DCoE Blog

  • Mom, Psychologist Shares How Laughter Can Strengthen Relationships
    U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Preston Cherry

    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).

  • Veteran Recovers from TBI with Help from Adaptive Sports, Family
    Veterans at Warrior Games
    Image courtesy of A Head for the Future

    There are different treatment paths and activities that help someone recover from traumatic brain injury (TBI). In searching for what works, some veterans learn a new skill or find a new passion. A Head for the Future spotlights a veteran who uses adaptive sports and family support to help in recovery.

    When Air Force veteran Tech. Sgt. Krys Bowman returned home from another deployment, his wife, Lacey, noticed changes. Addressing those changes resulted in a new way for Krys to give back and to get involved.

  • Military Health Experts Share How 9/11 Shaped Future Careers

    This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. This moment in history shaped our nation and our military. Many Americans felt called to serve. The men and women who were already in uniform serving were reminded of why they signed up, the vow they took and commitment to defending our nation.

    Almost everyone remembers where they were the moment the planes hit the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. It’s a memory that is etched in our minds forever. This year for the anniversary, the Defense Health Agency posted stories from staff members. Below is an excerpt of our own staff at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Visit health.mil for a complete list of stories.

  • Yoga Helps Me Manage PTSD
    Read the full story: Yoga Helps Me Manage PTSD
    Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Eder practices yoga, which helps him with posttraumatic stress disorder (Courtesy photo by Chris Eder)

    As our medical understanding of the brain continues to grow, treatment options for brain-related issues continue to expand. Service members with a psychological condition or traumatic brain injury now have a variety of clinical treatment options as well as supplemental care options. These choices for care can feel overwhelming or confusing at times. This series will feature stories by service members and veterans sharing how a particular treatment, either clinically recommended or complementary, helped them cope and heal. All experiences shared are that of the author. Anyone coping with a psychological health concern or traumatic brain injury should work with their health care provider to determine the best treatment option for their individual needs.

    In the first post, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Eder describes how yoga helped him with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    When I first practiced yoga in 1999, I wasn’t seeking enlightenment or to become a better person. I wasn’t even looking for relief from PTSD. I was in pain from a pinched sciatic nerve, and I discovered that yoga stretches made my pain go away for longer periods than cortisone shots. It wasn’t long before I noticed that yoga also relieved symptoms of my attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. I was hooked!

  • Father’s Day Has Added Meaning for Veteran with PTSD
    Hall family
    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.”

  • TBI Champion Recovers from 50-Foot Fall with Support from Family, Friends

    In 2014, Regina and Jim Woodside received an urgent call from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Their son, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Colin Woodside, was in the emergency room after falling 50 feet while he was rock climbing. Although Colin always wore a helmet while climbing, he took it off this time to retrieve gear at the top of the cliff. The doctors said he had sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and was unresponsive — but alive.

    Regina and Jim were on the next available flight out of San Diego. “We didn’t know if he would ever walk again. We didn’t know if he would talk again…,” Regina remembers. “There was a wonderful doctor in the emergency room, and he said, ‘It’s going to be a while, but he’s going to recover.’”

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