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Default Air Force Logo A peek behind the curtain: Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be debilitating, but there are therapies that can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and help Airmen return to duty.
0 7/10
2018
With 10 years serving on active duty and another 10 serving in the Air Force Reserve as an aerial gunner, Master Sgt. Pete Pavenski saw a lot of action. He performed duties in the back of a combat-search-and-rescue helicopter where he took part in dangerous rescue missions on the battlefield, saving the lives of an untold amount of injured servicemembers. But the missions got to him. He took his own life Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy photo) Air Force Widow vows to bring awareness to invisible wounds
Air Force veteran Stacey Pavenski, 46, of Palm Bay, Florida, has post traumatic stress disorder, but she didn’t get it from serving in combat. It came from her husband’s combat struggles that drove him to take his own life in their bedroom, Sept. 18, 2017, while she was in the kitchen. He was 45.
0 7/04
2018
Many Airman are unaware what the initial meeting with a mental health provider looks like when they seek PTSD treatment. The goal of the first meeting is to make the patient feel comfortable and to be as transparent as possible about what is going on and what treatment options the patient has. As a result, the patient and mental health provider will more likely have a collaborative and trusting interaction, making PTSD treatment more successful. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Josh Mahler) A peek behind the curtain: The first step of PTSD care
Perhaps the most difficult part of seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder is making that first appointment, since Airmen are often unsure of what to expect.
0 6/28
2018
Ryan Kaono, a support agreement manager with the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, takes his service dog Romeo for a walk around his work center. Thanks to Romeo, Kaono is able to quickly transition through bouts of anxiety and night terrors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Armando Perez) Service dog helps veteran with PTSD (Part 2)
After battling night terrors and the pain and anxiety of post-traumatic stress disorder for decades, an Air Force veteran found his lifeline at the end of a dog leash.
0 6/20
2018
Ryan Kaono, a support agreement manager with the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, shares a laugh with a videographer during an interview while his service dog Romeo keeps a steady eye on the photographer. Romeo helps Kaono quickly recover from bouts of anxiety and night terrors related to enemy attacks while he was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Armando Perez) Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; a veteran's story (Part 1)
Post-traumatic stress disorder carries him into the depths of fear and pain; reliving images of death and destruction. Closing his eyes to night terrors at sundown and fighting through daily anxiety attacks eventually pushed him to the brink of suicide so he could put an end to the never-ending cycle.
0 6/19
2018
LtCol Audra Lyons at the 2018 Wounded Warrior Games. Warrior Profile: Lt. Col. Audra Lyons
Lt. Col. Audra Lyons, Headquarters Air Force branch chief of policy integration, joined the Air Force June 26, 1997. She attended the Air Force Academy, graduated in 2001, and got married the next day.
0 6/07
2018
Man and dog stand beside airplane. Service Dog lends war veteran a helping paw
While searching online for answers or others who might be going through the same problems, Jones found the link to a website for service dogs. He reached out to Carol Borden, founder and executive director of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs in Williston, Florida, hoping he could find the answer he had been looking for.
0 4/18
2018
EOD Airman EOD Airman receives Purple Heart
More than 10 years after his injury, Tech. Sgt. Douglas Smits, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal team leader, received a Purple Heart medal at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Jan. 5, 2018.
0 1/08
2018
U.S. Air Force veteran Kyle Burnett, a former knowledge operations master sergeant, stands with her teammate and fiancé U.S. Air Force veteran Reese Hines, a former explosive ordnance disposal master sergeant, during the cycling competition of the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 26, 2017. The duo met during a softball league sponsored by the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) program in Alaska in September 2015, and have been inseparable since. (Courtesy photo) Competition fuels hearts, ignites relationship
In 2015, when a Naperville, Illinois girl met a small-town boy from Eagle River, Alaska, neither knew immediately how their relationship would evolve beyond teammates; however, the now engaged pair of retired Air Force athletes would still say “teammates” will always be a word that first comes to mind when describing their connection.
0 9/28
2017
Caregivers Caregivers play critical role in lives of wounded warriors
Tech. Sgt. Eric Fisher was two months into a five-month deployment in 2011 to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, when he suffered a heart attack after an intense rocket attack, and a day of moving heavy pallets on the flight line.
