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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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By McClatchy-Tribune | September 16, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs, which promotes its special programs to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in returning soldiers, spends little on those programs in some parts of the country, and some of its efforts fail to meet some of the VA's own goals, according to internal reports obtained by McClatchy Newspapers. In fiscal 2006, the reports show, some of the VA's specialized PTSD units spent a fraction of what the average unit did. Five medical centers - in California, Iowa, Louisiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin - spent about $100,000 on their PTSD clinical teams, less than one-fifth the national average.
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NEWS
April 4, 2014
Sadly, it seems that the old "going postal" concept has been geographically supplanted by the recent carnage at U.S. Army bases that have been transformed into shooting galleries, most notably Fort Hood, Texas ( "Fort Hood shooting: Iraq vet was being treated for mental health issues ," April 3). If this trend doesn't send up a major red flag regarding post-combat counseling, I do not know what will. These veterans are treasured people, mostly very young kids, male and female alike.
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NEWS
By Larry Gordon and Larry Gordon,Los Angeles Times | February 11, 2007
SAN DIEGO -- None of this is really happening, but the experience is almost overwhelming in "virtual Iraq." The Humvee plows along a desert road. The engine rumbles underfoot, and Blackhawk helicopters whirl overhead. A sandstorm blows in, and insurgents pop up and start to shoot with sickening blasts that shatter the windshield. Is that the smell of burning rubber? Those sensations of war are being fed into a special helmet, goggles and earphones. They are conjured by a computerized virtual reality developed in part by gaming engineers and psychologists at the University of Southern California and being tested, among other places, at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2014
The Social Security Administration plans to streamline its review of disability claims for veterans starting next month, shaving weeks off the process by which it determines benefits, officials are set to announce Wednesday. The Woodlawn-based agency says it will expedite claims for former service members who already have been deemed fully disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, alleviating a bureaucratic nightmare for veterans who sometimes waited years to get a decision about their eligibility for benefits.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | January 11, 2002
Jacob Mendes Da Costa, a U.S. Army surgeon during the Civil War, was among the first to study them: battle-weary warriors who sweat profusely, startle easily and exhibit irregular heartbeats. Baffled, he and others dubbed the affliction "soldier's heart." It would be the first of many labels that doctors would give to stress-related illnesses in subsequent years: shell shock, battle fatigue, war neurosis - even battered wife syndrome, as symptoms began showing up off the battlefield. Now, nearly 150 years after doctors first began puzzling over stress-related sickness, scientists are finally uncovering clues to its biological roots.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | April 14, 2003
Combat leaves many wounds. Some soldiers will heal and go on. Others will sustain injuries that change their lives. And some will be haunted by physical and psychological problems induced by the fear, grief and sheer horror of war. To minimize long-term suffering, hundreds of military therapists and counselors have been shadowing U.S. combat troops in Iraq. Their tactic has been to step in quickly when troops need help and get them back to their units as soon as possible. "We see them as soldiers having a normal amount of stress in an abnormal situation," said Maj. Timothy Patterson, an Ohio psychiatrist and a reservist stationed in Iraq.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2014
The Social Security Administration plans to streamline its review of disability claims for veterans starting next month, shaving weeks off the process by which it determines benefits, officials are set to announce Wednesday. The Woodlawn-based agency says it will expedite claims for former service members who already have been deemed fully disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, alleviating a bureaucratic nightmare for veterans who sometimes waited years to get a decision about their eligibility for benefits.
NEWS
By NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE | September 11, 2006
People think you're supposed to just bounce back and be OK. Is there someone out there who can tell me how I am supposed to do that?" - INEZ GRAHAM, who escaped from the North Tower of the World Trade Center before it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001; the 45-year-old New Jersey woman has been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | May 13, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The nightmares that tormented Sgt. Walter Padilla after returning home from Iraq in 2004 prompted extensive treatment by Army doctors, an honorable discharge from the military and a cocktail of medications to ease his suffering. But Padilla, 28, could not ward off memories of the people he had killed with a machine gun perched on his Bradley fighting vehicle. On April 1, according to the authorities and friends, he fatally shot himself in his Colorado Springs home.
NEWS
May 17, 2010
Maryland should be proud of leading the nation with a law that bars schools from automatically giving test scores and student contact information to military recruiters. Students do not need pressure from recruiters for making a career choice that could harm them, perhaps even take their life or cause them to have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that can be worse than death. PTSD could cause perpetual depression and/or suicide. There are more life affirming career choices that we should encourage our youth to pursue.
