Episode 27 - Dr. Charles Figley: Veterans and PTSD: Time for a New Paradigm?

Monday, August 24, 2009, 12:54:35 PM

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In the one-year anniversary episode of our series, Dr. Charles Figley discusses the mental health and support needs of veterans and their families. Dr. Figley calls for a change in the way we conceptualize the deleterious psychological effects of combat on soldiers, from stress disorder to stress injury.

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Average Rating: 5stars  insightful and relevant more than half a decade later, Saturday, February 11, 2017

By Ryan Foster :

Dr. Figley's research and contributions toward the understanding of stress injury impacts on members of our armed forces are profound. Yet what I found most interesting in this podcast was his emphasis on how a disproportionate amount of attention and funding is allocated for individuals comprising less than 1/5 of the population exposed to combat stresses, and the remaining 80+ percent seemingly fades from the public view. Yet Dr. Figley notes that 100% of those deployed are exposed to combat-related stressors, and reintegration (or "reset" as he refers to it) to non-combat life can be a timely and difficult process for any formerly deployed service members, regardless of whether or not they meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis. And the impacts of the stressors experienced by our service members extend well beyond the service members themselves. As Dr. Figley notes, frequent deployments can cause significant breakdown of family/social ties, and can have significant economic repercussions both for individuals called into active service, and for their hometowns when the workforce is depleted due to activation/deployment. While I had never considered how one might actually view the "Support Our Troops" ribbons as a symbol of apathy rather than support, after listening to Dr. Figley's podcast I very much agree that what "our troops" need is actions demonstrating support and compassion, not just signs and posters claiming such support. Additionally, as another 6 years have passed since this podcast was aired, the numbers of service members needing support and recognition of the difficulties faced with reintegration is even greater. As Dr. Figley notes, it doesn't matter what anyone did before a deployment, there is simply no way a person is prepared for war, and the outcome is that every service member deployed to a combat zone will be affected and changed by the experience, regardless of whether or not they are diagnosed with PTSD.

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Average Rating: 5stars  my thoughts, Sunday, February 01, 2015

By Brandy Loveland :

I truly enjoyed this podcast with Dr. Charles Figley. He enlightened me on some facts about veterans of this generation that I was unaware of. Firstly, I was unaware that because of two back to back wars, the amount of deployments that this cohort have had has greatly surpassed that of cohorts from previous wars. I also wasn't aware of the change in women's roles around fighting in war zones. It brings more light the importance of addressing PTSD with this population. I find it very sad about how veterans who struggle with the after affects of the war are told by society to "get over it." It is sad, but it is becoming to norm for this society to expect those with mental health concerns, such as depression, or chronic stressors, to "get over" their situations and move on. We as a society seem to be careening towards becoming more autonomous, showing little caring for those not in our nuclear families, and for some little caring even beyond themselves. The greatest changes in our society happened when caring for others was an ethic that was valued. I also agree with Dr. Figley that we need to turn towards not just putting a sticker on our cars that say we support veterans and actually putting that thought into action will make great changes for a population that has given so much of themselves to protect this society and our values and liberties.

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Average Rating: 4stars  podcast review, Monday, January 26, 2015

By Michelle Bernard :

This podcast was quite informative and interesting. I was not surprised to learn that a 100% of soldiers experience combat stress and that 18% of them experience PSTD. I was shocked to learn that a majority of the money spent on assisting soldiers was provided to the individuals struggling with PSTD. I think Dr. Figley, is accurate in stating that we are not effectively utilizing the resources we have to assist soldiers appropriately in a meaningful and beneficial way.
I found the portion of the podcast insightful, when he spoke about the multiple deployments, the decrease in down time between deployments with the soldier’s ability to reset being ultimately affected. Providing them opportunities to reset and normalize their experiences is essential and yet not always provided. I thought that the statement whereby we are tasked as a individuals and as a community to ask soldiers and their families what they need not only important but an opportunity that we can all work towards collectively and assume responsibility when we acknowledge that each of us can contribute to making a difference. Ensuring that families have what they need and the assistance to assist their loved ones when they return is so imperative and an opportunity for us as social workers to enact our advocacy skills and provide education to others on how to help veterans and their family members.

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Average Rating: 5stars  podcast discussion/sw540, Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Tunisia :

Dr. Figley's podcast discussion was very informative and enlightening. I enjoyed listening to his perspective on this topic of PTSD. I have family and friends that are veteran's and they have expressed there concerns about the disconnection in services offered for them and colleagues. Allocation of funds need to be direction of programs that benefit veterans

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Average Rating: 5stars  ptsd in oaf/oif veterans, Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Danielle Pinkerton :

Dr. Figley's interview was very interesting.This topic has always been of particular interest to me as it has affected me as a family member of a veteran, as well as the impact of this war on my entire generation. To hear such a drastically different viewpoint of how PTSD should be addressed from what I've always been instructed to understand it is inspiring. It would seem to me that viewing PTSD as an injury rather than an illness would lead to a more effective treatment of veterans in general.I believe that veterans would be more inclined to accept the situation and subsequent treatment based on that factor alone. I also strongly agree with the concept of supporting the troops at a community level by providing assistance to their families and sending care packages overseas. It was interesting to learn that the assumption about the lifespan people who repress experiences is a myth. I believe a clinical worker with that understanding would be more patient and work from a client oriented perspective than if they believed repression to be somewhat life threatening. I am excited to see how these concepts affect our returning veterans in the future.

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Average Rating: 5stars  podcast discussion # 1, Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Ashley Franklin :

The information that Dr. Figley provided was very informative and helpful for anyone interested working with veterans of the Afghanistan Iraqi war. Dr. Figley was easy to listen to, provided information in a way that was easy to understand, and enjoyable. In addition to this, Dr. Figley, appeared to be down-to-earth, was able to take responsibility for his mistakes, honest, and said things the way they were, which truly kept my attention. In relation to Dr. Figley’s content there were a few key points that I would like to address. The first point is in relation to war fatigue. I found this to be very interesting, since I have never heard of this term before listening to this podcast. It is where society starts to blame the warrior for the war and instead of the war itself. As a social worker, I believe this is an important topic that needs to be addressed further. Another important issue that Dr. Figley addresses is that in this war, there have been multiple deployments, unlike any other war in the past, sometimes six to seven times. In addition to this, there has been minimal down-time, approximately six months in between deployments, which has reduced soldier’s ability to reset; another important issue that needs to be addressed. I found it very interesting when Dr. Figley mentioned that he finds it ridiculous when people have “support our troops” signs on their cars, and compared it to leaving penny’s for a maid. I actually agree with him, take the sign off your car, and actually go out and do something, such as send a care package as he had suggested. As mentioned by Dr. Figley, approximately 20% who return home from war have PTSD, and the remaining 80% do not, he believes in spending more of our efforts in helping those that are ok, and not just those that are sick. I also believe that this can be a beneficial approach as well, let’s help our veterans in the adjustment period.

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans , Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By T Davis :

The podcast with Dr. Charles Figley was enlightening. It was amazing to listen to his perspective on todays veterans; and his belief that the views of Veterans is changing and how our country will view veterans. I agree with the statement that Veterans are doing well with the little help that they do receive, and that we need to take better care of veterans. I liked the statement and perspective that for those Veterans with no PSTD that we should give them space in order to process what they experienced but also be ready when they do need them help. Although Dr. Charley mentioned that we should provide less care for the families involved, I think that we should offer educational programs for these families to help them understand how to better cope and assist with their loved ones returning home. I also liked that Dr. Figley admitted his mistakes while researching and gave real life examples on how he was able to change his perspective and way of researching. Which I find as a new social worker very important to do, in the field of trauma things will always be changing. As a social worker I will need to be able to adapt to each event and population quickly and effectively.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans & ptsd, Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Chelsea Weaver :

Dr. Figley’s podcast on veterans with PTSD was very insightful. Although veterans are not my area of interest, I found this podcast very informative. I may come into contact with clients who are related to this target population, so understanding their needs is very important. Dr. Figley’s dedication and compassion for this population is proven with his knowledge and research. I found it shocking that 18% of veterans suffer from PTSD and 100% experience stressors when returning from combat. There needs to be a focus on improving the mental health and overall quality of life for these veterans. I agree with Dr. Figley when he states that we all need to reach out to the veterans and their families. We need to reach out a hand and let them know we are here to help. We owe these soldiers a high level of gratitude because they defend our nation and fight for our freedoms. Dr. Figley’s statements about the need for more efficient and beneficial supports for veterans were inspiring. I agree that macro level community-based change is significant to these veterans. Educating the community, utilizing our resources and encouraging supportive participation is of a high importance. Overall, this podcast is informative, inspiring, and can be valuable to anyone working in a helping profession.

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Average Rating: 5stars  practice informing, Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Janice Ferguson :

As a social worker, currently in the field of trauma and attachment, I greatly appreciated listening to Dr. Figley’s perspective on mental health and support needs of veterans and their families. Dr. Figley sets the stage for this podcast by informing the listener that that this war is very different from other wars. I was very distressed to hear that what makes this war so different for this generation is that women and men are more likely to be deployed more then once to a war torn country, affecting the their overall mental and physical health repeatedly. I couldn’t imagine the stress and trauma that this would have on the veteran, his family and the community with this constant revictimization. I was further shocked to hear Dr. Figley talk about how the citizens, with time, will start "blaming the victim" rather then the act of war itself. The loss that a veteran must feel when they return home from war without the support of their community and country must be so defeating and terrifying. Much like Dr. Figley’s perspective, I believe that instead of victim blaming, society needs to have the courage to support survivors and be educated on what they can do to support all veterans by asking the veterans and the families what they need. I look forward to reading some of Dr. Figley’s other published work on trauma informed care, trauma practice and his research findings as I feel his work would be transformative for my own practice.

