Tuesday, April 18, 2023


The Major Occupational Hazard of Post Traumatic Recall (PTSD) - part 1

Updated 1/2/2023 

High risk professions like law enforcement, military service, healthcare and emergency response are known to have exposure to some of the most extreme levels of trauma - both physically and psychologically.  They range in effects from manageable symptoms to crippling disorders.  Over time, most people overcome disturbing or traumatic experiences and continue to work and live their lives. But others who get affected by traumatic experiences may trigger a reaction that can last for months or even years. This is called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Proportionately, studies have shown a lower percentage of retirees from such challenging careers acquire PTSD (from 15-20%) while an estimated 30-40% who suffer from PTSD associated symptoms go undetected or do not register as full cases. A larger percentage ‘on the job’ might be able to maintain the expected work standards throughout their career and even make it to retirement without visible signs. But “POST traumatic recall” leading to fully blown PTSD occurs when repeated exposure to trauma compounds on the tolerance capacity that eventually, one’s coping ability collapses.  The individual may feel stages of grief, depression, anxiety, guilt or anger from uncontrollable issues like recurring flashbacks and nightmares. [1]

(A field report by: Jessica Glynn, CSW)
PTSD can occur in all different extremes with at-risk professionals (like cops, responders and veterans). The trauma that they experience are above the ordinary that they could cause extreme flashbacks, anxiety and depression—heavily affecting their quality of life. The average civilian is also prone to this disorder starting with MICRO-TRAUMAS that can happen to everybody throughout any point in their lifetime.  Usually stemmed from childhood issues, micro-traumas actually shape the way an individual reacts to other people. As an example, child bullying may lead to developing a protective or defensive personality disorder.  Anytime they feel disrespected or embarrassed by others, feelings of extreme uncontrollable anger may arise without knowing the source of the hurt or why they're acting in that way.  This dilemma often causes problems in relationships.

Similarly, a first responder who experiences extreme traumas like horrendous disasters may stick with them in a much harsher way that could lead to flashbacks that are hallucinatory.  If gone unchecked or untreated, these symptoms (including auditory hallucinations) can get increasingly more intense and expand to other symptoms that can affect their daily functions.  A common way that anxiety can debilitate a sufferer is from recurrent lack of sleep disrupted by bad dreams triggered by the traumatic event.

Enduring trauma is different and unique for everyone. Some cases are event-specific (having intense auditory impact or visual intensity of a terrifying event) while other cases are contingent upon the tolerance of an individual. There are people who are more emotionally expressive than others- and that might help with if they talk about the trauma that they've been through. A latent emotional disorder like PTSD symptoms can come out over time just like anything that is suppressed or repressed. It could take some time for somebody who came back from combat or a first responder who has been in a traumatic event to show signs of disturbance. They could be holding it in and repeatedly thinking about it privately (or ruminating over it) allowing the disturbing memories to get more intense by the day.  This can often be a coping mechanism- protecting themselves from dark or negative feelings for a while, but eventually it builds up and can become symptomatic like flashbacks and anxiety, then leading to an eventual explosion.  Meanwhile, some people just have flashbacks right after the experience because of the way that everybody's brain processes differently. Others obsess over thoughts that keep popping up over and over again. It really just depends on the person.


2/11/2022- The Integrative Pain Healers Alliance (An AngioFoundation program) forges a 2022 coalition with supporting agencies and community leaders to launch an action plan to offer alternative health resources to injured American veterans. Similar to the First Responders Cancer Resource project, this campaign supports all veteran advocates and service members support organizations by offering educational initiatives, alternative therapeutic modalities, sustainable diagnostic technologies and clinical research programs. 

Aptly called the Post Military Crusaders' Coalition (PMCC), prime supporters including renowned "cancer detective" Dr. Robert L. Bard (who himself was an injured veteran from Viet Nam) was part of the original coalition design team to coordinate effective resources for the many injured service personnel. Dr. Bard & Co. aligned with their extensive national network of health specialists, biotech companies and medical innovators to collectively evaluate some of the most critical health issues of veterans (from PTSD, TBI, Cancers, Neurological issues and Toxic Exposures). Like IPHA's prior support initiatives for injured rescue professionals, the post-military project carries common sentiments of public support by bringing valued aid to those who gave all. 

