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  • Tips from Real Warriors: What to Expect in Therapy

    Read the full story: Tips from Real Warriors: What to Expect in Therapy
    U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Calvert

    Most of us are familiar with a cartoon depiction of what therapy looks like: a person on a couch sharing personal fears to a serious looking provider who sits in a chair with a notepad analyzing every word. If this is your only experience of what therapy is, it can seem quite daunting! One barrier to seeking treatment for a treatable psychological health condition can be fear of the unknown. A recent article by Real Warriors shares tips on how to get ready for your first appointment, and what to expect during the process.

    Thinking about attending a therapy session for the first time might make you feel uncomfortable. You may think seeking care will make you look weak or others will lose confidence in your abilities. Know that reaching out is a sign of strength. Seeking care early can lead to positive outcomes that benefit you, your family and your unit.

  • Guiding Service Members to Seek Help

    Read the full story: Guiding Service Members to Seek Help
    DoD photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

    A service member’s own negative ideas about psychological health conditions and fear of what others might think are significant barriers to seeking treatment, Clinical Health Psychologist Bradford Applegate told attendees during a recent webinar hosted by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). These perceptions expand to all branches of the military. Applegate outlined practices to help providers facilitate greater rates of help-seeking behavior and successfully treat psychological health issues.

    According to a 2015 Army “Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service Members,” less than 50 percent of active-duty and retired personnel diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are in treatment. Overall, only 21 percent of service members with a psychological disorder are receiving treatment. The stigma that surrounds PTSD and other psychological disorders contributes to these low numbers, said Applegate, who serves as a Real Warriors Campaign clinical psychological health subject matter expert for the Deployment Health Clinical Center.

  • Father’s Day Has Added Meaning for Veteran with PTSD

    Read the full story: Father's Day Has Added Meaning for Veteran with PTSD
    Photo courtesy of Hall family

    For a typical dad, Father’s Day is a summer Sunday afternoon when the rest of the family showers him with gifts and affection.

    For retired Army Maj. Jeff Hall, Father’s Day is different. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has changed his outlook on life.

    “It is not about gifts,” Hall said. “It is more about us being together.”

  • Take the First Steps to Get Help for Psychological Health Concerns

    soldier shakes hands with chaplain
    U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jorge Saucedo

    Seeking help for psychological health concerns allows you to play an active role in your own well-being. Once you decide to seek care, you may not know what steps to take next. There are many options for care and it is important to make a plan that best fits your needs. Experts such as counselors, chaplains and health care providers in the Military Health System (MHS) are excellent resources to turn to for help.


    Step 1: Choose Your Goals
    Identify the areas of your life that your symptoms negatively impact. Think about how you would like to improve these areas.
    Determine your short-term and long-term goals.
  • Busted! PTSD Myths Hurt You, Career

    Two Marines engage in a conversation, click here to download the photo
    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Scott Schmidt

    The earth is flat.
    Money buys happiness.
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not real; it’s just in your head.

    Some myths carry greater consequences than others. Myths about what PTSD is, who it affects, why you might have it and what can be done are unfortunately, common and harmful. Not being able to distinguish between fact and fiction can be the difference between living with hope and promise and living with despair for someone with the diagnosis.

    Myth: Only Weak People Get PTSD

    Identifying truths about PTSD is challenging given that it’s not easily understood either by someone experiencing the related psychological symptoms or by their family and friends.