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Average Rating: 5stars  very informative, Sunday, May 04, 2014

By Tabitha Flynn :

I really enjoyed the information shared by Dr. Charles Figley especially on the issues veterans are faced with due to redeployment. Dr. Figley made a valid point on how present day military personal have made more sacrifices then other wars fought including the revolutionary war due to continuous redeployment. The information shared by Dr. Figley clarifies how veterans would have difficulty adjusting to being home with their families, seeing how often they are deployed from their homes.
Another point noted by Dr. Figley is how the community can also be affected if a substantial amount of individuals are deployed for combat. I have always heard about the affect deployment has on the family but never the impact deployment has on a community.
The information shared by Dr. Figley provides education on the struggles many veterans face when returning home from war in order to promote further action to assist these individuals and their families.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review, Friday, May 02, 2014

By Lenore Jakiela :

This is an interesting podcast, especially for someone such as myself who does not have any experience with PTSD and veterans. It was very interesting to hear the ways in which social workers can be useful. It was also interesting to hear how family can help the veteran to to readjust to life at home, and to be cognizant of PTSD symptoms as well as veterans who are symptomless of PTSD. It is so important and I am relieved Dr. Figley mentioned how we blame the veterans instead of the war itself, it is important to take a step back and realize we must support our veterans. I like the idea of sending care packages to troops. I believe this helps with moral and the fact that veterans are away from their families for so long.

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Average Rating: 4stars  dr. figley - veterans and ptsd, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

By Nina Wallace :

I enjoyed listening to this podcast. I don't know very much about the veteran population so I found this very informative. It was interesting to hear Dr. Figley say that the country will go from being supportive to "war fatigue" as we get more and more in debt. It seems like that has already started happening. I never thought about the men and women having to learn how to be a family member when they return home because they're away from home more than they're at home. It must be so difficult on the entire family. I'm sure the spouses are excited to have them home but at the same time they have to carry on with their usual daily routines. I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Figley talk about how we need to utilize our resources and educate the community on how to support veterans. I liked his ideas of sending care packages, writing letters to congress, asking the families what they need instead of just putting a bumper sticker on your vehicle that says support our troops. I think Dr. Figley made some interesting points and had great ideas about what we can do in our own communities.

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Average Rating: 5stars  sw-540, Friday, April 11, 2014

By Rachel C :

I found this podcast to be very informative. This is such a special/vulnerable population and I think all social workers should have knowledge base on how to work with this population. Even if veterans are not the target population we plan to work with we will have clients with a husband, mother, or child who is a veteran therefore we need to be knowledgeable about their special needs and services for these families. I think it would be a good listen for not only those in the helping profession but also for anyone in the general population who has contact with a veteran. There wasn't to much "clinical talk" so I could be easily understood. Examples were given of how to act and things to do that seem simple but could actually make a big difference in the life a veteran or in the first steps in forming a client/therapist relationship.

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Average Rating: 4stars  dr. charles figley podcast review, Monday, April 07, 2014

By Bridgitte Berthiaume :

I enjoyed listening to Dr. Charles Figley’s podcast discussion regarding veterans and PTSD. I found this discussion interesting because I am not well informed about our veteran population. I was particularly interested in the comparison of today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam and World War II. Figley described Americans reactions towards soldiers and veterans with the phrase “were all in it together, even if were not in favor of it.” As a social worker, I feel as though Figley mentioned many things that could be useful when working with the veteran population. He addressed many issues that are facing our veterans today. It is important to realize the difficulty and adjustments veterans experience when deployed as well as returning home. Figley also stressed the importance of working at a local community level to educate people about what veterans are going through, and how we can help not only them but their families as well. The importance of being more humble when working with clients who are different from us was also an important message that I took away from this podcast. It is important to treat each client with respect and avoid categorizing them.

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Average Rating: 5stars  review of dr. figley's podcast, Saturday, April 05, 2014

By Joseph D'Ambrosia :

This was a very interesting and insightful discussion. I really admire Dr. Figley's passion for and dedication to this important topic. I do not personally have much experience with or knowledge about veterans and PTSD or providing services to veterans, so I felt very enlightened by Dr. Figley's wisdom. His discussion of the length and frequency of deployments and the challenges this creates for our service members in developing strong relationships with their families and establishing their roles within their family systems was very interesting. This has many implications for macro-level work and advocacy. I thought that his recommendation to view PTSD as an injury rather than a disorder or illness was really important in terms of not pathologizing veterans and fits in well with a trauma-informed approach to social work practice with veterans. I agree with his assertion that all veterans need healing, not just those who are experiencing PTSD symptoms, and that we need to attend to the needs of the symptomless just as much as the symptomatic. I thought that it was really interesting that he said the families of veterans need more help than the veterans themselves. I also agreed with his statement about being more humble in working with veteran clients and not jumping to conclusions about the effectiveness of the ways in which they choose to cope with what they've experienced. I also thought that his warning against blaming the warrior instead of the war was really important, especially considering how long the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going on and how many people do not support them. I also agree that we need to do much more than put a bumper sticker on our cars to support our troops and their families.

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Average Rating: 4stars  mcghee-reynolds podcast #27 review, Thursday, April 03, 2014

By Meghan McGhee-Reynolds :

In this podcast Dr. Figley gives a new identity to PTSD treatment among our Iraq and Afganastan Veterens. Dr. Figley states that only 18% of our returning veterans suffer from PTSD and that 100 % have experienced combat stress. I found Dr.FIgey's idea that more of our veterans are in need of community support for themselves and their families than in need of a diagnosis of PTSD interesting and well supported. Dr.Figley mentioned that long deployments of 12 months or more along with frequent deployments were the cause of inability for reintegration of soldiers back into their families, not PTSD. This podcast was helpful to me as a Social worker to support a new way of understanding and supporting our veterans when they come home. Focus on community support is the key as stated by Dr.Figley, to helping veterans reassess their lives and their roles in the family unit in a positive and progressive manner. I enjoyed listening to this podcast especially because I have a nephew who has recently returned from Afghanistan and will soon be back home with his family.

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Average Rating: 3stars  war combat summary, Wednesday, March 19, 2014

By Anonymous :

In this podcast, he discusses thoughts on soldiers fighting for our county and the effects it has. He seemed that he was implying that the purpose of the Revolutionary War was more, clear and understood than the War in Afghanistan. He also goes into detail about the effects extended, deployment has on the solider and family life. I do agree that this also creates more issues for their families, such as with a woman becoming a single parent, creating more issues. I do believe there should be services in place to help these veterans and families cope with the issues that come with extended deployment and mental issues the soldiers encounter due to combat. During many parts in the podcast, he seemed very passionate about supporting the veterans. However, he seemed somewhat opinionated about what does not help the veterans; for instance mentioning the “support veteran stickers,” do not help them and should be removed if you do not physically contribute to the veterans. However, I believe that it brings some veterans joy when they see people wearing clothing and/or with memorabilia that support their appreciation to the troops.

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans and ptsd, Saturday, March 15, 2014

By Allison E. :

Coming from someone with very little knowledge in the area of PTSD, trauma and soldiers, I found this podcast to be very informative. I agree that the public needs to be made aware of the struggles that returning soldiers experience after deployment. I also agree that it is just as important to assist the symptomatic veteran, as well as the veteran that appears "fine." Dr. Figley explained that even the most athletic and prepared soldier can experience trauma. With that in mind, the matter of blame the warrior or blame the war arises. Instead of placing a blame, maybe the best idea is for the public to support the healing of individuals returning from war, even if the emotional trauma appears absent.

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Average Rating: 5stars  today's veteran's, Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I found this podcast to be informative in that it helps the listener to learn about the trials of today's veterans. Some changes in perspective from past wars involve the support that today's veterans receive from citizens as compared with past conflicts such as Vietnam. This type of shifting attitude is no doubt important as a support to veterans experiencing PTSD symptoms as well as those that do not. This newfound support can be a useful piece in therapy for clinicians.

Dr. Figley goes on to explain the characteristics of veteran' experiencing PTSD symptoms from more recent conflicts citing an important component which is that of challenges with concurrent deployments. He tells of how this difference makes for more difficulty in living as a civilian. When veterans have such little time to settle into any type of civilian life they experience a great disconnect with society adding to PTSD symptoms and the hardships of daily living. These emerging issues are important factors in clinicians work with PTSD and veterans as they learn to adjust to life outside from service to country.

This podcast is well worth listening to as the issue of PTSD for today's veterans and how it impacts society will be a definite challenge.

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Average Rating: 5stars  important topic, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By Ben Hilligas :

I am always glad to hear this topic discussed. I have also bee very encouraged after learning over the past few months how many of my classmates share an interest and recognize the importance of caring for the emotional and mental well being of our vets. Dr. figley does not let us as society off the hook for how we have addressed this issue to date. in fact I think he makes it very clear that we are failing and that we can and must do better. This is a unique point in history where the United states has been engaged in 2 wars both lasting for nearly a decade. What is most striking about this time in history is that we have an all volunteer army. This means that 98% of the population can completely ignore the reality of war while 2%, often with individuals from low income backgrounds hugely over represented, are left to carry the burden of multiple tours. We owe it to these warriors to provide for them in every way possible and with the highest degree of care and professionalism since they carry the entire weight of our nations defense and allow the rest of us to live our lives as if we are not at war at all. Dr. Figley understands this and is working to make sure we understand this as well and particularly in terms of PTSD and its effects on soldiers and there families as well.