One of the first veteran support groups to throw their “hat in the ring" is Micaela Bensko, founder of Veterans In Pain. V.I.P. facilitates cellular and alternative medical solutions for Veterans suffering from chronic pain, by connecting civilian physicians with our country’s heroes, nationwide. Having provided approximately $3,000,000 in value of services for Veterans who had otherwise lost hope, V.I.P. was one of IPHA's first veteran support allies since 2020. V.I.P.’s research division focuses on service-borne inflammatory conditions, and its legislative initiative includes government funding for cellular solutions for Veterans in need. 

Recently, an advocacy powerhouse was officially added to the PMCC team; U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) GRETCHEN EVANS (Team UNBROKEN Adventure Racing Team, Cost of Freedom, Inc. No Barriers USA Ambassador). Under her last active command, she secured and oversaw more than 30,000 ground troops in Afghanistan, earning her major awards including the Bronze Star and the Presidential Unit Citation Medal among others. An exemplary career was cut short in 2006 by a massive enemy rocket blast which caused Ms. Evans to use her debilitating injuries to benefit others. She implemented her signature 'pay it forward' principles by building programs to support empowerment in injured veterans as a mentor, coach, and community activist. Her entire work history proves to be a priceless asset as a technical advisor and collaborator for the PMCC veterans resources.  "When it comes to injured veterans, there is no shortage of need for new answers. There are so many sustainable out-of-the-box innovations in the alternative orbit that should really be considered part of the veterans health programs. Our work is more than just about giving back; when you introduce some of these new health protocols, it suddenly brings HOPE where so many have given up!", stated Dr. Bobbi Kline, USAF veteran & IPHA research director. 

As the coalition continues to grow, the IPHA scientific research team is scheduled to launch the 2022 catalog of non-invasive health technologies and advanced alternative therapeutics including CELLULAR REGENERATION, GENOMICS, NEUROSTIM & NEUROMAGNETIC THERAPIES. Scheduled for the Fall of 2022, this catalog will be presented to military health agencies and veterans support groups to be considered for clinical research and for systemwide patient use. 

For more information on IPHA's PMCC program, visit: www.PainHealersGroup.com or call 631-920-5757. Additional info on Veterans in Pain: visit: www.veteransinpain.org.

Advocacy Leadership Spotlight: Meet Daniel Drapeau- PTSD Awareness

IPHA News is proud to present one of Canada’s honored advocates for Post-Military life.  As a retired military professional, Mr. Dan Drapeau’s more recent initiatives include his volunteer work for the recent generations of retirees – including those suffering from PTSD. Mr. Drapeau also volunteered once a week as an interpreter at the Canadian War Museum. In 1974, he joined the Canadian Force Armoured Corps then enlisted in the UN Mission for serve some of the most underserved areas of the world.  

Our editors connected with Mr. Drapeau in this exclusive interview about post military injuries and his own journey with surviving the “voices and ghosts” of war.  “No matter what trade you are in, anyone suffering from PTSD… please get help!  Go and get some help because you, you owe it to your family and your friend and yourself. Go and get some help because you are living with a cancer- the kind that chews you up slowly. Uh, in my case, I had two strokes because of PTSD. I have a brain illness cause of PTSD and because it keeps your blood pressure up the roof. So please get help- your family deserves better knowing you can be a better you than the one you are under PTSD.”

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH ISSUES IN THE MILITARY: Excerpts from an interview with Daniel Drapeau

There's a term they say "you leave as a boy, come back as a man".  War changes you – and you only have two choices; you cry and go underground and hide, or you [become] a man and fight.  That was a rule. You cannot be a coward. If you're a coward, they'll kick you out.  Staying in the military, you need to push everything inside and build walls so that nothing can bother you after a while.  Unfortunately, over time, your wall falls apart and [eventually] this leads to problems.

I found a saying in one of my tours: "VIOLENCE IS THE LAST RESORT FOR THE IMBECILE" written on a rock in No Man's land between Syria and Israel during the Yom Kippur War.  The message here was stating that it's much easier to do war than do peace.  Unfortunately, in today's world, it's more crazy [than ever with] violence and war than ever before – as if any excuse is good to start a war with your neighbor. It seems like there's no boundaries about how far stupidity can go.  We tend to react the wrong way instead of thinking twice before acting.

(See complete feature)


IPHA-TV and the Women's Health Network celebrates LEADERSHIP and ROLE MODELING with our 2022 spotlight series. Meet Marjorie K. Eastman, a veteran who served two combat tours, an independent award-winning author and entrepreneur, a military spouse and mother. Marjorie is running for U.S. Senate because we are in desperate need of frontline leadership in Washington for North Carolina.


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