Saturday, January 16, 2010

Combat Clips: A Selection of OEF/OIF Veteran Study Statistics, January 2010

News clips examining recent PTSD, TBI and other combat trauma or deployment-related study insights. First, Jennifer Thomas for HealthDay via BusinessWeek:

War isn't just tough on soldiers. Army wives whose husbands were deployed have higher rates of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other mental health issues than the wives of soldiers who stayed home, a new study shows.

Researchers looked at the medical records of more than 250,000 wives, accounting for most women married to active-duty U.S. Army personnel. Between 2003 and 2006, about 34 percent of the women's husbands deployed for one to 11 months, 35 percent deployed for longer than 11 months, while 31 percent of soldiers were not sent overseas.

Among wives of soldiers deployed for up to 11 months, researchers found almost 3,500 more diagnoses of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other mental health issues than among wives who[se] husbands stayed home.

Click on image above to see Mansfield discuss study.

A 10-Minute Winter's Break

Time for a little breather? After clicking off on the ad as the clip begins, this YouTube video turns into a relaxing and fun break (esp. for those of us in the north with snow on the ground).

I always get a hankering to get away somewhere warm right about now. Virtually drifting off to Florida to listen to the ocean waves and watch the birds play on the beach is...ahhhhh!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

US Military Responds to Haiti Disaster

"When the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again." -- Edith Hamilton (1867-1963), USA

President Obama and our military have begun humanitarian ops in Haiti, and roughly 10,000 troops will be stationed in the area by Monday. While the strain on forces and milfamilies needs to be relieved (and this isn't going to help), we must respond.

David Martin, CBS News:

In extended, preserving a few press reports related to the military's humanitarian work in Haiti right now. The first entry is especially stat and data rich.

Haiti: Natural Disaster Response Resources, Thoughts on Trauma and Children

Trauma is trauma.

Sometimes we inflict it. Sometimes it happens to us.

Sometimes it's both, as it is with combat veterans. While this blog focuses on military experience-derived injuries and stresses such as TBI and PTSD (clinical and encyclopedia definitions), traumas of all sort and stripe share one thing: surviving something life-threatening or outside everyday occurrence.

Being raped; a victim of an explosive hostage situation or other terrorist activity; in a severe auto, airplane or other vehicular accident; on the receiving end of domestic violence and/or abuse; serving in combat; or involved in a natural disaster like Haiti, for some may spark future PTSD symptoms.

We, however, are still in rapid response/logistical needs mode:

In extended, Red Cross tips for helping disaster victims and a piece on how many in the U.S. are affected by the tragedy.

For those lost and hurting, this little reflection:

Like a bird
Singing in the rain,
Let grateful memories
Survive in time of sorrow.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Collaboratory" Journalism That Matters in the Pacific Northwest and Beyond

Virginia Pellegrino, Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Who speaks for the public if no journalist is listening?

This is but one of the questions posed by a group of journalists, educators, new media producers, artists and members of the community who have come together to explore the media landscape in the Pacific Northwest. This unconference organized by Journalism that Matters is entitled: Re-imagining News and Community in the Pacific Northwest and is taking place at the University of Washington January 7-10.

At the heart of the conference is the central question, What is possible when journalists and the public come together? At a time when the basic underpinnings of mainstream journalism seem to be coming undone, this conference offers an opportunity to break through the fear of change and begin to recognize what is emerging in our changing news environment. Words like trust, passion, collaboration and possibility all have been identified as important ingredients in the evolution of what's next. And the questions that are being posed by those attending the conference offer a window on this time of transformation and re-invention.

And so, each morning we were asked to submit a question to the mix, to share our passion and/or interests and take responsibility by spearheading a break-out session around it.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

PBS Series 'This Emotional Life' Starts Monday

PBS' This Emotional Life, a three-day program running from Jan. 4-6, begins tomorrow. Its six hours explore topics such as grief and loss, addiction, anger, stress and anxiety, creativity and flow, humor, resilience, happiness and more.

While each evening looks to be well worth a viewing, for those coping with or caring for someone with post-traumatic stress, be sure to tune in on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when the topic will be presented via the experience of an Iraq veteran and his family. See the video clip -- along with a few other topic preview clips from the show and a full description of each night's episode -- in extended. You might also check out PBS' information and resource-intensive website.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Goodbye Haughty Aughties, Welcome 2010: Veterans Stories of Past Decade, 2009

Happy New Year, readers of PTSD Combat. I do hope that all of you, old friends and new, have had a great Christmastime, and that your holiday season has been filled with some light and wonder and many moments free from worry and stress.

For those of you who have followed my work since '05, or for new friends to be made in this new decade, I send you a generous New Years Day dose of gratitude. Thank you for your interest in my work. While the need to continue spotlighting issues near and dear to the American military family and their supporters is motivation enough to keep going...your positive support fuels me onward, too.

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