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Average Rating: 4stars  sw 540, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By Jennifer Lynn D. :

I personally enjoyed this podcast with Dr. Figley as it was very informative and eye opening. I do not have any experience with the military so I really learned a lot listening to him discuss the military and the psychological effects that war has on the soldiers. Something I found interesting was that less than 20% of soldiers return with PTSD symptoms. Although this number is still significant, it is much lower than I expected. Dr. Figley discussed that although the amount of PTSD is less than 20%, soldiers often experience “stress injury”. This peaked my interest as I have not heard of the term before as I assumed most soldiers returning from war simply experience PTSD. Often times when soldiers return from war without proper attention and treatment, they resort to substance abuse or alcoholism. It is evident that when soldiers return from war, they need support and most need mental health treatment. I think it is not only important for social workers to intervene, but family members and also the community as a whole. Overall, I enjoyed Dr. Figleys podcast and agreed with much that he had to say. Very educational and informative!

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Average Rating: 4stars  review of "veterans and ptsd...", Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By Mikylah Death :

I found this podcast of Dr. Charles Figley to be very interesting and beneficial. I was shocked to hear much of the information he was providing. I particularly appreciated his comparison between these present wars and the Vietnam War and World War II. I have never really considered the profound effects that factors such as the length of deployment, duration of deployments, and consecutive deployments have on army/marine personnel. Dr. Figley’s straightforward dialogue about the need for more efficient and beneficial support efforts for veterans was impactful. This coincided with much of what I believe about the present assistance for veterans. I also appreciated his discussion surrounding the future for our veterans. He made critical points surrounding “war fatigue” and the likelihood of this attitude transition from the Nation within the next 3 years. This information provides health care professionals and social workers with an opportunity to prepare for such a transition as well as insight into what this will look like for veterans. Overall, I found this podcast to be highly informative and an excellent contribution to the field of social work with veterans.

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Average Rating: 4stars  podcast #27 dr. charles figley, Tuesday, April 23, 2013

By June Holt :

In this podcast, this writer agrees with Dr. Figley that today's soldiers are more revered than soldier's from past wars such as the Vietnam war. However, their treatment for PTSD appear to remain the same. This writer feels the public lack a general understanding of trauma and therefore may view mental health treatment as a weakness. Dr. Figley stated when soldier's are unable to move forward after their deployment, the public will "blame the warrior and not the war." This writer finds this statement to be very poignant, because of my past views about soldiers who seemed stuck in the past. This writer's views have changed since learning about the effects of trauma. This writer feels soldiers, like police officers are exposed to traumatic events. Although help is available, they are not supported to seek treatment.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review, Tuesday, April 23, 2013

By Catie F :

Dr. Figley brings up many good points in this podcast. First, the point made about how the troops are basically superficially supported through people’s use of “Support the Troops” bumper stickers is exactly that, superficial. It is not doing anything to help the troops overseas. More functional work needs to be done for the troops when they return, whether it is for a temporary stay in between tours or a permanent return. I agree with his point and think that more work can be done for returning veterans. The point Dr. Figley made about providing the same services for individuals whether they display symptoms or not is interesting. I agree with this statement because the traumatic events that are witnessed overseas can have a lifetime effect on veterans when they return. If they are not dealt with, the symptoms may come out in unhealthy ways while they are with their families or other loved ones.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Jamie M. :

I really enjoyed Dr. Figley’s podcast. I have always been interested in the veteran population and even created my research proposal in another class about veterans and their families. Dr. Figley talked about psychological effects of war on soldiers.
My interest peaked when Dr. Figley mentioned that families often need more assistance than the soldiers returning from war.
I particularly liked the part when he said America needs to step it up and do more than put a bumpersticker on our car because the troops sacrifice more than any other generation due to a higher deployment rate. Higher deployment leads to re-deployment which often leads to PTSD, alcoholism, substance abuse problems, etc. Dr. Figley suggested sending care packages, adopting a veteran family and/or donating to the American Red Cross. As a social worker I feel it is important to support troops and especially their families in appropriate and helpful ways.

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Average Rating: 4stars  today's veterans, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Holli Gass :

This podcast was interesting from a social work student's standpoint and bringing forth areas that are needed to be considered when working with this population. This discussion was beneficial to bringing specific issues to light such as the high rates of redeployment in this war and how this has a very different impact on today's soldiers. A common aspect of PTSD with soldiers is the “I’m a man” moto that Dr. Figley discussed. As we all know returning military personnel possessing PTSD and the rates of those who seek treatment vary drastically. As social workers we need to take a macro level approach to addressing this gap. We have service personnel from the Vietnam war who were never treated and are still exhibiting symptoms. This is an area in high demand for social work practice and I think it would be a great field to do more research in. An area that can’t be brushed over and left unadressed or we as a country will face much concern later down the road.

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Average Rating: 5stars  new paradigm, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Amy H. :

The podcast started out with a bang. I found the statistic that only about eighteen percent of soldiers experience PTSD symptoms. This was a great feed into that 100% of soldiers in Iraq experience repeat combat stressors. Dr. Figley has been working with PTSD since it was being formed for the third edition of the DSM. I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to listen to this informational podcast. The thing that stuck out most to me was "we blame the warrior and not the war". I feel that I have seen this first hand on several occasions. This is sad and more veterans are in need of PTSD treatment. I have never really thought about how may deployments one military personnel can complete. This number was astonishing and reinforced Figley’s point of repeated stressors. I enjoyed this podcast very much and it has evoked me to think about what I could to do help.

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Average Rating: 4stars  a new paradigm?, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Rita Sitney :

This podcast was very informative. Dr. Figley brought up some very interesting points about veterans, PTSD, and possibly reshaping how we view and show appreciation to this population. I am familiar with the issues and situations that veterans are exposed to and agree with a majority of the points made by Dr. Figley. Not many civilians are familiar with the sacrifices and hard work that’s attached to being in the armed forces. Dr. Figley mentioned that people who ride around with the “support our troops” sticker in their window should probably do something more meaningful, like sending a care package to various units overseas. This jester could mean so much to the men and women whom aren’t receiving letters or packages from home. I agree that yes, it is time for a new paradigm. Understanding the mental, physical, and emotional state of service men and women is key to helping them get their lives back. However, Dr. Figley was right when he stated that “working at a community level is key” to helping build and gain a new sense of understanding veterans in today’s society. This podcast was very insightful and provided useful information on issues veterans face.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review, Monday, April 22, 2013

By Courtney A :

I thought that one of the most interesting things was when Dr. Figley discussed the nation’s impending “war fatigue”. He states that within about 3 years, civilians will cry louder for an end to war and this could cause veterans to feel demoralized, as citizens “blame the warrior rather than the war”. I have a friend who joined the marines at age 18 because he felt the need for a higher purpose in his life. When he came out, he realized it was not what he expected and he did not completely get everything out of it that he needed. He was received with a hero’s welcome when he returned home. I can only imagine how those who don’t must feel, especially if they have some of those same feelings, or the feelings of wanting to return to war as Dr. Figley mentioned.
There has always been controversy over war, but pretty constant support for those fighting. It’s tough to hear that could change. If civilians are experiencing “war fatigue”, vets and current troops must be. There was a lot of talk in this podcast about the meaning of the wars. It has been said for sometime that meaning is unclear. This to me seems like it can only breed confusion, hostility, and maybe cause increase rates of PTSD. More research is definitely needed in order to be able to best deal with these results.

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Average Rating: 4stars  podcast review, Sunday, April 21, 2013

By Amanda B :

This podcast was very intriguing to me. I do not have much experience with soldiers or PTSD, so this podcast was very informative. Dr. Figley sounds extremely compassionate towards this population. It was very nice to hear the dedication in his voice and in his research. The statistics stating that 18% of soldiers experience PTSD and 100% experience repeated combat stressors was shocking. I agree that there needs to be a focus on improving the mental health of these soldiers after they return, and on their families and the support they need. Research shows that deployment frequency, length of time in between deployments, and extended lengths of deployment, negatively affect a soldier’s morale, behavioral health, mental health, and causes family problems. It is stated that there are not enough people to help soldiers and their families through difficulties during deployment and in return. It is stated that families have a serious struggle upon return of the soldiers, as they have to get back into a normal routine and learn to function together. I agree with Dr. Figley when he speaks about American’s needing to step up and support the soldiers and the families. They need to take more action, and not just say that they support the troops. It is extremely important to reach out to the families and soldiers that they are here, they want to do something, and they want to show support and respect. It was also very interesting to hear Dr. Figley talk about stress injuries on the mind and the percentage of individuals who experience this. I agree when he states that more focus needs to be given to these individuals, than what there is. Overall, families need help to adjust to changes, learn to be together again, and need time to normalize and function upon return of their family member. It is important to give the soldiers’ time to heal and not look for what is wrong with them, but learn what they went through and heal with them.

