Tag Archives: post traumatic stress disorder

RSL Push for Laws Recognising Former Diggers’ PTSD In Police Matters

RSL state secretary and Afghanistan veteran Glenn Kolomeitz with wife Dr Emma Gilchrist and their children Nicholas, 5, and Lara, 3 at the Hyde Park war memorial, Sydney. Picture: Jonathan Ng
RSL state secretary and Afghanistan veteran Glenn Kolomeitz with wife Dr Emma Gilchrist and their children Nicholas, 5, and Lara, 3 at the Hyde Park war memorial, Sydney. Picture: Jonathan Ng

The RSL has called for new laws to help stressed war veterans in trouble with the police, arguing they need hospital rather than jail.

The RSL’s NSW CEO Glenn Kolomeitz, who as a lawyer dealt with hundreds of veterans suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mainly over drug and alcohol-fuelled violence, said not one of them should have been in the criminal justice system.

Mr Kolomeitz, an Afghanistan War veteran, said he was having talks with state Justice Minister David Elliott to press for laws giving troubled vets the same rights in legal matters as other segments of the community, including Aborigines, children and people with mental illnesses.

As authorities struggle to deal with an estimated 3000 homeless veterans sleeping rough, many suffering PTSD, Mr Kolomeitz said not one of the hundreds of vets he had dealt with in his law practice had reoffended.

“That zero recidivism rate tells me none of them should have been in the criminal justice system,” he said.

“It’s my view that when they are being interviewed by police, the police should identify them as a suspect potentially with PTSD, cease the interview and arrange for them to have some sort of legal advice. Other sectors of the population have that same entitlement.”

Read more in The Daily Telegraph.

You Are Not Alone: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Talk About Their Experiences

Je mourais à l’intérieur – I was dying inside

RCMP Constable Annabelle Dionne. Photo: Lori Wilson, Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness
RCMP Constable Annabelle Dionne. Photo: Lori Wilson, Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has distributed a video in which nine members of the RCMP reveal their distress and their experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental illness that contributed to the suicides of thirty Canadian first responders this year, according to the association Tema Conter Memorial Trust.

Continue reading You Are Not Alone: Royal Canadian Mounted Police Talk About Their Experiences

Oxford University Study Suggests Tetris Video Game May Ease PTSD

A new study (Computer Game Play Reduces Intrusive Memories of Experimental Trauma via Reconsolidation-Update Mechanisms) out of Oxford University suggests that playing Tetris — the venerable puzzle game featuring interlocking shapes — can keep bad memories or flashbacks at bay, easing their frequency and impact on those who have experienced trauma.

The research, from the same scientists who wrote in 2009 that Tetris reduced flashback frequency when played within four hours of a trauma exposure, could lead to development of drug-free treatments for preventing or easing post-traumatic stress and other combat-related mental health conditions.

Researchers cautioned that the combination is key to the improved scores and reduced flashbacks among the game players, adding that their research found that “playing Tetris alone … or memory reactivation alone was [in]sufficient to reduce intrusion.”

They say more work is needed to confirm the findings and develop possible PTSD preventive therapies. But they added that the study raises some interesting questions about modern living and computer engagement.

“A critical next step is to investigate whether findings extend to reducing the psychological impact of real-world emotional events and media,” they wrote. “Conversely, could computer gaming be affecting intrusions of everyday events?”

Read more in ABC13 News.

Source: www.13newsnow.com

Why Demographics – Including Sexual Orientation – Matter In PTSD research

As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, and military service members continue to return home from these two conflicts, more research has been conducted to examine rates of PTSD among these service members (known in the US as OEF/OIF Veterans i.e. Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom). This research is important so that we have an understanding of the need for healthcare in newer returning Veterans (which may differ from previous generations). In reviewing some of these articles, many of which are quite well-designed, we noticed a need for some further study to understand the nuances of who develops PTSD and why.

In particular, it would be useful to examine how PTSD prevalence in US OEF/OIF Veterans depends on 1) Veterans Affairs services use (with a particular focus on non-VA users), 2) relationship status, and 3) sexual orientation.

Read the full Trauma Recovery article.

Source: trauma-recovery.net

Paradoxical Pain Perception In PTSD: The Unique Role of Anxiety and Dissociation

Highlights from the paper published in Journal of Pain:

  • PTSD patients exhibited hypo-sensitivity along with hyper-responsiveness to experimental pain
  • PTSD patients exhibited more intense and widespread chronic pain than controls
  • Pain hypo-sensitivity associated with dissociation while pain hypo-responsiveness with anxiety
  • Chronic pain intensity associated with both dissociation and anxiety
  • These paradoxical facets of PTSD seem to underlie the paradoxical pain profile & chronic pain

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain often co-occur and exacerbate each other. Elucidating the mechanism of this co-occurrence therefore has clinical importance. Previously, PTSD patients with chronic pain were found to demonstrate a unique, paradoxical pain profile: hyper-responsiveness together with hyposensitivity to pain. Our aim was to examine whether two seemingly paradoxical facets of PTSD – anxiety and dissociation – underlie this paradoxical profile.

PTSD patients (n=32) and healthy controls (n=43) underwent psychophysical testing and completed questionnaires. PTSD patients had higher pain thresholds and higher pain ratings to suprathreshold stimuli than controls. Pain thresholds were positively associated with dissociation levels and negatively associated with anxiety sensitivity levels. Experimental pain ratings were positively associated with anxiety sensitivity and negatively related to dissociation levels. Chronic pain intensity was associated with anxiety, anxiety sensitivity and pain catastrophizing.

It appears that reduced conscious attention towards incoming stimuli, resulting from dissociation, causes delayed response in pain threshold measurement while biases towards threatening stimuli and decreased inhibition, possibly due to elevated anxiety, are responsible for the intensification of experimental and chronic pain. The paradoxical facets of PTSD and their particular influences over pain perception seem to reinforce the coexistence of PTSD and chronic pain, and should be considered when treating traumatized individuals.

This article provides new information regarding the underlying mechanism of the coexistence of PTSD and chronic pain. This knowledge could potentially help to provide better management of PTSD and chronic pain among individuals in the aftermath of trauma.

Source: www.jpain.org

Ed: unfortunately the article costs $31.50 just to read.

Focus on PTSD In The Lead Up To Memorial Day

Thank you to all who have served or training to serve: paramedics, police officers, soldiers, first responders, firefighters and many more courageous people who deal with the grim reality of life so that others may never have to see it.

In the lead up to Memorial Day we’re focusing on news and comments about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – a condition that is slowly becoming more understood. We hope that we can raise the awareness of PTSD in the community to shatter the social stigma surrounding it and help those affected by it live happy (or at the very least least – content) lives.

We will be posting several articles on the armed forces handling of PTSD, because the trauma experienced by soldiers is not too dissimilar from the trauma that police officers suffer. We will also focus on first responders, paramedics and firefighters who are just as likely to develop life lasting trauma if not supported.

True Blue Line wishes you a happy and an uneventful weekend.

Mac Plewa
True Blue Line editor
Western Australia