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NEWS
January 24, 2008
Dr. Steve Silver, a Vietnam vet who served for 26 years as  director of the inpatient PTSD program at the Coatesville V.A. Medical Center, recommends these services and Web sites to veterans and their families.  Also here is information on traumatic brain injury, considered to be the signature injury of the Iraq War. Veterans Administration V eterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are eligible for two years worth of services from the V.A. after their return (that eligibility may be increased this year)
NEWS
September 6, 2011 | By LINDSEY TANNER, Associated Press
CHICAGO - A study of students' reactions to shootings on their Illinois college campus gives fresh insight into how genes may influence the psychological impact of traumatic events. The researchers found that symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder were more common in Northern Illinois University students who had certain variations in a gene that regulates levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked with mood that is the target of popular antidepressants. The researchers say the results could someday lead to new treatments for PTSD, and also could help predict who will develop the condition, which could be useful for soldiers involved in combat.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years after he was exposed to Agent Orange in the steamy jungles of Vietnam, Bob Evans was prescribed morphine to kill his excruciating pain. He lived mostly in a stupor until early last year, when he began weaning himself off the addictive drug. A few months later, Evans, 66, surprised his family and friends by dancing with his daughter, Amanda, at her wedding. "I feel so much better," Evans said in an interview last month in the Mount Laurel home he shares with his wife, Donna.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2012 | By David Sell, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Concerned about "suspicions" of overprescribing antipsychotic drugs, the Pentagon took steps in the last few weeks to limit the use of those powerful medicines to treat the growing legion of war fighters suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. For Stan and Shirley White, the limits can't go into effect soon enough because, in their case, it's already too late. The retired educators' youngest son, Andrew, was an Eagle scout, a baseball player, and an honor student in high school near the family home in Cross Lanes, W.Va.
NEWS
August 15, 2011 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of the first things you notice about Judy Bernstein is how easily, how freely, she laughs. Her obvious zest is all the more striking when you hear about the trials in her life. Her father died in a plane crash when she was 21. Her brother-in-law was killed crossing Broad Street. Her sister died in a car crash. In 2001, Bernstein learned she had lymphoma. Since then, doctors have diagnosed six other cancers: breast, thyroid, skin, esophageal, and two kinds of lung.
NEWS
March 9, 2008 | By Tom Infield INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Of all the things that Alpha Company has had to struggle with since it came home from Iraq, the most pervasive may be post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Of the 126 veterans interviewed or surveyed by The Inquirer, almost half - 46 percent - said they had been treated for PTSD, most at VA hospitals and clinics in the region. Alpha's rate of PTSD is higher than that of most U.S. troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan - partly, no doubt, as a result of its being a frontline combat unit that lost six men. Shelley M. MacDermid, a Purdue University professor who served on a Defense Department mental-health task force last year, said typical PTSD rates among returning veterans were about 14 percent.
NEWS
March 9, 2008 | By Tom Infield, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Of all the things that Alpha Company has had to struggle with since it came home from Iraq, the most pervasive may be post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Of the 126 veterans interviewed or surveyed by The Inquirer, almost half - 46 percent - said they had been treated for PTSD, most at VA hospitals and clinics in the region. Alpha's rate of PTSD is higher than that of most U.S. troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan - partly, no doubt, as a result of its being a frontline combat unit that lost six men. Shelley M. MacDermid, a Purdue University professor who served on a Defense Department mental-health task force last year, said typical PTSD rates among returning veterans were about 14 percent.
NEWS
March 28, 2007
JOHN GRANT'S op-ed defense of Commer Glass does a disservice to all veterans who suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. John Grant is an editor of the Veterans for Peace newsletter, in which Mr. Glass admits that he killed two Vietnamese prostitutes, plus an unarmed woman and her baby, before he murdered his ex-girlfriend. Mr. Grant's defense of the indefensible diminishes the ability of average combat vets to gain the support they need for being made whole.
NEWS
November 11, 2010
WAR IS HELL. It always has been. But for generations of soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, peace also has proven nothing short of hellish. PTSD has been called by different names - like "shell shock" in World War I or "combat fatigue" in World War II - but it is the same, inevitable human response to the experience of combat. It doesn't matter if the war was thought to be "good" or "bad," or if its returning soldiers were hailed as heroes or spat upon or ignored.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Passengers who survived this week's Amtrak crash may have a rough month ahead of them, psychologically speaking, but most will recover on their own without much help from professionals. "Most people will naturally figure this out and come out of it," said David Yusko, clinical director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. Predicting who won't is more challenging, he said. He and Kenneth Reinhard, a New York psychologist who worked for decades at a VA hospital, agreed that educating people about what they are likely to feel - normalizing those painful emotions - would help them accept and process their responses.
