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Military Matters: Not All Traumas are Created Equal: Phenotypic Heterogeneity of PTSD Symptoms in Relation to Index Traumas in U.S. Military Veterans
StressPoints
Date posted: 12/15/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is prevalent in military veterans and is associated with reduced mental and physical health functioning as well as overall quality of life (e.g., Hoge, Auchterlonie, & Milliken, 2006; Hoge et al., 2007; Pietrzak et al., 2013). According to the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association, 2013), PTSD consists of 20 different symptoms. However, not all symptoms are required for a diagnosis of PTSD, and PTSD symptom profiles can vary considerably. Indeed, one study found that there are over 600,000 symptom combinations that could yield a DSM-5 diagnosis of PTSD (Galatzer-Levy & Bryant, 2013). Given such heterogeneity, increased attention has been given to the nature and severity of trauma exposures, as well as the role of index traumas in shaping the phenotypic expression of PTSD symptoms. 
Gender Differences in PTSD and Relationship Functioning
Date posted: 10/7/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
Many clinicians are aware of the painful impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on individuals' lives, including disrupting sleep, interfering with work and hobbies, and damaging self-worth. A growing body of research shows that PTSD is also harmful for some of the most important relationships in people's lives, including relationships with family and intimate partners. This tends to be especially true for military veterans. 
Military Matters: Childhood Trauma Among Veterans: Impact and Implications‎
Date posted: 09/29/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
During my psychology internship training last year at a U.S. hospital within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), I co-facilitated an ongoing sexual trauma psychotherapy group for female veterans. Before joining this group, I assumed that it would focus on the veterans’ experiences of military sexual trauma (MST). However, I came to learn that group sessions frequently focused on experiences of childhood abuse. Unfortunately, these veterans were far from alone in their experiences. Childhood trauma is a highly prevalent, yet often under-discussed, issue among veterans. Estimates of the prevalence of childhood trauma among veterans range from 26-85% (Katon et al., 2015). In a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. veterans, one in five had experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse (Nichter et al., 2020). Among female veterans, one review found that 27-49% reported childhood sexual abuse and 35% reported childhood physical abuse (Zinzow et al., 2007). It is important to assess for childhood trauma among veterans, given its high prevalence and the many detrimental ways in which such experiences may influence health and coping.
 
Trauma profiles relate to differential alcohol use risk in military populations and intimate partner violence may be particularly important
Date posted: 09/19/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
It is important to consider a broader range of potentially traumatic exposures among military populations, to address cumulative risk. Our research suggests that non-combat traumatic exposures are common among reserve soldiers, and relate to differential risk for alcohol use, indicating a need for more comprehensive screening and connections to care. 
Do Gender Differences in Prescribing among Veterans with PTSD still Exist?
Date posted: 08/26/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
Women veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have historically received more psychiatric medications relative to males. Even with increased rates of PTSD and greater numbers of comorbidities, these differences do not account for the gender differences observed in prescribing. 
Considerations for treating military-affiliated patients for PTSD in community clinics
Date posted: 05/9/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
Globally, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a significant mental health issue among military service members and veterans. Within the US, around 13% of veterans have a PTSD diagnosis, with the prevalence of PTSD increasing significantly post-9/11 with conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in about 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans having PTSD.
 
Military Matters: Talking Later: ‎Veteran’s Stories of Late-Life ‎Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/24/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
A vast majority of older veterans (93%) report exposure to at least one potentially traumatic event during their lifetime1. Some develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, most do not, as the prevalence of PTSD in later adulthood is low2. Around 10% of older veterans experience PTSD later in life1. PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur in the aftermath of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and includes symptoms that fall into four clusters: intrusive memories, avoidance of reminders, negative alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity3
Risk and Resilience: Revictimization among US Military Veterans
Date posted: 04/1/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
Individuals who have experienced abuse in childhood have a heightened risk of being victimized again in adulthood. Revictimization has been associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes. Our study aimed to identify factors related to revictimization over time in a group of US military veteran men and women. Identifying risk and protective factors can aid in prevention and intervention work with veterans.
VA study helps us understand Vietnam Theater Veterans’ mental health
Date posted: 04/5/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
Since the 1980’s, major epidemiological studies have been conducted to understand the mental health effects Vietnam War service.  Results from earlier large-scale studies have shown that the war has had negative effects on veterans’ mental health. Through VA’s 2016-2017 Vietnam Era Health Retrospective Observational Study (VE-HEROeS), the first nationwide survey of Vietnam War veterans’ physical and mental health  in over 30 years was conducted. 
Military Matters: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Transgender Care: Clinical Considerations ‎for Mental Health Providers
StressPoints
Date posted: 03/31/2022
Topic: Military and Combat
For decades, transgender individuals in the United States have faced discriminatory policies that bar them from serving openly in the U.S. military under their self-identified gender and hinder their ability to feel accepted among fellow veterans. These individuals are at an increased risk of experiencing discrimination (Harrison-Quintana & Herman, 2013), sexual trauma (Beckman et. al., 2018), and negative mental health outcomes such as suicidality, depression, and substance use (Blosnich et. al., 2013; Frost et. al., 2021). The most recent ban on transgender service members openly serving, which was lifted and reinstated several times since 2016, is representative of the vacillating support transgender individuals have encountered. Nonetheless, these individuals are two to three times more likely to serve than their cisgender counterparts (Harrison-Quintana & Herman, 2013) and the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has become one of the larger providers of LGBTQ+ health care in the U.S. (Kauth & Shipherd, 2016) – statistics that highlight the need for transgender care that is inclusive, compassionate, and that takes into consideration the nuanced experiences of transgender veterans.
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