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Average Rating: 5stars  renee snyder, Saturday, April 20, 2013

By Renee Snyder :

I found that it was interesting that only 18% of veterans actually have PTSD symptoms after they come home from war. Dr. Figley talked a lot about families and problems that occur when either parent is deployed over and over again. I do agree with the fact that if a couple has been married for 15 years and the husband or wife goes away for 11 or more years it would be hard to re connect with them when they come back. I also support military wife’s that are single moms while their husband are away fighting for our country. I agree that more focus is needed to work with the family when the husband comes home. The husband needs to feel welcomed and have the ability to fit in. I have several family members that have served in the current war and at times they are gone for long periods of time. I have one cousin who volunteered to on another tour and now his wife is pregnant and due shortly after myself. I can’t imagine how she feels going through her first pregnancy with her husband away and worrying about the baby and her husband. I agree that the US does a great job helping our veterans and providing services for them. However more work needs to be directed on when the soldiers come home and going back to their families.

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Average Rating: 5stars  dr. charles figley: veterans and ptsd: time for a new paradigm?, Friday, April 19, 2013

By Clare B. :

I was definitely enlightened by Dr. Figley’s perspective on PTSD and veterans. Dr. Figley highlighted the effects of deployment, which I found quite disturbing on many levels. Our soldiers are combating difficult missions and are often deployed multiple times. More effort should be put into treating the population but also educating civilians in how they can help. As Dr. Figley stated, almost 20 % of deployed soldiers return with PTSD and 80 % are considered to have what he refers to as a stress injury. After hearing the statistics, I too question why 80 % of treatment focuses on the minority rather than the majority? Although symptoms may vary greatly in severity, treatment among soldiers should be distributed to benefit the targeted population rather than a small portion of it. An analogy Dr. Figley used relating to feelings a soldier may have when returning to war was an eye opener. Dr. Figley stated when people simply return from vacation, there is some effort needed in returning to normalcy. If this is the case for pleasant vacations, I can’t begin to imagine the time and effort necessary for one soldier returning from war to even begin feeling some sense of regularity.

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Average Rating: 5stars  review, Friday, April 12, 2013

By Danielle S. :

I found this podcast to be informative and easy to follow, as Dr. Figley explained this topic in way that was easy to understand. He also seemed to be compassionate, empathetic and very knowledgeable in the information that he provided on the veterans and their families. Before listening to this podcast, I did not realize how often the soldiers get redeployed. Dr. Figley explains the negative effects that can result from repeated deployment on the veterans and their families. One thing that Dr. Figley mentioned in the interview is that when veterans return to civilian life after service, they often do not know how to reconnect with family members. I agree with Dr. Figley’s suggestion that macro level change needs to occur in order to provide education to the families regarding the return of their loved ones. Dr. Figley urges family members and professionals who work with veterans to respect them and get to know them, without making assumptions about their experiences. This podcast was presented from a strengths based perspective and I think that the content is valuable for anybody who is working in the social work field.

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Average Rating: 5stars  very interesting, Saturday, April 06, 2013

By Denise Anderson :

I like how Dr. Figley kept mentioning female military. Oftentimes we forget about mothers and wives coming home after war. I did not realize how different today's veterans are from other veterans. Such as multiple deployments and less time at home between deployments. I thought it was very insightful to recognize how difficult it is for them to be part of a normal famiy routine after returning from war, such as how Dr. Figley said some of them would rather return to war because in a way it is easier than every day life. You would never think every day normal family life would be more difficult for someone than being in combat. That was stunning to me. Also what I thought was interesting was how Dr. Figley said that in past wars, soldiers had a clearer understanding of what they were fighting for. I think this would be an important point in dealing with PTSD, because they may feel a sense of wastefulness, like they are suffering all this trauma for no purpose.

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Average Rating: 5stars  heroes for all seasons, Saturday, March 23, 2013

By Joanne Boyce :

Dr. Charles Figley sends a timely message regarding our returning heroes, who as eloquently stated by Dr. Figley, would not always have received a hero's welcome. In previous conflicts, soldiers were often disenfranchised and looked upon with disdain by some instead of empathy. Due to the fact that the 9/11 attacks occurred on American soil did our soldiers have their service to the country validated, This podcast revealed a rather significant minority of 18% of returning veterans develop PTSD (Figley, 2009). As was stated in the interview, the attitude of most Americans seem to be one of "pitching for you, hoping you'll recover " (Figley, 2009), which in itself is a good thing and unfortunately late in coming for others. I enjoyed the "pressure cooker" analogy which lays bear the vulnerability to the disorder once a body and mind is overworked. I wholeheartedly agree that measures need to be taken to prevent exposure to excessive deployment and reintroduction to continuously traumatizing situations without relief. We as social workers also need to take care not to pressure these clients to self-disclose their experiences and allow them to re-assimilate themselves to everyday life in their own way, in their own time. We also need to remind ourselves that we need to treat the soldiers and their families systemically, and that what effects one effects the whole, so patience and understanding needs to be encouraged in regards to the entire system. Adaptability applies not only to one but to all.

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Average Rating: 4stars  educational & enlightening, Saturday, February 02, 2013

By Katie Kell :

As a daughter of a Vietnam veteran, I found Dr. Figley's information to be especially enlightening in regard to how veterans' families should be educated and that communities as a whole should recognize that each veteran and his/her family is different and they must be included in the conversations to discover what is necessary for the family's success. It was also a completely new concept to me to hear Dr. Figley's paradigm shift from viewing veterans with a stress disorder to now viewing them with a stress injury. I thought this was important because veterans are not "sick", but rather their stress reactors have been strained from overuse and they must be allowed to heal at their own pace. This podcast also provided this listener with the need to be more humble as a clinician in regards to treatment and diagnoses and the importance of utilizing different methods within different cultures. As a future social worker, this podcast helped me realize the importance of admitting mistakes, understanding others' personal experiences, and recognizing the importance of human connections. I highly recommend this podcast for anyone who is working with veterans and their families.

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Average Rating: 4stars  emotional resiliency, Tuesday, January 22, 2013

By Laura DeJong :

I found Dr. FIgley's podcast very interesting. Even in his first few comments regarding the amount of people who have PTSD. 18% of war vets have PTSD, but 100% of war vets (specifically from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan) have repeated combat stressors. That 18% does not even include the multitudes of war vets who have PTSD but go undiagnosed. He really laid the path for diagnosing PTSD and it was very helpful that he talked more and more about how we can be part of the solution in helping people with PTSD survive in a civilian lifestyle. I liked that he said "Working at a community level is KEY." This should speak volumes to those looking into social work as that is where majority of us are headed. Starting small and meeting clients with PTSD level, learning how to welcome them home, help them re-acclimate to civilian life and really more importantly adjusting our own belief systems and preconceived thoughts about what they need. Like Dr. Figley says, it is not just a support our troops sticker on the back of vehicles. We need to be there emotionally, mentally and physically for these veterans.

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Average Rating: 4stars  educating the families of war veterans, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

By Kelley Haggins :

I like how Dr. Figley contrasted the past wars from the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because each generation has a different perception of the wars. I also like how he acknowledges the women Veterans. I was surprise to learn that Marines are deployed for a shorter time period than the Army. Dr. Figley explains that this difference matters because Army Veterans are unable to reset their social and psychological behaviors between deployments. I found it interesting when Dr. Figley stated that the majority of veterans have stress injury and a smaller percentage of them have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Therefore, a new model in understanding the stress of Veterans after combat is evident. Because one is not prepared for war, one’s adrenaline begins to run through your body, accumulating the pressures from the war. As a result, this reaction can cause stress injury. As Dr. Figley suggested, current war Veterans may have combat stress instead of PTSD.
I agree with Dr. Figley that increase awareness is needed in understanding what our Veterans experience and how it affects their families. I also agree with the Dr. Figley when he stated that “three years from now, America will say enough is enough.” His statement is true because America is currently fed up with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Average Rating: 4stars  consequences of war, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

By Tom Grace :

Dr. Charles Figley focuses his podcast on the physiological effects on soldiers that come with longer, and more frequent deployments that many American soldiers are experiencing due to the continuation of the war in Afghanistan, and the continuing presence of soldiers in Iraq. Often, when soldiers volunteer to return to combat, their answer for returning is not to complete the mission, but to be reunited with their friends and to keep them safe during combat. Derive what you will from that. I believe it speaks to the the fact that the will to succeed in these wars is even waning among the soldiers at this point. Another problem that longer and more frequent durations of deployments are the stress it puts on soldiers with families. Military families statistically have a harder time staying together than those who do not have a spouse in the military. It asks the spouse to raise the family nearly entirely by themselves. The war in Afghanistan has now lasted longer than Vietnam, and it will continue to breed many negative effects the longer it continues, and years even after combat has ended.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

By Janelle :

Until listening to this podcast I did not know how recently the diagnosis of PTSD had emerged. I think it is a fantastic idea that solidiers receive emotional resiliency training. Additional training for families, around combat stressors, is also a step in the right direction in terms of including multiple systems with which military persons engage. I was also surprised that only 18% of soldiers in combat develop PTSD. While this number seems small, it is important to recognize that even military members who do not develop PTSD still experience trauma and that this trauma will affect all aspects of their lives, including their relationships with family members, reintegration into non-military life, as well as their physical and mental health, and vulnerability to substance abuse disorders. This is an important topic and one that all social workers should be aware of when working with clients with military backgrounds and their families.