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NEWS
July 29, 2015 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
THE CADET FROM Northeast Philly left at dawn yesterday in her freshly starched uniform, nervous and ready for something new, but the person she'd always imagined kissing goodbye before that journey began wasn't there to see her go. Maria Gill was a Catholic school teacher when she fell for Philadelphia firefighter Timothy Gill. It was the uniform, she said. When he'd come home after a shift, Maria would listen to Tim's stories while she graded papers or prepared lesson plans, and she was drawn in by his tales of firehouse bonds, the big cookouts between the runs and those days when they'd beat back the flames and feel blessed to be alive.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Passengers who survived this week's Amtrak crash may have a rough month ahead of them, psychologically speaking, but most will recover on their own without much help from professionals. "Most people will naturally figure this out and come out of it," said David Yusko, clinical director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. Predicting who won't is more challenging, he said. He and Kenneth Reinhard, a New York psychologist who worked for decades at a VA hospital, agreed that educating people about what they are likely to feel - normalizing those painful emotions - would help them accept and process their responses.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years after he was exposed to Agent Orange in the steamy jungles of Vietnam, Bob Evans was prescribed morphine to kill his excruciating pain. He lived mostly in a stupor until early last year, when he began weaning himself off the addictive drug. A few months later, Evans, 66, surprised his family and friends by dancing with his daughter, Amanda, at her wedding. "I feel so much better," Evans said in an interview last month in the Mount Laurel home he shares with his wife, Donna.
NEWS
April 29, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Just four days after coming home to Northeast Philadelphia from Iraq in 2003, Tim Wynn got into a bar fight. The Marine was arrested for the first time in his life. That wasn't even the worst of it. "I can remember, my mother and my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, they didn't know what to do," he said. It took five years and six more arrests before he began court-ordered treatment for the PTSD that he didn't know he had. His homecoming might have been easier if he could have had access to a new website for Philadelphia-area veterans that went live Monday.
NEWS
September 17, 2014 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
SHE SPENT THE weekends in her car, driving from one corner of the city to another, looking for something that she couldn't quite put her finger on. On the one hand, Joan Ryan, the director of recovery services for the Philadelphia Department of Veteran Affairs, had an idea of what she was searching for: a building that could house 40 military veterans. But it needed to be more than just walls and a roof. It needed to be a sanctuary for people whose lives had fallen to pieces, a place that could help them learn to stand again - and in a way that few VA facilities had ever tried.
NEWS
July 7, 2014 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tyhira Stovall closed her eyes. Yawned. Swiveled back and forth in her chair. Played with the edges of her jacket. Sighed. "Ok" she said, taking a breath of courage. "Ok. " But no words came. The thoughts, though, did. Poison whispers drifting out of shadows, through the cracks in the closed doors inside her head. She covered her face with her hands. Turned her head to the wall. "Oh God," she said, and began to sob. She was 17. It had been less than a year since her boyfriend had set her up, handing her off to friends who stripped her, forced her to dance and raped her. Tyhira had dropped out of school.
NEWS
November 20, 2013 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
THE LITTLE GIRL could coax a smile from Tim Gill even when he had none left. She'd seen Gill, a Philadelphia firefighter who served in Iraq with the Pennsylvania National Guard, sprint to the sink, doubled over with nausea. She whispered when Gill's headaches came and tiptoed during his bad dreams, but he remained the man she adored most. A few days before the funeral, she drew a picture of Gill, a stick figure sticking out its tongue, smiling for her one last time. "DADDY," 4-year-old Amanda Gill wrote above the figure's head.
NEWS
June 23, 2013 | By Leila Haghighat, Inquirer Staff Writer
Henry Costo was only 20 when he was sent to his first fatal fire. He raced up to a third-floor apartment on Girard Avenue, where a teenage girl was reportedly trapped. He grabbed her feet, pulled her dead body closer, and realized something was wrong. There were too many limbs. Costo turned to his partner to share what he had found: two girls, hugging each other, realizing they would die. But driving back home, Costo didn't feel a thing. "I remember thinking, 'There must be something wrong with me. Am I that hardened?
NEWS
March 24, 2013 | By Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo thinks of himself as a killer - and he carries the guilt every day. "I can't forgive myself," he says. "And the people who can forgive me are dead. " With American troops at war for more than a decade, there has been an unprecedented number of studies into war-zone psychology and an evolving understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call "moral injuries" - wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 2012 | By Catherine Laughlin, For The Inquirer
The unkempt man was wearing fatigues, standing in the street and holding a sign that read, "Vietnam vet. Please help. God bless. " The year was 2005 and Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist, was driving with her then-9-year-old daughter, who asked why the man was begging in the world's richest country. It was a moment that helped propel Van Dahlen into her official mission, the founding that year of Give an Hour, a national nonprofit providing free mental health services to military personnel and their families affected by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other post-9/11 conflicts.
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