News

  • 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!

  • Soldier Opens Up About Sexual Assault, Recovery

    Sexual assault imposes significant psychological consequences on the survivor, as shown by this soldier’s story of recovery. DCoE appreciates her courage to share her story and her desire to help others.

    Silhouette of woman in front of window
    Photo by Spc. Michael Sharp

    Pvt. Jane Smith (not her real name) enlisted in the Army right out of high school in 1999 and joined a unit driving trucks at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. She was excited about her new job and aimed to make the military a career. But Smith’s excitement came to an abrupt end shortly after her arrival.

    Smith was raped by a fellow soldier.

  • Military Comic Author Talks About New Book, How it Helps Vets
    Terminal Lance

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. The “Terminal Lance” series does contain foul language; adult discretion advised.

    Former Marine Maximilian Uriarte began self-publishing his irreverent and often not-safe-for-work online comic strip on life in the Marine Corps infantry, “Terminal Lance,” in 2010. Uriarte’s sharp wit strikes a chord with service members of every branch by highlighting the trials, idiosyncrasies and absurdities of military life.

  • Disabled Veterans Use Baking to Work through PTSD Symptoms
    Disabled Veterans Use Baking to Work Through PTSD Symptoms
    DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard

    Service members are discovering unique ways to cope with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), including practicing mindfulness meditation, competing in a new sport, and working with a service dog. This story, originally posted as a news feature on the Department of Defense website, describes how learning a new craft — baking — is helping some service members cope with health challenges.

    Smiles and the smells of freshly baked bread, cakes and cookies greet visitors of Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown, a place where disabled veterans can learn more than just baking.

    Disabled veterans, their spouses and caregivers can participate in a work-study fellowship that will help them as they transition from the military to the civilian workforce, said Kyle Burns, senior program director for the fellowship program at Dog Tag Bakery.

  • Why Helping Civilian Providers Understand Military Culture Matters
    Protecting the mental health of the force
    U.S. Army photo by Dustin Senger

    One size does not fit all when it comes to health care. As some service members and veterans feel more comfortable turning to civilian providers, providers can treat them more effectively if they understand military culture.

    Presenters at the 2015 Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit spoke about how civilian providers can improve their understanding of service members, veterans and their families by learning more about military culture. Providers can use free workshops and seminars, and information on programs that may assist veterans.

    “The most important thing we can do is to make an effort to know and learn about the military culture. That will help the relationship grow stronger and better,” said Kim Ruocco, chief external relations officer of the Suicide Prevention and Postvention Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

  • 2015 Warrior Games: Resilient Archers Face Unexpected Conditions, Competition

    This is the second story in a four-part series featuring two athletes who have overcome traumatic brain injury (TBI) or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to compete at the 2015 Warrior Games.

    Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Waugh and Marine Sgt. Clayton McDaniel arrived at the 2015 Warrior Games in Quantico, Virginia, not knowing what to expect. Facing a competition that includes the best of the best from the Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army and Special Operations Command, and in conditions much different than where they trained, Waugh and McDaniel knew resilience would play a large part in the games.

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