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  • Meditation May Help PTSD Symptoms

    Read the full story: Meditation May Help PTSD Symptoms

    Maj. Victor Won, left, teaches fellow soldiers and family members at U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern some techniques to reduce stress and improve resiliency. (U.S. Army photo by Mindy Campbell)

    Dr. Marina Khusid is the chief of integrative medicine for psychological health research at Deployment Health Clinical Center. Khusid translates research findings to guide clinical recommendations related to complementary and integrative medicine applications for psychological health.

    If you or someone you care about has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy remain the gold standards for treatment. But, you may also find relief in complementary therapies, treatments that don’t yet have sufficient evidence to be considered as a first-line treatment, but are shown to help some people with symptom management and relief. Meditation is a complementary therapy many service members and veterans with PTSD find helps them feel better.

    Meditation is a form of mental training. You train your mind by practicing various breathing and concentration techniques to improve your mental state and regulate your emotions.

  • From Service Member to Civilian: Tools for Transition

    Read the full story: From Service Member to Civilian: Tools for Transition
    U.S. Army photo by Ben Sherman, Fort Sill Cannoneer

    Whether you’re separating from the military after a few years or retiring after decades, transitioning to civilian life can be challenging if you’re not prepared. You may feel uncertain or anxious about leaving the military culture and wonder how you’ll adjust to a civilian lifestyle. This is common, and there’s help.

    Here are resources to help make the transition as smooth as possible so that you can remain confident, focused and know you have support. Within each, you’ll find leads to further resources.

    inTransition

    If you’re already receiving treatment for psychological health concerns and transitioning from active-duty to civilian life, inTransition can help you transfer to a new health care system or provider to continue your psychological health care. You have the benefit of a personal coach, a licensed, master’s-level behavioral health technician, who will guide you and answer your questions. Your coach can identify local community resources, support groups, crisis intervention services and healthy lifestyle resources. InTransition is available 24/7 at 800-424-7877. Learn more at inTransition.dcoe.mil.

  • Research Looks at New Ways to Treat, Prevent the Effects of TBI

    Read the full story: Research Looks at New Ways to Treat, Prevent the Effects of TBI
    U.S. Army photo by Doug LaFon

    The brain is one of the most studied yet least understood parts of the human anatomy, and in many ways, still very much a mystery. That makes understanding traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its effects even more challenging for researchers. And there’s great need for knowledge. Since 2000, more than 300,000 service members have sustained a traumatic brain injury, according to the Defense Department. More than 80 percent occur in a non-deployed environment.

    Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) supports research along the entire continuum of care, from point of injury to return to duty or reintegration into the community. Investigators hope to unlock some of the mysteries of TBI and expand understanding on all fronts — prevention, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes.

  • Could 31 Days and Social Media Make a Difference in Your Mental Health?

    Read the full story: Could 31 Days and Social Media Make a Difference in Your Mental Health?

    During the 31 days of May, many of you participated in our “Living Blog,” a question and answer forum we hosted on Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) social media — DCoE Blog, Facebook and Twitter. Using these channels, you asked about mental health concerns. DCoE subject matter experts answered your questions.

    Each question tapped into complex and varied experiences with behavioral health challenges. Some of you sought information and resources, others understanding:

  • 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.