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Average Rating: 3stars  thoughts on ptsd & soldiers, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

By Sharlene :

I was impressed that DR. Figley was able to pinpoint stress disorders in the 1970’s during the Vietnam War. I feel that society has moved in a more positive direction since the 1970’s with showing appreciation at the sacrifice soldiers are enduring in order to keep the peace. It would seem that the US government would create policy changes that would support the mental well being of soldiers. Shorter deployments and longer periods in between deployments would allow soldiers to maintain some normalcy in their lives and learn to manage the combat stressors soldiers encounter during war. I agree with Dr. Figley’s statement that families of soldiers should learn the signs of combat stressors and that it will take time for the soldier to return to “normal”. It is important that soldiers learn to adjust to being back home and include themselves into the family system again in order to return to their lives before combat. Family and peer support can be the key in assisting soldiers in overcoming the trauma and stress they experienced during war.

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Average Rating: 5stars  where would we be without them?, Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By Jessica Quick :

When listening to this podcast my first reaction to 18% of veterans having PTSD was “that’s it?” However, it may seem like a small percentage but it is a small percentage of a large number. For instance it is like saying for every ten soldiers, 2 come back with PTSD. That thought alone changed my thinking. 18% is a lot of people when we are thinking of our fellow American citizens; our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends. I found Dr. Figley’s comparison between Vietnam and Iraq interesting. I see “Support Our Troops” on Facebook, stickers, bumper stickers, etc. all the time. Most soldiers are welcomed home with balloons, signs and applause (as it should be). However, the military men and women of the past were not as lucky. It is so important to remind our troops that they are loved and supported while they are away from home. Dr. Figley mentions how many of them are not even used to being home because they have been deployed so frequently; they have to remember how to be a family member. This concept is so incredibly foreign to me. I am lucky to say I have a close relationship with my family and friends, that we spend every birthday together, every holiday. These soldiers are not as lucky. However, it is because of them that I am able to have the wonderful life and freedoms that I do. The men and women deserve the very best services to get them readjusted into society and into their own lives. Hopefully my work as a social worker can help make that very difference someday.

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Average Rating: 5stars  trauma injury, Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By Frank Colangelo, BSW :

In experiencing my cousin's return form Iraq after four deployments, I could clearly see their struggle with readjusting to a civilian lifestyle. As family members spoke to them as if everything was normal, my cousin's eyes reflected confusion and a sense of feeling lost and misunderstood. I could not agree more with Dr. Figley when he spoke on time being of the essence in order to help heal their 'trauma injury' and learning 'where they are at' being a key element in helping them readjust to family life. Acting as though everything was normal and avoiding any talk of the experience of war, only created a sense of being alone for my cousin whom eventually moved to the other side of the country in order to heal in their own way and on their own time. Although family members meant well, there was no real understanding of what it meant to spend so many years in the midst of war. I strongly agree with Dr. Figley in regard to treating families of war veterans on how to behave upon their return, how to welcome them properly, and how to adjust to their return. Love and support with no understanding is simply not enough.

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Average Rating: 5stars  intriguing, Monday, April 23, 2012

By Tina Adkins :

I found the session with Dr. Figley to be very intriguing and interesting. I found the information in regards to starting with the community to assist our veterans. I think that was a wonderful point to identify as so many times people do things on an individual basis verses doing it at a community level which can have such a more powerful impact. I also found it very interesting in regards to the different experiences of veterans today and veterans from previous wars. I never thought about the difference in deployment terms and then the length of time that the veteran is home before having to be deployed a second, third, fourth, or fifth time. I think that is something as clinicians that we should really look at to identify how the deployments and the time between deployments have really affected our veterans. Dr. Figley also mentioned talking and working with the families that are left behind when the veteran is deployed. Again, I knew it was important to work with the entire family, but I never thought that the family may need for assistance than the veteran themselves. I think Dr. Figley brought up many great points, and I enjoyed his story of how he went overseas and attempted to translate his work with trauma victims from NY to individuals in Kuwait. It is important to work with the families and get to know them when working with them. I found myself agreeing with Dr. Figley numerous times throughout the session and I think he made and brought up many valid points that social workers should think about when working with our clients.

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Average Rating: 4stars  eye-opening, Monday, April 23, 2012

By Allyson Day :

This was an enlightening podcast about this generations' veterans. I was surprised to learn that only 18% of the veterans experience PTSD. I also found myself nodding along while Dr. Figley spoke about how the community can support our troops by actually doing something about it, such as writing a letter to congressmen or those who have some sort of influence, instead of buying those magnets for your car that say "support our troops." I'm a firm believer in doing something to change it, rather than having a magnet or sticker saying that I am in support of that cause. I also feel there is so much that as a community we can do for our local troops and their families. I was shocked that 80% of the vets experience other related stress disorders. I was under the assumption that majority had PTSD. I agree with Dr. Figley when he spoke on the fact that something needs to be changed in the service that these vets are getting.

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Average Rating: 4stars  ptsd, Sunday, April 22, 2012

By Anonymous :

This is a very interesting perspective on the current generation of veterans. I was surprised to hear that only 20% of veterans are showing signs of PTSD. I do agree that the majority of the investment and time should be spent helping the other 80% of veterans. Dr. Charles Figley made a great point stating that together as a community we should be sending the message to vets and their families that we want to reach out and help in anyway possible. As social workers, we need to education families how to better welcome veterans home and let them heal. I also agree that social workers and any other professional working with veterans should attend to those who are symptomless and try to understand them. Most of the veterans I know personally are single and do not have their own families. Although I cannot reach out to their spouses or children, I can attempt to better understand the veterans I know.

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Average Rating: 4stars  enlightening, Sunday, April 22, 2012

By Rachel Ritzenthaler :

It was interesting to hear that only 18% of veterans experience PTSD. That more than 80% experience other stress reaction disorders, or stress injury in combination with war. I feel it’s typical to think the stress is caused from the actual “action” of the war, for example; the violence viewed or actual combat. However, this seems to be only a small part of it. It was quite interesting to hear Dr. Figley explain that the stress disorders experienced by current veterans are due to the length in deployment, time in-between deployment, multiple deployments and the effects of returning home after these deployments, not only on the veteran but also the family. He explained how, for a veteran of war, it can be difficult to return to everyday life and that they find being deployed easier to deal with then all of the responsibilities they have in home life. Dr. Figley explains in the podcast how our approach to working with these veterans needs to change, that we are putting too much emphasis on PTSD and there by ignoring other important issues that need to be dealt with for veterans and their families.

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Average Rating: 5stars  thuman's review, Saturday, April 21, 2012

By Thuman :

The call between Nancy Smith and Dr. Figley was especially interesting to me as I have a friend who currently has a husband deployed in Afghanistan. The most interesting thing to learn was the implication that deployment has on families. Unless you have an immediate connection to a person deployed I do not think it is possible to understand how the person deployed needs to completely start over when they return. It was said that often men want to return after coming home because of the difficulties faced with returning home and maintaining a home life because they feel it is harder than being deployed. The wives with children learn how to become a single mother and run a household on their own. Often couples have a difficult time acclimating to returning to their previous life and need to reacquaint themselves with their family. The frequency of deployment also surprised me. It is sad to learn about the struggles these couples have with returning to their lives and then have to say goodbye all over again and begin the cycle. As someone that does not have personal connections to anyone deployed, it is easy to look at these men and women as heroes and forget about how devastating deployment can be to families.

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Average Rating: 4stars  shedding a new light on ptsd experienced by today's veterans, Thursday, April 19, 2012

By Emily Benedict :

When one typically hears about a veteran experiencing PTSD or other stress reaction disorders in conjunction with war, it is more likely to think about the stress being caused from the actual “action” of the war (i.e., the combat, and violence, etc.) It is therefore an interesting revelation that the stress disorders experienced by the veterans of the current wars are due to the multiple and extended deployments and the psychosocial effects of being away from home and the responsibilities of daily life. This podcast sheds a new light on the approaches needed to work with the veterans and their families as social workers to bring about a deeper understanding of the experiences of the veterans and the effects of those experiences on their lives. Found this podcast to be a moving and thought provoking topic and am looking forward to seeing how our work with veterans change and how effective that change in approach will be.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the continuous need for social workers in times of trauma, Saturday, April 14, 2012

By Jennifer L. Steimer :

I enjoyed listening to the podcast with Dr. Figley. I am a daughter of a Vietnam Veteran and the granddaugher of a WWII Veteran. It has always been amazing to me the difference in the thinking patterns of Veterans. My father would never speak of his time in Vietnam and my Grandfather could not stop talking about his experiences in WWII flying planes. Although, my father has never told me this, I know, he still has issues to work through while serviing his time in Vietnam. Today, we have been in war since 2001- While our soldiers have alot of stressors while being deployed, they will also have many stressors when coming home as well. As Dr. Figley had mentioned, take a coupe who have been married for 15 years and out of those 15 years, 11 years was served in the military. Men and women will be coming home to their spouse and might feel out of place or feel that they are not needed because the spouse handled everything while they were gone. This has got to be a difficult adjustment. I think it is extremly necessary to have support groups and agencies such as the Veterans Administration to assist these men and women coming home. Some will have issues in PTSD, depression, and overall, getting used to being home again. Today, more than ever trauma based counseling is a big field for social workers. Not only for Veterans, but as Dr. Figley suggested for victims of 911 or Katrina. I thought this was a well informed podcast and enjoyed listening to the material discussed

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Average Rating: 4stars  eye opening where do we go?, Monday, February 06, 2012

By Cindy Wilson :

Dr. Charles Figley's podcast highlighted various aspects of concerns regarding veterans of war. As noted by Dr. Figley, we currently hear about the great things our country does to support veterans of the recent wars. The war is still fresh in the m inds of m any in our country so our government is establishing funds and programs for the war veterans. What will happen to these veterans in three or four years when the United states has moved on to a new cause and the veterans are still trying to reestablish themselves in their lives here at home? I was not around for the Vietnam War or WW II, so I would wonder did those veterans at one time have some ( I know there was not much) support and then when the hype ended so did our country's sympathy for the veterans? Will that be the case again or are we as a country changed and truely that much more empathetic and sympathetic?
Dr. Figley spoke of the damaging effects of on going cycles of deployment, with little to no break in between for active military. I wonder, if we know this has such damaging effects on one's ability to acclomate back into their home life what is anyone doing about it? It is our country's responsibility to care for those who risk their lives to protect us yet I know of no changes begining made to regulations of frequency or length of deployment in the recent years. We have this great ability to conduct research proving this causes difficulties for soliders but need to find a way to do something about this information we have obtained.
Lastly, Dr Figley spoke of the shared trauma support groups set up for social workers working in areas struck by disaster and trauma. I wonder if more peer support groups for veterans would aide veterans normalize their struggles with reacclamating into their home lives and and attend to their stress injuries.

