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McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center is an academic tertiary care center in Richmond, Virginia, with a long-standing affiliation with Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. It has an active osteoporosis program and has been a leader in the rec... more.
Jeffrey Matloff, senior psychologist and PTSD specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Diego, said that as long as veterans learn self-control and not to use their skills outside the context of sports, a martial arts approach can help restore self-confidence and focus.
"When it comes to PTSD, therapy alone doesn't have all the answers," he said.
According to Jeffrey Matloff, Senior Psychologist and PTSD Specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Diego, "As long as veterans learn self-control and not to use their skills outside the context of sports, a martial arts approach can help restore self-confidence and focus.
VA Medical Center senior psychologist Jeffrey Matloff said the number of reported PTSD cases is 10 times higher than the preliminary predictions made at the beginning of the war in Iraq, and said that he believes the numbers will continue to grow.
Early in the war, studies predicted that up to 30 percent of Iraq War veterans would develop PTSD. However, according to Matloff, these numbers may be misleading, since late onset of PTSD may go unreported and even unnoticed for several years after traumatic events. ""Some veterans will develop chronic PTSD, but many will spontaneously remit without treatment,"" Matloff said. Modern-day veterans are more comfortable with seeking help for PTSD, Matloff said, and studies have identified effective PTSD treatment procedures and methods of prevention. He said that earlier cases went largely unreported due to the stigmas surrounding mental health problems, or that many veterans found their own ways, however unhealthy, to cope with the disorder. Although researchers have discovered methods to help veterans cope, UCSD researchers will continue to collaborate with the VA hospital for future analysis of PTSD, Matloff said. Currently, all physicians at the VA hospital are affiliated with the UCSD School of Medicine. New research is in development, he said, and hopes are high that this research will bring improved mental health care for combat veterans. ""When you can bring out the best from each institution to work on PTSD, the veterans will ultimately benefit,"" Matloff said.
The term entered medical diagnostic parlance in 1980, said Jeffrey Matloff, senior PTSD psychologist at the VA's San Diego medical campus.
Matloff, a VA employee for 35 years, sees how the nation has changed to help salve soldiers who come home shaken. Unlike Vietnam, when a Marine was more likely to return home solo or in small groups, the military now deploys its troops in large chunks. As a result, you are more apt to come home with your buddies, which helps ease the transition, Matloff said.
CAVANAUGH: Dr. Jeffrey Matloff is senior post traumatic stress disorder psychologist at the Department of Veteran Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.
Dr. Matloff, welcome. DR. JEFFREY MATLOFF (Senior PTSD Psychologist, Department of Veteran Affairs San Diego Healthcare System): Thank you very much. I'm also speaking with Benjamin Karney, and I'm going to bring Dr. Jeffrey Matloff into the conversation. DR. MATLOFF: We actually see quite a great number of veterans now that present with both problems. DR. MATLOFF: Sure. DR. MATLOFF: …we see, is people who have problems sleeping. Interrupted sleep, anxiety and, again, maybe having problems modulating anger. DR. MATLOFF: Well, I think in the nature of this particular form of combat, as you alluded to in your introduction, traumatic brain injury is a very common injury with the use of things like IEDs. Dr. Jeffrey Matloff is senior post traumatic stress disorder psychologist at the VA here in San Diego. KARNEY: What we learned from that study is that the prevalence rates, just as Dr. Matloff was saying, of traumatic brain injuries and PTSD are pretty high, higher than in comparable conflicts. And Dr. Jeffrey Matloff is here shaking his head and you agree with the assessment that David has. DR. MATLOFF: Oh, absolutely. CAVANAUGH: Now, Dr. Matloff and Ben, I'd like you both to address this question. First, Dr. Matloff. DR. MATLOFF: Well, I think we're fairly fortunate. DR. MATLOFF: …themselves, and there's certainly less of a stigma after the military and I think that's a - with all the efforts at outreach, we're seeing a lot more. But there's also a concept in the diagnosis of PTSD known as delayed onset. And I think our last caller, David, pointed out that he thinks he may have post traumatic stress and it's been probably 40 years since… CAVANAUGH: Right. DR. MATLOFF: …he was in the combat zone. CAVANAUGH: I'd like to ask you, Dr. Matloff, what do your patients who are suffering from PTSD tell you about the effects on their families? DR. MATLOFF: Well, I think the families, I like to think of as a perimeter of safety for the vet. Laura Owen, Dr. Jeffrey Matloff, Benjamin Karney, thank you all for being guests this morning.