DCoE Blog

  • Celebrate Good Times! No Luck, Charms or Alcohol Required

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    DoD photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar

    Unless you’ve been hiding under the Blarney Stone, you’ve seen the shamrocks — St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. In America, many adults celebrate the holiday with Irish jigs, witty toasts — and a lot of alcohol. But, if you are coping with posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury (TBI) you may want to pass up that pint of green beer.

    Many trauma survivors use alcohol to relieve pain and other symptoms, but the relationship between combat stress and substance use is counterproductive and can be dangerous. And drinking alcohol with a TBI can complicate your injury or delay recovery.

  • Coping with Flashbacks

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    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.

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

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    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

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    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)

    Read the full story: 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?

    Read the full story: 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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