“Depression, Explosive anger, trust issues and drug and alcohol abuse plagued him. This was accompanied by recurring nightmares, a fear that things on the side of the road would blow up…”
- “Coping with PTSD”, The Salina Journal. April 21, 2013.
“After returning to the United States, she said she spent the next several years ‘being a jumpy mess.’ She didn’t – and still doesn’t – respond well to loud noises and hated it when people approached her from behind.”
- “PTSD’s effect on female veterans studied”, The San Francisco Chronicle. Dec. 4, 2012.
“Á once boisterous dad who loved to roughhouse with his children – now there are four, ages 1 to 14 – Ben no longer seemed to know how to play with them. He often suffered incapacitating headaches, overwhelming fatigue and constant insomnia.”
- “War Wounds” The New York Times. Aug. 10, 2012.
Half a million of American Veterans struggle to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) and that is why it is so important that this month is observed as PTSD Awareness Month. The NRD is a joint effort from the Department of Labor (DoL), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Defense (DoD) that connects Service Members, Veterans and their families to resources that can assist them in a variety of ways, including offering many resources directly related to PTSD.
What is PTSD?
The most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders sets these criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD:
1) The person has experienced, witnessed or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.
2) The person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. Note: in children, it may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.
The generality of PTSD diagnosis criteria allows doctors the flexibility to assess and treat PTSD. In addition to promoting the proper diagnosis and treatment, the DoD and the VA have launched many initiatives to further awareness and the clinical capabilities of addressing PTSD.
The NRD is a site where users can find a surplus of PTSD-related organizations and programs in the PTSD folder found at http://1.usa.gov/196xrac
. There are also various state and local-level resources that can be of tremendous assistance; users can find state and local resources at http://1.usa.gov/16Q8eRx
. The NRD team is constantly looking to advance and refine the NRD to better serve users on important topics, such as PTSD, TBI, depression, stress, rehabilitation, and more. To submit additional resources to the NRD, please use the Suggest a Resource link found on the NRD homepage in the Stay Connected box.
The NRD team is also constantly looking to collaborate with other initiatives that further PTSD awareness and help those suffering from PTSD. Some of the efforts that DoD and VA support include the VA’s National Center for PTSD, Make the Connection, the Defense Centers of Excellence, which is a trusted source and advocate for psychological health and traumatic brain injury knowledge and standards for DoD, and the Real Warriors campaign, which promotes processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration. Other Government programs that support PTSD efforts include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health.
PTSD is not a problem with an easy solution. A few months ago, the Institute of Medicine, which is the health-related segment of the National Academy of Sciences, released an 800-page study that took four years to complete, noting that while efforts are being made, “the response does not match the magnitude of the problems, and many readjustment needs are unmet or unknown.”
We need to do more. The NRD can help with its focus on strengthening the connection between our military community and those who provide help…and helping our Service Members find strength in themselves.