BrainLine Military

A Service of brainline.org


Turn off text only


Page Utilities

 

Prevention Is the Best Medicine — for all Medical Issues, Including PTSD

Prevention Is the Best Medicine — for all Medical Issues, Including PTSD

Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
[Dr. Michael Roy] Everybody should be hypervigilant and so forth after a life-threatening event. But the resilient person— those symptoms go away after a week or two. Those who have persistance of the symptoms over time have PTSD. In the military, we often see a little different picture than that kind of classic pattern we see in civilians. I think that is because for military they have to be hypervigilant for like the whole time they're deployed. There's just no escape from that life-threatening environment. It's protective for them to kind of sleep with one eye open. Then when they leave the combat theater, they come back home— there are a lot of positive things. They're back with family. They're back with loved ones. Even if they got injured and they're in the hospital— there's are a lot of other positive things. There are people coming around. They're being taken good care of. They're safe. So often they don't report symptoms when they first come back. I think in many cases—even if they kind of notice that they have some symptoms— they tend to under report them. They say, "Yeah. Well I have that, but it's going to get better. I feel like it's going to go away. I'm back home. Everything's going to be okay." So they don't really report all their symptoms. But then two, three months or more down the road, they say, "Gee. Things are not getting better. I need some help." That's when they come in. That's when they acknowledge the symptoms. But what if we could do these physiology measures or do the imaging or something when they first come back? We could catch them when they're in that honeymoon period where they're not really acknowledging all the symptoms. But if we can identify them at that point, then we could intervene early, before they develop full PTSD— prevent it from ever occurring. That's probably going to be much better than waiting for it to happen and try to treat it after the fact. Well that's what we do with other things. We treat high cholesterol. We treat high blood pressure. We treat diabetes. We don't wait for somebody to develop heart disease and then try to treat them because that doesn't work as well. Some people die of heart attacks. It's just much harder to deal with when you already have all that atherosclerosis built up in the arteries. You can think of this as the same way. If we can prevent them from going onto all the features of PTSD, that's probably going to be the best thing. That old saying, "Prevention is the best medicine." I think it's true.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Like treating heart disease before a heart attack, says Michael Roy, MD, Col. (Ret.), treating symptoms like anxiety and hypervigilance before they may become part of a full PTSD diagnosis makes the most sense.

See more video clips with Dr. Michael Roy.

 

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Justin Rhodes, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.


Michael Roy, MD, Col. (Ret.)Michael Roy, MD, Col. (Ret.) is professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Military Internal Medicine at Uniformed Services University and director of Recruitment for USU's Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine.


The contents of BrainLine Military (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.

Comments

There are currently no comments for this article

 


BrainLine Footer

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!