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The symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often be debilitating, significantly affecting a patient’s quality of life. Air Force mental health professionals have successfully treated many Airmen with the use of prolonged exposure therapy. Through this collaborative therapy, the patient is safely and gradually exposed to trauma-related memories and situations that have been avoided. The eventual goal is to alter the patient’s relationship with and reaction to the traumatic event so it no longer affects their quality of life and ability to do their job. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Josh Mahler) 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. One of the most effective therapies, practiced by many Air Force mental health professionals, is prolonged exposure therapy.
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois, 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, spends time with her dog, Watson, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., May 9, 2017. Dubois spent roughly seven months in mental health treatment programs, and once she was successful in managing her own recovery process, she adopted a rescued dog, who now aids in her "self treatment."(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Katie Gar Ward) Surviving the storm: My journey to recovery
Editor’s note: The following commentary was written in observance of National Mental Health Month. Although “wingmanship” is something I live every day now as an Airman, the concept is something I have been familiar with my entire life. I specifically remember a moment this came into play when I was a 16-year-old assistant Cub Scout leader. We were in the woods and I had sent my pack of eight-year-old Cub Scouts on a mission to find branches to whittle into slingshots. “Remember to look for strong, mendable tree branches!” I shouted to them.
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Scott, 20th Medical Group physical therapist, poses for a photo at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Aug. 1, 2016. Scott assists the Airmen, Soldiers and dependents on base who go through physical therapy by providing various workouts, stretches, and exercises for them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado) Airman Up! Remedy through therapy
Airmen, Soldiers and dependents with various physical pains and difficulties enter a miniature gym, where they are greeted by 20th Medical Group physical therapists. In the physical therapy flight resides an Airman who constantly strives to reach a higher tier of physical therapy.
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