“For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected never know.”

– Inscription on the back of a flak jacket worn by a Marine machine-gunner on the demilitarized zone (DMZ), Republic of Vietnam, 1968.



Posted: April 29, 2018

Posted: April 29, 2018

News Releases

 Statement by VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie - Congressional Action on Veterans Choice Program - Under President Trump, the VA has benefitted from some of the most significant legislative reforms in the history of the department. With funding for VA’s Choice program set to run out soon, America’s Veterans need Congress to come together to support this crucial program and pass legislation that will make it permanent.  (4/27/18)

 Statement by VA press secretary Curt Cashour on VA's near-term priorities under Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie - Under VA’s new leadership, which is now firmly aligned with President Trump and his priorities, the department’s operations have improved in many ways (4/25/18)

 VA’s Dr. Ann McKee Recognized for Her Concussion Research on TIME'S List of 100 Most Influential People - WASHINGTON — TIME magazine has named Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System, to the 2018 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, announced April 19.  (4/24/18)

 Nearly $700 Million in State Veterans Home Funding Leads to New Construction Projects - WASHINGTON — Recently the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will use $685 million in funding from Congress to fund several State Veterans Home construction projects through the VA State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program.  (4/18/18)

  "Prescribed to Death" opioid memorial raises awareness of prescription drug crisis - On April 17, VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie visited the National Safety Council’s “Prescribed to Death” opioid memorial and recorded this video message. (4/17/18)

 VA Updates and Improves Assistance Program for Transitioning Service Members - WASHINGTON — As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ongoing efforts to help transitioning service members navigate and understand VA’s various benefits, the agency recently updated VA’s briefing portion of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) – an interagency initiative authorized as a voluntary program in 1991 under the National Defense Authorization Act and made mandatory under the VOW to Hire Heroes Act in 2011 to help service members adjust to civilian life.  (4/16/18)

 VA Takes Decisive Actions to Move off GAO High-Risk List - WASHINGTON — Recently the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced actions it will take to address challenges and issues identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) when it placed VA on its High-Risk List. The move is designed to address lingering deficiencies in its health-care system once and for all.  (4/16/18)

VA to host Nationwide 'Baby Shower' for Mother’s Day - WASHINGTON — To honor and support Veterans welcoming new children into their families in 2018, 60 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers (VAMC) around the country will host baby showers between May 5-16, the weeks surrounding Mother’s Day, in partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. (4/9/18)

Statement by Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie - Congress Must Pass Choice Bill Now to Give Best Care Options to our Veterans - Today marks four years since the disastrous wait-time scandal in Phoenix came to light, where long wait times at the Phoenix VA and at other department facilities nationwide led to unconscionable delays in receiving care. (4/9/18)

VA Takes Significant Step in Improving Correspondence With Veterans - WASHINGTON — As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ongoing improvement of managing taxpayer dollars, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has deployed the Centralized Benefits Communications Management Program (CBCM) nationally.  (4/9/18)

Debunking the VA Privatization Myth - There is no effort underway to privatize VA and to suggest otherwise is completely false and a red herring designed to distract and avoid honest debate on the real issues surrounding Veterans’ health care. (4/5/18)

VA Announces Changes to Improve Delivery of Specialty Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services - WASHINGTON — With a commitment to ensure Veterans receive quicker access to specialty rehabilitation services and equipment, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently implemented a rapid response team to expand staffing and training, increase communication directly with Veterans and improve processes to reduce and eliminate the backlog of pending requests for prosthetic items and services. (4/4/18)

VA Hosts First Women-Owned, Small Business Industry Day - WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will host an industry day on March 28 in Springfield, Virginia, aimed at attracting Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) to learn more about initiating and conducting business with VA. (3/28/18)

Applications Opening Soon for 2018 National Veterans Golden Age Games - WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will begin accepting applications on April 2 from Veterans interested in competing in the 2018 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 3-8.  (3/23/18)

VA and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals - WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S Digital Service announced their launch of an improved Appeals Status tool to increase transparency and enable Veterans to track the progress of their benefits claims appeals.  (3/23/18)


Posted: January 30, 2018

Posted: January 30, 2018

PTSD Monthly Update

In This Issue

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Feature Topic

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For Providers

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Research at the Center

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PTSD in the News

January 2018 Issue

Subscribe

Forward this to others so they can subscribe to the PTSD Monthly Update or other products by the VA’s National Center for PTSD.

