers.

    I’m A Big Sister

    “The decision to become a big sister wasn’t hard,” said Olivera Teodorovic, a graphics illustrator at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. “I have absolutely no regrets.”

    Teodorovic volunteers with a well-established youth mentoring network in South Puget Sound, Washington. She had long known she wanted to help someone. Her family values new experiences — her parents emigrated from the former country of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) to the United States when she was young.

  • Health Care Professionals Give On-Demand Summit High Marks
    DCoE 2016 Summit. Enroll today at dcoe.cds.pesgce.com. Did you miss it? It's OK. You can register for on-demand sessions and apply for continuing education credits now through April 2017.

    The reviews are in. Health care providers give high marks to the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Summit home study sessions. The 2016 summit, “State of the Science: Advances, Current Diagnostics and Treatments of Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury in Military Health Care” is offered on demand until April 30.

    For another 10 weeks, providers can receive continuing education credit for completing the summit webinars, said Dr. Lolita O’Donnell, DCoE chief of planning and logistics.

  • Why I Give: Stories on Volunteering, Giving Back (Heather Fixler)
    Photo courtesy of Heather Fixler

    When people hear “Superwoman,” the words justice and strength may come to mind. This cherished comic book character positively affects the lives of those she encounters, but who’s to say she isn’t real? This is the third article in a four-part series that shares how four superwomen change lives and take on unique, yet rewarding, challenges as they offer their time as community volunteers.

    There’s Always Time

    Finding 12 hours each month to volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America as leader of a wolf den might seem intimidating, but Heather Fixler does it graciously.

  • Can You Get a Good Night’s Sleep in the Military?
    Photo Credit: David Vergun

    Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult for service members. The demands of military life are often at odds with proper rest, but even on active duty, you have options to improve your sleep. 

    Studies of service members show that poor sleep can lead to a variety of mental and physical health concerns, including increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder or depression. Poor sleep can also cause problems such as fatigue or daytime impairment during daily tasks.

    Many strategies for getting enough rest involve altering your sleep environment, your bedtime or wake-up time. These strategies assume you have control over your schedule and quarters. Often, you don’t control these factors, especially while deployed. Issues such as low manpower, fast-paced work and frequent shift jobs can increase fatigue. What’s more, noise and light may be impossible to regulate.

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