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Average Rating: 5stars  interesting podcast about an important issue, Saturday, April 23, 2011

By Elizabeth Constantine :

Generally, this was a very interesting podcast. I have read about the unusually high incidence of redeployment in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the lack of resources. After listening to this podcast, this reality seems unfair to our soldiers and their families. I now worry about the state of the thousands of individuals who have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for years and the long-term impact of this war on them and their families.
This podcast focused on the realities of the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan war, how they are different than those of any other war, and the impact on the soldiers and their families. One of the critical differences today from past wars is, because we have an all-volunteer service, most, if not all, soldiers face multiple deployments and redeployment. Soldiers are often redeployed within six months of returning home which does not give them enough time to reengage with civilian life or to recover from the stressors of combat. It also does not give their families enough time with them to readjust properly. So, the result is that soldiers face an overload of stress that is unhealthy for them and their families learn to live life without them, making it very difficult to readjust.
While I appreciate the insight and detail Dr. Figley provided, he seemed a bit too casual about unintentionally misleading the public on two of his conclusions in the past. First, diagnosing the stress of war as a stress disorder may have unintentional consequences for the treatment and future employment of soldiers returning from war, experiencing the normal repercussions of the stress of combat. Alternatively, by suggesting we reclassify the diagnosis, and do not treat it as an illness, but as an injury, it may mean that many soldiers will be overlooked for treatment that might be necessary. I am sure he has been careful in drawing conclusions, but in this podcast he seemed to me to be a little too flippant.

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Average Rating: 4stars  don't forget, we are still at war..., Friday, February 11, 2011

By Helen O'Brien Brodnick :

I enjoyed this podcast. My spouse is a veteran, and I could relate to a great deal of this podcasts content. Dr. Figley touched on many topics about the military. For one, he mentioned there seems to be “narrower responsibilities” in Iraq than there are at home. I think that this is a valid statement. It made me think that constant returning to the gulf may be a coping mechanism for some veterans. Service men and women volunteer for deployments. Most of the service men and women I encounter say, that this is the “last time” yet continue volunteering for mission after mission in the Middle East. It makes me question why they keep going back. Maybe they do have narrower responsibilities there? For instance, some servicemen leave as dutiful husbands and providers. Upon their return, their spouse, who may have once been pregnant, are no longer pregnant. Instead, they now have a toddler running around, and a wife who is self sufficient. Other times a soldier may become critically wounded oversees, and now has physical, mental, and emotional challenges to face when they come home. In both scenarios, the veteran may not know where they fit in. Their homes may be foreign to them, and filled with physical and emotional obstacles now. The veteran may feel lost, and unable to meet their family's needs. I appreciate Dr Figley’s comment about “narrower responsibilities”, as it helped me to better understand the rational of those who continue volunteering. Continuous deployments for those men and women may be a form of consistency for them. They may feel needed and useful there. Dr. Figley also brought up how much more current veterans sacrifice, and that the reason for the war may now be questionable for some Americans. Saddam is dead, and Iraq is liberated. Isn’t there missions accomplished? Our veterans are involved in many conflicts right now, yet are still fighting for America. Will they ever get the recognition they deserve? I am not sure.

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Average Rating: 5stars  interesting & thought-provoking, Saturday, July 24, 2010

By Dana Stonebraker :

Dr. Figley pointed out some interesting reasons behind how soldiers in America are affected by their deployment. Though it was nice to hear that America as a whole are supportive of soldiers, there is still much to be done on educating families and communities on what soldiers go through in war. Soldiers returning home do not have an easy road ahead of them, as Dr. Figley pointed out. Families sometimes do not know how to interact with the veteran in their family, and the veteran is unsure of their place in the family. Relearning how to be a family member is difficult and stressful, and confusing for many. It was interesting to hear that Marines have different deployment schedules than other branches of the military. Dr. Figley makes a very great point in stating that soldiers are deeply affected not only by the war they engage in but also the short time between deployments and the length of these deployments. It is unfortunate, to say the least, to hear that the military itself is hurting these soldiers by continuingly deploying them for such length periods. As Dr. Figley said, Congress is doing well by putting money in to programs to help soldiers affected by PTSD, but as he also said, sometimes this money is “thrown at” them and not used correctly.

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans with ptsd, Saturday, July 24, 2010

By Garrett Dickinson :

It was interesting to understand the viewpoint that it may be more difficult to return home from war than to fight and engage in the war itself. Furthermore, it is astonishing to realize that the United States’ military branches are responsible for many of the psychological effects of war based on the allotted deployment terms and short leave times. With this in mind, it is amazing that this data was just recently gathered, and it is hoped that it will be put to proper use.
A further interesting point which the speaker made is the idea of supporting the troops from a community standpoint. This is interesting because it is a point which is very relatable in terms of making the decision to actively support the troops through care packages or educating others, and just talking or showing support.
A final interesting point is based on stress and stress injuries. I was unaware as to the impact which too much adrenaline can have on an individual. It was stated that though it can be positive in many situations, too much adrenaline can have everlasting impacts and lead to possible PTSD. This leads to the fact that, as social workers, working with veterans will need to include adjustment periods before change may occur.

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans and ptsd, Saturday, July 24, 2010

By Domingo R. :

Interesting to hear Dr. Figley's views of returning veterans including to hear positive views such as hearing America's love, recognition and appreciation for these troops. It was also interesting to hear that these troops do not feel like hero's for the work they have accomplished during the war. The sacrifices of this generation is interesting to hear that they are more than any other war going back as far as the revolutionary war. The number of deployments for this war is startling, and hearing that these individuals are not used to being home is startling information. War fatigue is an interesting concept that Dr. Figley speaks of occurring within the next 3 years and the nation wanting to move on from this war.

Implications of multiple deployments is an interesting part of the conversation. Problems associated with deployment has increased since 2003 and has been associated with binge drinking, and other health concerns such as PTSD, and is noteworthy for professionals working with this population. Dr. Figley also spoke about interesting issues for professionals working with families and army marriages and the struggles families endure with the number of deployments.

How can professionals help such a population? Dr. Figley speaks of the importance of educating the public and professionals on such a population. Educating person's allows for person's to help more than they may think, by sending care packages and adopting those families as means of support.

Hearing about combat stress, PTSD and other stressors associated with war are interesting. Also, good to know that 18% of veterans experience PTSD. Dr. Figley makes a good point with allocating more money to the other 80% of veterans for services. Many interesting topics were discussed in this podcast and much can be learned for those interested in working with this population.

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Average Rating: 5stars  dr. figley's podcast review, Saturday, July 24, 2010

By R. Garnier :

Dr. Charles Figley discusses issues of posttraumatic stress disorder among veterans and currently deployed military personnel. An interesting point he talks about is the occurrence of repeated stress injuries and what it means to the field of trauma when working with veterans. Dr. Fegley goes on to talk about past wars and current wars, comparing the differences such as, how now, Americans stand behind the veterans and those currently deployed. But he also concludes that the downside of that is deployed soldiers and veterans today will have a harder time keeping their home life healthy because of the numerous deployments and the shorter time frame, at home, between them. Fegley’s work indicates that when the military personnel return from war that they should not be the only ones to receive support but also their families should. Fegley says that it is important to offer the families of veteran’s education on how to treat their loved ones when they return. Fegley also analyzes the issues with something he calls the transition. This is when, with the continuation of war over the next few years, Americans will start to blame the soldiers and veterans, which could just end up just adding to their already existing traumas.

Overall, Fegley’s work regarding supporting the returning veterans and their families is not only timely but also provides important information and insight for not only the veteran clients and current deployed military and families but also to the fields of social work and mental health.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans and ptsd, Friday, July 23, 2010

By Megan Orband :

I enjoyed listening to Dr. Figley’s podcast on the issue of veterans and PTSD. Today’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are different from previous wars. Soldiers today are sacrificing much more than veterans of earlier wars because our soldiers currently overseas are experiencing multiple redeployments with little down time amid tours. Dr. Figley explained that when soldiers are redeployed with little down time in between, they are unable to reset their psycho-social-bio-behavioral rebooting. These redeployments are destroying the fighting military members and their families. Dr. Figley stated that the frequency, length, and short downtime between deployments affects the soldiers morale, behavioral health/mental health, family relationships, and rank. A long term effect for soldiers returning from war is learning to be a family member again, which becomes hard when they have been away so long they barely know their spouse and kids. Dr. Figley believes that there should be a paradigm shift that focuses more on providing support for army families than the soldiers themselves. The soldiers need less help than the families need in terms of them coming home, how to behave and be a resource for their loved ones. This can be done by providing education to the family on how to welcome their veteran home, how to let their soldier heal, and by reaching out to others in the community that have been affected by the war.