Feature Topic

Medications for PTSD, Explained

Drawing of two woman sitting in an office - a therapist and a client

The symptoms of PTSD can affect every area of your life. The good news is that there are treatment options that can help. While psychotherapy, sometimes called "counseling", has been shown to be the most effective treatment for PTSD, certain medications have also been proven to help decrease many of the core symptoms.

Is Medication is Right for Me?

Medication may be a good choice if you don’t want to try talk therapy now or if you can’t fit weekly therapy appointments into your life. Some people find that taking certain medication for PTSD while they are in therapy makes the process easier. Talk to your health care provider about which medications are right for you.

How do Medications Work?

Drawing of a therapist and patient

Watch a short video to learn more about PTSD how medications work.

What Medications Work Best?

Recommended medications for PTSD are called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Selective Norepinephrine/Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). They are both types of antidepressant medicine. These can help you feel less sad, worried, and improve your overall functioning. SSRIs include sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil) or fluoxetine (such as Prozac), and the SNRI venlafaxine (Effexor).

Do I Need to be Cautious about Certain Medications?

Some doctors have prescribed medications known as benzodiazepines for patients with PTSD to help with symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia. These medications may be known as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin or Ativan.

Benzodiazepines may help these symptoms in the short term, but we now know that they do not improve the overall symptoms of PTSD. Their helpful effects do not last and they come with possible safety concerns.

Atypical antipsychotics are another class of medication occasionally used for symptoms of PTSD. They also can have concerning side effects and are not typically recommended to treat PTSD.

What Medications Can I Take to Improve my Insomnia or Anxiety?

The first-line medication recommendations for PTSD, the antidepressants, are effective in treating your anxiety and insomnia symptoms. You also can benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. Talk to your provider about safer, more effective treatment options.

Prazosin is a medication that works by decreasing the adrenaline produced by your body when you are stressed and has been shown to help some Veterans with trauma-related nightmares. Ask your health care provider if it may be right for you.

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For Providers

Consult with PTSD Experts

PTSD Consultation Program

The National Center's PTSD Consultation Program offers free PTSD consultation to any provider who treats Veterans in any setting.

PTSD Lecture Series

Free continuing education credits for our monthly lecture series.

Download a calendar reminder to save the date for the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2 pm ET.

Subscribe

Subscribe to receive monthly emails that include a registration link and instructions for joining the live lectures.

February 2018 Lecture

  • February 21: PTSD Treatment Via Telehealth, Leslie, Morland, PsyD

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Research at the Center

Ketamine for treatment-resistant PTSD

Center investigators continue a ketamine trial (a drug which is typically used for sedation but also has rapid antidepressant effects) for treating PTSD in active duty military personnel and Veterans who do not respond to antidepressant treatment. The trial is part of the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD award and may yield a novel medication option for PTSD.

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PTSD in the News

VA’s National PTSD Brain Bank collaborates with PINK Concussions Group. VA announced a collaboration between its National Center for PTSD and the nonprofit organization PINK Concussions, encouraging women to donate their brains for the purpose of research of the effects of TBI and PTSD. Read more.*


Be sure to forward this update to others so they can subscribe. We send one update per month to keep you informed of the latest PTSD developments.

Thank you,

The Staff of VA’s National Center for PTSD

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Produced by VA’s National Center for PTSD - Executive Division
Email: ncptsd@va.gov | Visit our Website: www.ptsd.va.gov

*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website to a non government site.
VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of these linked websites.

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