NEWS
By Martha Quillin, The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer | January 12, 2013
On his two deployments to Iraq with the 18th Airborne Corps, Spc. Jon Michael Cripps spent more time keeping the Army's computers running than he did in combat, but he can't forget what he heard. The constant roar of generators, along with the hum of computer servers and the high-powered air conditioners required to cool them, damaged Cripps' hearing and left an intermittent ringing in his ears. "You think about maybe getting wounded in battle, getting those kinds of scars," Cripps said after his annual hearing test at a health center on post recently.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2012
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for a few good men and women to volunteer for a battle it's waging at home — against disease. Actually, more than a few are needed. Officials overseeing health care for the nation's veterans are undertaking what may be the largest effort of its kind in the nation, to collect medical records and blood samples from a million former service members for a bank of genetic information. The idea is to give researchers enough DNA and other data to link specific genes to mental and physical maladies, from post-traumatic stress disorder to heart disease, and eventually develop new preventive measures or treatments.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | February 11, 2011
Clay Dell "Skip" Edmonds, a retired mechanic who served in Vietnam with the Marine Corps, died Feb. 4 of Agent Orange-related leukemia at his Woodbine home. He was 63. Mr. Edmonds was born in Baltimore and raised in Lansdowne. He attended Woodlawn High School. "He was 17 and forged his mother's name in order to join the Marine Corps in 1965," said his wife of 14 years, the former Jeanie Pickett. He was assigned as a tank mechanic to an infantry unit in Vietnam. "He volunteered for three tours of duty during the Vietnam War," said a daughter, Taryn Wilson of Bel Air. Mr. Edmonds was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1977 and remained an active reservist until 1994.
NEWS
November 23, 2010
The Baltimore Sun's coverage of Charles Whittington's suspension from the Community College of Baltimore County ( "Campus Bars Veteran over Combat Controversy," Nov. 22) is a painful example of our failure as a community to serve those who have served our country. Eloquently, painfully and without hesitation, Mr. Wittington wrote of his feelings as a combat veteran in his college essay. He reminded the readers that he was lawfully trained to kill. He reminded them that he didn't leave that training behind in Iraq and that he did not receive training to handle the "stress and addictions" of war. In short, he spoke the truth — about war and about his experience as a soldier and a veteran.
NEWS
November 22, 2010
It was with a sunken heart that I read about Charles Whittington's ordeal with the Community College of Baltimore County in "A Fight for Freedom" (Nov. 21). Although tragically disturbing, Mr. Whittington's English class essay eloquently and concisely states his struggle to which our nation must pay closer attention. It doesn't take a mental health expert to understand warriors' addictions to the adrenaline and emotions they must to rely upon in order to survive — not only in direct combat, but while under the daily threat of attack in Iraq and Afghanistan.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2010
Soldiers haunted by scenes of war and victims scarred by violence may wish they could wipe the memories from their minds. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University say that may someday be possible. A commercial drug remains far off — and its use would be subject to many ethical and practical questions. But scientists have laid a foundation with their discovery that proteins can be removed from the brain's fear center to erase memories forever. "When a traumatic event occurs, it creates a fearful memory that can last a lifetime and have a debilitating effect on a person's life," says Richard L. Huganir, professor and chair of neuroscience in the Hopkins School of Medicine.
FEATURES
By Gerri Kobren | February 26, 1991
In hindsight, it's tempting to think we should have known 20 years ago that PTSD was not a weird new disease born in southeast Asia. Unnamed until recently, it's been recognized at least as far back as Shakespeare, according to Baltimore psychiatrist Alan Peck.In "Henry IV, Part I," Lady Percy complained to her husband, Hotspur, about his pallor, his melancholy, his sleep disturbed by dreams of war so frightening "that beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow."The English diarist Samuel Pepys also recorded nightmares and other sleeping difficulties after the London fire of 1666, Dr. Peck said, and Charles Dickens, describing himself as weak and not quite well months after a railroad accident, was never able to ride a train again.
NEWS
April 4, 2014
Sadly, it seems that the old "going postal" concept has been geographically supplanted by the recent carnage at U.S. Army bases that have been transformed into shooting galleries, most notably Fort Hood, Texas ( "Fort Hood shooting: Iraq vet was being treated for mental health issues ," April 3). If this trend doesn't send up a major red flag regarding post-combat counseling, I do not know what will. These veterans are treasured people, mostly very young kids, male and female alike.
HEALTH
By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun | July 2, 2010
Both sides have rested in the murder trial of Mary C. Koontz, accused of killing her husband a year ago. The judge presiding over the case, Thomas J. Bollinger Sr., sent the jury home for the long weekend after the last witness testified Friday morning. He asked them to return on Tuesday, when they will hear closing arguments before they begin deliberations. Two mental health experts, one for the defense, the other for the prosecution, provided dueling assessments Thursday of the sanity of the 60-year-old defendant.
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