By Robin Wullffson MD for eMaxHealth.com
November 11, 2012, is set aside to honor our nation’s veterans. Many of these veterans not only need to be honored they also need help because they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Help is available in a book, released last year that deals with PTSD: “I Always Sit with My Back to The Wall.” It is co-authored by Harry Croft, MD and Rev. Dr. Chrys Parker, JD Dr. Harry Croft who served three years in the Army during the Vietnam era and for the past 15 years has evaluated veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He has focused on the education of veterans, their families, healthcare professionals, and the general public on the ramifications of post-traumatic stress disorder. To date, he has evaluated more than 7,000 veterans for PTSD.
During an interview, Dr. Croft pointed out that that military suicide is out of control, with roughly one soldier committing suicide every day. From January through July of this year, a total of 116 active-duty soldiers and 71 reservists are believed to have killed themselves, compared with 165 and 118, respectively, in all of 2011. Dr. Croft notes that there are multiple reasons for the alarming increase in suicides among veterans including exposure to extreme stress and violence, long deployments in hostile environments, injuries sustained in combat or watching a fellow soldier become severely injured or killed. His book offers advice regarding the management of PTSD through the R-E-C-O-V-E-R approach: (1) Recognizing when PTSD is in your life; (2) Educating yourself about PTSD; (3) Connecting biology to your psychology’; (4) Organizing a comprehensive care plan for PTSD; (5) Viewing your issues in a new light; (6) Empowering yourself through strong systems of support; and (7) Redefining the meaning of your life.
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