No announcement yet.

Panel discusses PTSD and TBI effects on families...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Panel discusses PTSD and TBI effects on families...

    Panel discusses effects of PTSD, TBI on families

    Parents, spouses say they need help treating, dealing with injured troops
    By Kelly Kennedy - [email protected]
    Posted : September 29, 2008

    Panelists talking about post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury at a recent defense forum received the most applause when they talked about the need to allow everyone from mother to child to participate in the patient’s care — and the need to prepare them to do that.
    Jackie McMichael, whose husband, Army 1st Lt. Michael McMichael, returned from Iraq with PTSD and a mild traumatic brain injury, said she thought she knew how to prepare for his return home.
    Her mother had worked in a Veterans Affairs Department hospital for decades, and she herself has a master’s degree in counseling.
    When her husband came home, he was distant and awkward, and she said she figured it would take about a year to return to normal.
    Then he developed severe headaches, became depressed and was often angry.
    He wouldn’t go to VA because he worried it might hurt his career. His mental health became so bad that he was admitted to a hospital after seeing a civilian therapist.
    “The civilian doctors didn’t know what do,” she said. “They finally suggested shock therapy. I said, ‘No, thank you,’ and I packed him in the van and said, ‘We’re going to the VA.’”
    But once he got there, her husband told doctors he was fine.
    “He was lying,” she said. “He was thinking about who he used to be and wanting that so badly. But I had a completely new husband now. Nobody was asking me what was going on with him.”
    Cynthia LeFevre, the mother of a service member with a severe traumatic brain injury, asked for more training for all employees at health facilities — “from receptionists to baristas” — about working with patients with TBI, because they often quickly forget instructions, can get lost and can become angry quickly because of damage to the frontal lobe, which controls emotions.
    “People have to understand how to interact with TBI and PTSD patients,” she said. “This could help them understand how to de-escalate a confrontation.”
    Experts said research, training and education are getting better, but much remains to be done.
    Steve Scott, director of physical medicine and rehabilitation at VA’s polytrauma center in Tampa, Fla., said it took a little while for people to understand what was going on.
    For example, they noticed that amputees were misplacing their prosthetic devices — and only belatedly realized that those troops had been injured in explosions.
    That led to more in-depth looks at blast injuries as a whole — the physical and mental aspects — and re-evaluating the care of people who had experienced explosions.
    “Walking with a prosthetic is hard,” he said. “It’s harder with a traumatic brain injury.”
    VA set up 23 polytrauma units and 100 support clinics in its facilities. However, Scott said, they were still losing people — people who couldn’t remember their appointments or people who lived too far away. So, they set up care managers at every facility.
    Then they began thinking about family. Scott said it’s important to involve children in family decisions and to be aware of potential mental health issues among family members as well as the veteran.
    “I’ve been amazed by how many times it was children that got the call,” he said, referring to the initial notification that a service member was injured.

    A new pilot program allows the military to determine if service members are fit, but leaves it to VA to assign disability ratings if they are not. VA Secretary James Peake said this has reduced by half the time it takes a service member to process through the system. The Military Health System’s Senior Oversight committee has decided to expand the pilot program to the following locations on the following dates:
    Navy/Marine Corps

    Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 31
    Naval Station Bremerton, Wash., Oct. 31
    Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 28
    Air Force

    Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 30
    Vance Air Force Base, Okla., Feb. 28
    MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., March 31
    Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, April 30
    Travis Air Force Base, Calif., May 31

    Fort Meade, Md., Sept. 30
    Fort Belvoir, Va., Sept. 30
    Fort Stewart, Ga., Jan. 31
    Fort Polk, La., Feb. 28
    Fort Richardson, Alaska, March 31
    Fort Drum, N.Y., April 30
    Fort Carson, Colo., May 31

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

  • #2
    this is so true. when my uncle came back from Vietnam . . . he had so many screws loose . . . it was had to figure out if he was having a good day or a bad day. when he would have a flash-back or fly off the handle . . . my aunt would chase us kids outside and she would stay inside, trying to calm him down or bring him back from where ever he went. i didnt know how to feel about what was going on and what was happeneing. my cousin seem to have the worst of it, he was her dad and she was around him most of the time. she seemed a lil disconnected herelf and was starting to show the smae kind of behavior her dad had. short temper and cussing.

    family theropy is a great idea. that way you can connect with the individual in a certin way and help when they need some kind of support

    thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...


    Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

    Related Topics




    There are no results that meet this criteria.

    Sidebar Ad