DCoE Blog

  • Getting Back on Track: Changing Your Behavior to Achieve Goals
    Photograph of people crawling through mud
    DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra

    Many of us approach resolutions for the new year with great determination, but then find that the road to success is bumpier than expected. Spring is a good time to take stock of how you’re doing. If you feel you aren’t meeting your goals, it’s not too late to regroup and set yourself up for success.

    Bradford Applegate, a behavioral health expert with the Deployment Health Clinical Center, explained some reasons people give up on personal goals and why success requires behavior change. When you change counterproductive behaviors and adopt new ones, you’re more likely to see positive growth, he said.

  • Learn to Recognize, Control Post-Deployment Anger
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf

    Feeling anger is a normal part of your emotional spectrum. Service members may find that anger is a useful emotion during combat. However, once they return home, that anger — and the experiences that come with it — can cause problems. A recent webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury addressed these problems and potential solutions.

    Signs of Anger

    Anger can range in intensity from irritation to rage and can be helpful or harmful, depending on the situation. The body reacts to anger with increased adrenaline, alertness, heart rate and blood pressure. Certain physical reactions (a clenched jaw, muscle tension, shakiness, restlessness, agitation, etc.) can help signal feelings of anger, even if you are not aware of those feelings. Over time excessive anger can cause long-term health issues.

  • DVBIC Podcast Provides Help for Family Caregivers
    Graphic image with text "The TBI Family"

    In a small brick house in northern Baltimore, Joann Anderson-West cares for two injured Army veterans whose families are unable to provide care. One of the veterans, Ralph Stepney, was placed with Anderson-West after he reached out to the Department of Veterans Affairs for help.

    “She's family,” Stepney said, “because she treats me like family. She's a very excellent cook. She has a beautiful home, and I'm very, very comfortable here and I enjoy life again.”

    Anderson-West’s story is one of many told by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) in its ongoing podcast series, “The TBI Family.” Her story is part of an episode that discusses foster care and cognitive rehabilitation for those with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

  • Celebrating Milestones through 25 Years of DVBIC
    DVBIC Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center 25 years of service, 1992-2017

    This year marks 25 years since a congressional mandate created the Defense and Veterans Head Injury Program in response to the first Gulf War and the need to treat service members with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Service members and veterans impacted by TBI rely on the program, known today as the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), to propel TBI clinical care, groundbreaking research and innovative education.

    Over its 25 years, DVBIC has reached a number of pivotal milestones in the advancement of TBI care that continue to impact prevention and treatment today.

  • When the Blues Last Beyond Winter

    Although it is spring and the days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere, the lingering cold and harsh weather can limit your exposure to sunshine. People in areas with less sunshine may experience feelings of sadness, fatigue or hopelessness. A form of depression, called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can affect people in low-light conditions.

    Seasonal affective disorder occurs when fluctuating and decreasing levels of sunlight cause imbalances in your serotonin levels. The resulting depression can lead to difficulty getting out of bed in the morning or reduced interest in activities.

  • A Head for the Future Empowers Service Members to Prevent TBI
    Photo of man adjusting bike helmet with text: Make  sure your helmet fits properly
    Photo courtesy of A Head for the Future

    Service members face the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on a daily basis. Just as precautions are useful in a combat zone to protect your head, you also need to take measures in your everyday life to stay safe. A Head for the Future created a video to illustrate good practices in TBI prevention.

    Many people think of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a combat risk. However, most service members experience TBIs in non-deployed settings. That’s why the A Head for the Future “Power to Prevent” public service announcement video focuses on how to stay safe in everyday situations. 

    The video, shot from the perspective of a service member, features a variety of everyday activities: cycling, playing sports, riding a motorcycle and just hanging out with friends. Each of these activities can result in a bump or jolt to the head — and potential TBI.

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