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Average Rating: 5stars  dr. figley's paradigm shift, Friday, July 23, 2010

By Coleman Gockley :

My eyebrows lifted as the interviewer began to introduce Dr. Figley as a person who helped the diagnosis of PSTD become included into the DSM. His discussion regarding the similarities between the conflict in Iraq and the conflict in Vietnam was enlightening. He had my attention as he stated the differences between the two and as he pointed out that this war has had some aspects which were better in today’s war versus Vietnam (Soldiers considered heroes versus feeling angry about being drafted into deployment). Our recent troops have been portrayed as Americans who have chosen to help in the fight of “going after the bad guys,” experiencing multiple tours, and becoming strangers to their homes and families. Short downtimes and recurrent tours are negatively affecting our soldiers’ mental and behavioral health. Dr. Figley explains that all service members (in his opinion) experience a “combat injury.” Blood starts pumping, chemicals are released (adrenaline) over time and overuse of the body is developed. 18% of troops coming back from living war are perceived as having PTSD. Dr. Figley suggests that we deal with everyone, not just the 18%. The 82% who have come close to injury need clinical support as well. All of our troops have experienced things I can only imagine while in battle. I support the Doctor's call for a macro-sized change-up in our method in supporting our troops.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans and ptsd, Friday, July 23, 2010

By DeAnn Shelters :

Dr. Figley's review on veterans and PTSD really opened my eyes to things I had never thought about before. One of the most interesting pieces of information that I took away from this session and found myself deep in thought about it more than once was when Dr. Figley mentioned what could happen in the US with military services in 3 years. More and more money and supports are being provided for veterans, but what happens in 3 years when people of the US say, "enough is enough?" The tactics of deployment followed by redeployment and all of the stressors that are accompanied by beginning a new life every time a soldier moves locations might really have the greater popuation asking, "At what point do we the people protect all of our soldiers?" This could have the potential to create large changes in the not so distant future.

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans and ptsd- a new perspective, Friday, July 23, 2010

By Chelsea Bango :

Dr. Figley discussed several points that I will carry with me from this podcast. One of these points is that only 18% of those returning from war are affected by PTSD, the other 82% are not. I know that before listening to this podcast I was under the opposite impression, I believed that most soldiers coming home from war were affected by PTSD. I found this to be interesting, along with the point that due to the support and love from fellow Americans, this war has less of an impact on veterans than say the Vietnam War.
Another point that I will take with me from this podcast is that of how hard it is for the soldiers to return home due to the fact they do not know their families as well as they know their commrads, due to the amount of time spent with each. I loved how he discussed how hard it is for families to deal with their soldier coming home because they are so used to him being gone. I do not think people realize how hard of an adjustment it is for the families to welcome their soldier back into thier home, even though they love them and want them to be home it is still a major adjustment. I think it was great for Dr. Figley to mention how more work needs to be done with the family members of those serving in combat in order to educate them on what their soldier could be exhibiting upon return as well as how to adjust when they do return.

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Average Rating: 4stars  a new perspective, Friday, July 23, 2010

By Stacey A :

Dr. Figley challenged me to think about things from a new perspective. Often when I think of the impact the wars are having on our soldiers I think about how their lives are changed because they are so far from home risking their lives. What I didn't think about was how their life over seas becomes thier new life. When they come home again they are leaving the life they got accustomed to behind and have to integrate into their old lives back home. Their family members adjust to life without them and when they return they have to find their place within the familyl again. A soldier is emotionally and psychologically impacted during combat, but that's not all, they are impacted again in new ways when they return home. There has to be a better understanding of the impact this has on them and their families in order to help the families cope and reunite into one unit again. To make matters worse, when they come home and try to reconstruct the lives they once had, they face chanllenge of having to leave again. Redeployment leads to a cycle of readjustment for a soldier and their families, a cycle that can lead to all types of problems for everyone invovled.

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Average Rating: 4stars  focus on family and communication, Friday, July 23, 2010

By Caitlin Shriber :

Dr. Figley made a lot of good points that grabbed my attention and made me think. The main idea I appreciated was that more focus needs to be placed on the family of veterans and helping the family adjust and re adjust to a soldier/family member coming home. So many people are ready to jump to the conclusion that a soldier will assuredly have PTSD, and that is not always the case. I have several family members who have been in different areas of the military; they have come home and been just fine. But it’s the family who needs the help. Although I do believe that help with communication skill would be useful for the whole family, and even the community, to help with that readjustment period. It seems in many families the members need to all talk to each other about what they went through while the soldier was away, and the soldier his or her self needs to talk about what they experienced while they were away. This communication will also aid in re-strengthening the family and community bonds

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans and their families, Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Kelsey Mustard :

Dr. Figley makes a number of interesting and thought-provoking points regarding veterans and PTSD. Some areas that particularly stood out surround the impact on families and what can be done to bring about a change. Figley identifies that veterans returning home have to learn to be a family member again. This effect is only heightened by the amount of deployments that have taken place, which is a common occurrence among veterans of today’s wars. The idea is also presented that families need more help and education on how to allow their returning family member to heal both physically and emotionally. The ideas that Figley presents on what is really needed in order to help returning veterans, their families and communities overall provides a challenge to members of society particularly at the community level. He tells people to take the sticker off their car saying that they support the troops and instead take real action in doing so. He cites that people need to be more educated about what veterans and their families are going through and that support needs to be given to them with what they really need.

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Average Rating: 5stars  bumper stickers and pressure cookers, Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Sarah Jurczynski :

I really appreciated what Dr. Figley announced in his podcast. He spoke to several aspects of the United States military in context of there service as well as their care and support. What I found to be most intriguing had to do with his analogy in reference to supporting the troops. Dr. Figley states that on a community level, he suggests that we can help veterans with PTSD by doing more than putting a support the trips sticker on our cars; we need to understand the sacrifice of the military as well as the sacrifice of the families. We need to speak with the families to directly understand what these families need while they cope.

I also found his analogy of a “pressure cooker” to be interesting in reference to the adrenaline level of military personnel being placed in combat. Dr. Figley spoke to “over using” the body’s adrenaline therefore creating injury known as trauma. In order for social workers to help the veterans returning home with PTSD, Dr. Figley emphasizes educating the families in the welcoming process. The family and social worker need able to understand that it will take time for the veteran to heal at his or her own pace.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans and ptsd, Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Marissa Howard :

Dr. Figley touched upon many important aspects throughout this podcast, ranging from a focus on PTSD, psychological effects on soldiers, and the effects of deployment on military families. I am curious to see the results of Dr. Figley's approach regarding the re-entering of soldiers into civilian life and how it will negatively or positively effect their families.

Speaking from a military family background, I found Dr. Figley's insight on the effects of the families very thought-provoking. My father has been deployed three times since the beginning of the Iraq War and faces re-deployment this fall. Each time my father has returned home my family has noticed a difference in his behavior patterns and family role. I believe my father has struggled with his role as my mother has had to re-adjust her mindset and responsibilities in order to fulfill both roles of a mother and father. It is a constant struggle for each family member to re-adjust our lifestyles and roles each time he is deployed and then do so over again once he has returned home. Although, my family has been fortunate and has learned how to function properly with and without my father there is military families who have not been fortunate. Dr. Figley speaks about how deployments have increased the amount of single mothers and caused an economic downfall.

Also, Dr. Figley spoke of this war as being more of a sacrifice for soldiers than other wars such as, the Revolutionary War. At this time more than ever it is important for soldiers to feel support from their country and families, as they may be feeling a sense of hopelessness or loss due to the amount of re-deployments. Soldiers do not have enough time between deployment and re-entry into civilian life. They need more time to reflect on themselves and their deployment.

As social workers, I feel it is important to stand behind our troops and their families and remain conscious of the effects on both parties.

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Average Rating: 5stars  struggles facing military families, Thursday, July 22, 2010

By Caitlyn Lam :

Dr. Charles Figley makes excellent points about the struggles facing military families. Repeated deployments cause stress on military families as familial roles change each time the soldier is deployed. Spouses remaining at home are faced with single parenthood, and oftentimes when the soldier returns home role confusion ensues as he or she reintegrates into the family structure.

Additionally, war fatigue is an important issue in that the loss of support from one's country while fighting overseas can cause feelings of stress and hopelessness in soldiers. It is important for soldiers to feel as though they are being supported by both their family, and country as a whole for optimal efficacy. Should soldiers feel that support is diminishing they may feel more alone, and less enthusiastic about performing their job duties, potentially leading to safety concerns for not only the soldier themself, but also for the other soldiers within the unit.

Finally, it is incredibly important for Americans to support the troops and family members through this trying period within their lives. It is important for the public to make it be known that we do not think less of soldiers as a result of their experiences, and that they are not expected to be able to "just get over it." This support requires more than merely placing a ribbon on your car, the American public needs to show the support they claim to feel towards veterans, and envelop them and their families in kindness and understanding.