0 9/13
2017
Staff Sgt. David Olson, an explosive ordnance disposal troop from Abilene, Texas, competes in the seated shot put at the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games July 5, 2017, at Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill. A brush with suicide occurred near the beginning of 2017, and Olson recounted his personal struggle with suicidal ideations along with the toll his physical and invisible wounds have taken not just on his life, but on those of his loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons) Adaptive sports shift outlook on life
“I was sitting at home alone one night and had taken out my pistol; I remember how cool it felt in my hands and knowing I was moments away from taking my life. In that split second, my phone went off with a text from one of my Airmen who said he needed my help getting to work the next morning, and I remember putting down my weapon to be there for him. That next morning, I planned on picking up where I had left off, but received an email from the Air Force Wounded Warrior saying I had been accepted into their program… that text and that email saved my life.”
0 7/07
2017
Tech. Sgt. Christopher D’Angelo, right, a 490th Missile Squadron missile alert facility manager at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., poses for a photo with his wife, Chanda, son, Jace and daughter, Brittyn at their home in Great Falls, Mont., June 7, 2017. D’Angelo was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after he was injured by an improvised explosive device Jan. 15, 2008. He said his wife has been very supportive with helping him cope with his PTSD. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chad Thompson) Healing from invisible wounds: The other side of the story
Chanda D’Angelo was in a frenzy; she quickly washed all the clothes in her home, zoomed the vacuum across every floor, wiped down every surface, cleaned out the refrigerator and stove and scrubbed the windows and mirrors until they were spotless. Exhausted, she had just enough time to get her hair and nails done – everything had to be perfect for her husband’s return.
0 6/28
2017
Default Air Force Logo PTSD treatment confronts the trauma behind the disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is considered one of the “signature wounds” of the current conflicts in the Middle East. But many people may not know that there are highly effective treatments for this invisible wound being deployed at Air Force hospitals and clinics today.
0 6/22
2017
Senior Airman Christopher D’Angelo, a heavy equipment operator, has worked to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder with the help of his family. Healing from invisible wounds
On Jan. 15, 2008, Senior Airman Christopher D’Angelo, a heavy equipment operator, was the lead gunner in an armored vehicle convoy on a road near Baghdad. The sun was shining and the air comfortable. His unit had just transported construction materials to forward operating bases and was currently scouting an area to see how they might transport heavy equipment.
0 6/13
2017
May is mental health month, and mental health disorders are common in both military and civilian communities. Fortunately, effective treatments exist for most mental health disorders. Often, the biggest impediment to getting better is an unwillingness to seek care. Don’t suffer alone – mental health disorders have effective treatments
Mental health disorders are relatively common within civilian and military communities, but with early treatment, most mental health disorders can be effectively treated, and patients can return to mental wellness.
0 5/14
2017
Tech. Sgt. Terrance Williams, the 22nd Security Forces Squadron resources NCO in charge, poses for a photo March 28, 2017, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Since he began his recovery from depression, anxiety, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder and a suicide attempt, Williams wants to help other people who are facing similar obstacles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan) A journey of resiliency: Healing the wounds that can’t be seen
Nine deployments, severe depression, anxiety and alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder and a suicide attempt were what drove one McConnell Airman to begin a journey to reshape his life.
0 3/30
2017
Default Air Force Logo New program to help ISR aircrews cope with different kind of PTSD
Finding targets by watching and listening is, by nature, intensely personal and can have a long-lasting effect, to include post-traumatic stress disorder, on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Airmen involved. The 361st ISR Group is developing a ‘Re-Fit’ program which will assist Airmen in overcoming existing mental health disorders and prevent future problems.
0 11/29
2016
Default Air Force Logo Around the Air Force: July 6
In this look around the Air Force, an F-35A Lightning II makes a trans-Atlantic flight, an Airman runs 694 miles for post-traumatic stress disorder awareness, and the Minnesota Air National Guard deploys to South Korea.
0 7/06
2016
If you, or someone you know, have been through a traumatic event, seek out a mental health provider and request a screening. PTSD does not usually go away on its own and the earlier you seek help the sooner  you can start feeling better and return to the life you want to lead.  (AF Graphic)
PTSD awareness leads to positive treatment
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be debilitating in some patients, but thanks to advancements in research and the continued training of mental health providers, treatments are getting better all the time. Maj. Joel Foster, the chief of Air Force Deployment Mental Health, said treating PTSD has improved dramatically in the last 20 years.
0 6/27
2016
Default Air Force Logo BLUE: Charlie Mike to Recovery
Through the fog of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic injuries, and illness, American veterans realize that the ability to regain control of their minds and bodies lies within their own hands.
0 6/15
2016
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