Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

You’re Not Alone: A Mental Health Message for our Veterans

Veterans are 15x more likely to suffer from PTSD. If you have a service-related mental health issue, you’re not alone. Get help today.Our veterans and service members are some of the most brave men and women in our country. They’re passionate and disciplined when it comes to protecting and serving our country, which is a commitment we’re grateful for every day.

The invisible wounds of war

That bravery continues off duty as well — many carry the heavy weight of the sights and experiences they encountered while serving. Consider these statistics:

  • 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • A 2014 JAMA Psychiatry study found PTSD to be 15 times more likely for veterans and service members compared to civilians. The same report found depression to occur 5 times more frequently among military members than civilians.
  • The same study from JAMA found 1 in 4 active duty military members suffer from a mental health condition.

PTSD, anxiety, traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST) and other mental health conditions can all occur as a result of military service. And, these health issues are every bit as serious as injuries we can see.

Healing these wounds

Our veterans and service members need access to quality mental health programs. They also need to know it’s okay to talk about their experiences. If someone you love may be suffering from a mental health issue, please check in with them regularly. Ask them how they’re doing and be ready to simply listen.

If you’re a veteran or service member suffering from any mental health symptom or condition, please reach out for help. Talk to a friend, family member or fellow veteran. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. You should never be embarrassed to get treatment for a mental health issue.

Honor our veterans and service members this Veterans Day by sharing this message with others. You can also help change the way the world sees mental health by taking the stigma-free pledge.

Do you want to learn more about the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program?

Yes, I want to learn more now.

Break the Stigma: Let’s Talk About Mental Illness

1 in 5 Americans suffer from a mental illness. Break the silence and seek treatment for a healthier you from the experts at Emory.The words mental illness often bring specific ideas or images to mind. But, the reality is that mental illness affects far more people than you imagine. According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 1 in 5 Americans suffer from a mental illness. Those are friends, family members, colleagues and neighbors, or it could be you.

Many factors can contribute to the development of a mental illness such as our genetics (inherited characteristics), our environment and certain life events. While we all experience fear, anxiety and stress from time to time, mental illness is something more — causing disruption to our everyday lives and lasting longer than a typical emotional reaction.

Know the Signs of Mental Illness

Since there are many types of mental illness and since each person is affected differently, it can be hard to recognize the signs. But here are few things to watch for:

  • Changes in work or school performance
  • Excessive worry, fear or sadness
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Inability to handle daily stress
  • Avoiding family, friends and social situations
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Significant changes in sleeping patterns

A note about treatment resistant depression and anxiety

While depression and anxiety are only a few of many mental health conditions that can be debilitating, they are the most common. These two disorders alone affect more than 16 million adult Americans each year and are the leading cause of disability worldwide. But here’s the good news — they’re treatable. Taking an anti-depressant or going to counseling will ease symptoms for most. But for some, depression and anxiety persist despite these treatments.

Emory’s Treatment Resistant Depression Program was developed to help patients with complex and difficult-to-treat mood disorders. The program has been life changing for many patients who’ve been trying to treat their depression for years. Sadly, because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, far too few will even try to seek help or treatment of any kind.

Do you want to learn more about the Emory Treatment Resistant Depression Program? Yes, I want to learn more now.

PTSD Awareness Day- June 27th

ptsd-squareJune 27th is PTSD Awareness Day. With summer here and the 4th of July around the corner, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would like to remind you that fireworks can cause discomfort for our combat veterans. Good times for you can be agonizing for them, please be mindful and courteous and take the time to educate yourself and your family about PTSD.

1. Learn:

There are many resources available to learn about PTSD. Emory Healthcare Veterans Program would be happy to send one of our veterans to educate your organization PTSD. If you desire to have this opportunity please contact Gretchen Evans at 404.727.8325 or by email: gretchen.evans@emoryhealthcare.org

If you or a loved one is a post 9/11 veteran who struggles with symptons of PTSD, TBI or other depression or anxiety disorders please contact the Emory Veterans Program Care Coordinator at 1-888-514-5345.

2. Be Aware:

Find out if any of your neighbors are combat veterans and if they are inform them that you will be celebrating with fireworks so that they will not be surprised and can have the opportunity prepare themselves. They do not wish to ruin your fun, but this allows them to make other arrangements if necessary.

3. Know the facts:

Know that a high percentage of veterans suffer from PTSD. Know that treatment is available and that treatment is very successful.

If you or a loved one is a post 9/11 veteran who struggles with symptoms of PTSD, TBI or other depression or anxiety disorders please contact the Emory Veterans Program Care Coordinator at 1-888-514-5345.

The Impact of Brain Injury on Veterans

brain-injury250x250Nearly 20% of deployed military personnel experience traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are any brain injury caused by an outside force. These injuries can be “closed,” such as from a fall or motor vehicle accident or “open,” like from a gunshot wound.

Traumatic brain injuries range broadly from mild to severe. People with mild TBI (also called concussion) often fully recover within days to weeks, while those with severe TBI may have significant and sometimes permanent impairments. Fortunately, 70 – 90% of all TBIs in military personnel fall within the “mild” range.

Symptoms of Mild TBI

Traumatic brain injury can cause physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties.

Typical symptoms of mild TBI/concussion include:

  • Looking and feeling dazed
  • Being uncertain of what is happening; feeling confused
  • Having difficulty thinking clearly or responding correctly to simple questions
  • Being unable to describe events immediately before or after the injury occurred

Complications of Mild TBI

Although most with mild TBIs fully recover within a matter of days, a small percentage have symptoms that persist for months or even years. What causes this? Research shows outside factors may interfere with the brain’s recovery. What begins as a neurologic injury is complicated by other non-neurologic factors, such as chronic pain, side effects of medicines and psychological distress—all of which cause similar symptoms to TBI.

These outside factors are commonly experienced by veterans because in many cases their brain injuries were the result of a blast that also injured other parts of their bodies. In addition to their physical pain, injured veterans also commonly experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders and depression.

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Not Alone

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing March as Brain Injury Awareness Month. They work to build awareness of the condition and support individuals with brain injuries and their families.

Help for Veterans with TBI

Emory Healthcare Veterans Program offers expert and collaborative care to help heal the invisible wounds of war. Our comprehensive approach combines psychiatry, neurology, rehabilitative medicine and family support to help veterans reintegrate and reclaim their lives.

A coordinated treatment plan may include:

  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Education about typical recovery and common barriers
  • Management of orthopaedic injuries and chronic pain
  • Medication management
  • Psychotherapy
  • Complementary medicine (yoga, meditation, acupuncture, sleep medicine)

If you or someone you know suffers from TBI, we can help. Call us at 888-514-5345 or fill out an online request to have someone from the Emory Veterans Program contact you.

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