Having sought medical care from the Miami Veterans Administration hospital for my PTSD, years after my return from the Iraq war, I know from personal experience how detrimental it can be for veterans to have to wait weeks, or months, for much-needed medical attention.
We are what we make of the cards we are dealt; our response to trauma is key. Let's hold the VA responsible; if the facts warrant, let accountability happen swiftly. But let's not forget the big picture: it takes a village.
I hope that one day a veteran can walk into any VA hospital or health care facility and be given options for any affliction that they're facing without being put on a waiting list. The government needs to help veterans get access to health care that they deserve.
WWP is committed to caring for these wounded warriors because we don't want them to simply survive -- we want to see them thrive. The goal should be to empower these veterans to live as independently as possible.
It is extremely challenging to get service members (and others) to get treatment for the symptoms of PTSD with the negative connotations people already heap atop mental illness, let alone with the insinuation that these people are somehow killers in waiting.
These kinds of subtle connections, floated out in headlines, ledes and in repeated questions to experts in endless cable news coverage, result in reinforcement of stigma and a lost opportunity to educate viewers and readers on what mental illness and PTSD really are.
Imagine how Marines all over the country feel as they remember fighting for their lives and how they feel now, or try to imagine what it's like to come home and realize the memory of who you were is better than the reality of who you are.
Although the studies are only now taking place on mice, they bring many ethical questions of memory to the forefront, and also question patient accessibility to this type of treatment in the future, since it involves the use of a future prescription drug to remove the unwanted memories.
The good news is that PTSD doesn't have to put a damper on your Valentine's Day. With appropriate and effective treatment the condition can be controlled, allowing love and romance to prosper yet again in your relationship.
It occurred to me that one method, perhaps the most important, was being overlooked or, at the very least, deemphasized so as to be lost in the maelstrom of advice. I am referring, of course, to meditation.
Laurie Halse Anderson is a familiar name in the world of children's and young adult literature . In her latest, The Impossible Knife of Memory, we meet 17 year-old Hayley Kincaid whose mother died when she was small.
Today, PTSD is better understood and treated than it has ever been. Why, then, is suicide so much more prevalent in young men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan when compared with the general population?