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Average Rating: 4stars  troops, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

By Joana F. :

I had no idea that men and women in the military sometimes feel afraid, angry and frustrated and prefer to return than to stay home with their family, until Dr. Figley mentioned it. It never occurred to me that how they are treated by others and the idea of recouping to their family life can cause such reactions. I mainly just thought that war is too frightening and dangerous so everyone would rather want to be deployed back home. It makes sense, however hearing this side mentioned because as Dr. Figley stated, military husbands for example, might not feel they have much of a responsibility when they return home to their wives who have been single mothers for a while, managing the household without them.
Also, I agree that we need to move from just talking about supporting the troops, to genuinely helping and letting them and their families know that we care. I believe that actions have to follow our words so if we’re always saying that we support these troops and we are not doing anything to help, then what should they believe?

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Average Rating: 4stars  review of veterans and ptsd, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

By Matthew Druar :

I found Dr, Figley's podcast very informative. I did not know that the meaning of the war could have an effect on veterans in the area of PTSD. Redeployment and length of deployment has a number of implications on soldiers, most importantly the effects on family life. I did not know that Marines were deployed for less time and that it is better than the longer deployment that the Army has because they can reset their selves mentally while on shorter downtime. I like how he addresses what is needed from the American society to help the Veterans such as getting involved in politics, sending care packages over seas, helping the Veterans families, talking with Veterans families, and really letting them know that we care and can help. I like how he starts looking at PTSD as a stress injury, negative occurrences happen when "shots of adrenaline" are released in the body over and over. This is a small percentage. He looks at how to help the soldiers return, such as informing the families on how to be a resource for them. He states that concentrating on the families will be more beneficial. I did not know that repression of PTSD is a myth, and that they live longer than we expect them to live.

The single point that I took from this podcast is that we need to stop assuming what soldiers need and actually find out from them what they need.

When studying this topic a new approach has been used, instead of looking at the stress of soldiers, looking at "raha" or well being was looked at. By looking at the lowest scoring in well being it helped people understand how to help by seeing what was causing the Kuwaitis to have low well being scores on tests.

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Average Rating: 5stars  family approach of a new paradigm, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

By Vincent T. Primiano :

Although Dr. Figley discusses many issues concerning deployment, I would like to focus on the part where he discusses family issues. As stated, deployment creates more single mothers, and can cause economic difficulties. I am interested in seeing how this new approach will attempt to aid in the re-entering of the veterans into their family life, given the many other issues of focus, such as PTSD symptoms, and the "war fatigue" discussed which may cause less support for the veterans in a few years. One thing that he mentions is educating the family concerning the trauma related issues of which they may experience, and also educating the families overall with how to welcome them home. I agree that this would help significantly with re-entry into the family, and will take some of the responsibility off of the community. His approach suggests taking the fear out of the situation, and the assumptions of PTSD away, since not everyone who has symptoms of PTSD can be diagnosed with it. This is also suggested with Social Workers not labeling and pathologizing their clients, but rather to get to know who they are, which is an approach I personally support.

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Average Rating: 4stars  veterans and ptsd, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

By Don Dunlap :

Dr. Figley’s interview was very interesting, and he made some good points about the veterans and PTSD and the need for a new paradigm to be used when working with veterans. I found it informative when he discussed one of the problems for veterans being the inability to reboot on a biopsychosocial aspect because of constant redeployments back to the battle field. He talked about how the soldiers do not have enough downtime between deployments to be able to assimilate back into society and their normal selves which produce numerous negative consequences. Seeing how this is the longest war the U.S. has been involved in now for almost 105 months(surpassing Vietnam at 103), the soldiers who have been married for 15 years, might have possibly spent 11 of those years deployed and as a result they do not really know their families. Also when he discussed the Kuwaitis and one person told him that no Kuwaiti would admit to being traumatized by Iraqis. They had to change their perspective and they looked at the opposite of trauma, calling this “raha” for well-being, and were able to find trauma as a result of this shift in the paradigm.

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Average Rating: 5stars  how war effects the troops, Tuesday, July 20, 2010

By Dawn M :

Dr. Charles Figley has raised many fascinating points throughout this podcast. Dr. Figley pointed out that the troops today sacrifice more than any other generation, because there is a higher deployment rate. Re-deployment has many implications for the troops, such as PTSD, alcoholism, substance abuse issues, etc. Soldiers especially have a hard time since they are only home for a few months at a time. When they return home they are unable to fully assimilate back into society. America is doing little to support the troops and their families. We may support our troops, but are we providing them with what they really need? I’m sure many Americans feel they cannot do much for the troops, veterans, or their families, but Dr. Figley made a good point that we can reach out to them by sending care packages, adopting a veteran family, or even donate to the American Red Cross.

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Average Rating: 5stars  veterans and ptsd, Monday, July 19, 2010

By Dao Kamara :

the episode addresses the issues that affect the veteran from war. The issues that he addresses mainly was combat stress, mental health issues, and the psychological effect and trauma.
The war affects military personnel because of deployment and redeployment. Deployment destroyed the armed forces in several ways such as family relationships, which is considered as the long term effect. If the army personnel is being deployed for 12-13 months, they leavetheir spouses and children for along period of time. when the spouses return, they begin to lear how to live together.
army personnel experience fear which causes trauma, because of the previous deployment they went through;theyalso experience killing people from one war zone to another. They also experience brain injuries that also cause mental health and behavioral issues. combat stress comes about when the soldiers are not prepared for war and the government decides to send them. Knowledge of going into combat causes high blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. They experience injuries by using their body. One hundred percent of the army personnel experience combat stress, and 80% of them experience PTSD according to Dr. charles figley.
Dr. figley makes a good point, which mostly interested me. according to the interview, he said that putting sign on car like "let's support our troops" will not be the best way to support the troops, and people should take signs out of their cars and pay more attention to the families that the army personnel left behind. We as social workers should educate people or the public about how to take care of veterans and their family. social workers should educate veterans families on how to consider army personnel or veterans to recover, not expecting that they are developing PTSD. Families or other people should not be quick to categorize veterans, but to respect them when providing them with assistance. social workers should educate veterans by training and providing them with support.

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Average Rating: 4stars  meaning of war, Sunday, July 18, 2010

By Samantha Goodson :

There were a number of things I found interesting about Dr. Figley's discussion. The thing that struck me the most was the idea that an individual's ideas about the meaning of the war may have an impact on their stress response and, potentially, development of PTSD symptoms. The "meaning" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as opposed to some of the other examples Dr. Figley provided such as the Revolutionary war, is so much less tangible, especially the war in Iraq, which was begun under what turned out to be (at least) misinformation or (at most) false premises. It makes sense to me that a soldier would have a different stress response under these different circumstances (e.g. fighting to protect one's homeland versus fighting for ideals). I think this concept deserves more research, both in the field of mental health and in terms of policy. As Dr. Figley pointed out, whether one agrees with the premise of a war or not, the reality is that we are sending young men and women into harm's way and they will undoubtedly be impacted by their experiences. It is important (in my opinion) to consider this reality when a nation decides to engage in such a fight.

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Average Rating: 1 star  time for a new paradigm is right!, Sunday, July 18, 2010

By Chris Woolnough :

I was dissapointed by the content. The problem with educating the public about ptsd is that the information out there is inaccurate. My own PTSD is due to a "Social Worker", Ms. Price of A&W psychology, broke the laws of her profession.Ptsd is NOT "A psychological reaction to trauma." In fact, ptsd is a physiological response to stress. It's impossible to heal a physical injury by treating ptsd sufferers AS IF they are mentally ill. The soldiers are fighting in wars, just to come home and be misinformed, misdiagnosed, mistreated, misunderstood, and mislabeled as mentally defective. Fact the VA and "mental health proffessionals," are perscribing antidepressants and antipsychotics which increasing the chances of suicide, and permanent, neurological injury, and even death. The drugs used to "treat" ptsd are worse than the disease itself. In my book, (PTSD in a nut shell, In the Aftermath of War) it's insane to treat ptsd patients with a neurological injury AS IF they are mentally ill. End the stigma of ptsd, change the diagnostic criteria to fit the dis-ease.How's this for insane? It's a fact, the military "mental health proffessionals," are prescribing psychotropics in the war zone. "Mental health proffessionals" posses the power and authority to have a sane human being locked up in a psych ward. If you attempt to fight or flee they shoot innocent human beings full of drugs that CAUSES mental illness. "Mental health proffessionals" are using our nations combat veterans as guinea pigs. Many veterans perscribed anti everythings are literally dying in their sleep. MORE veterans have died of suicide since returning home from the war, than have died in the war itself! We certainly do need to educate the public. America was founded on the principal of a united front. We need to scream out in unison (repeat after me) PTSD IS A STRESS INJURY!"
Pass it on, Chris Woolnough founder of Aftermath of War coping with PTSD too.

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Average Rating: 5stars  a lot to think about..., Saturday, July 17, 2010

By Melanie DeMarse :

I found this to be a very interesting and enlightening podcast. I think Dr. Figley offers great and helpful information on informing our care of soldiers and their families as they return from war.
I found it very interesting when Dr. Figley spoke of the impact of the soldiers return home on the family. I know for me, anytime I have thought of soldiers returning, I have only thought of them and how they will readjust. I had never thought of how their absence and return affects their family. The statement that really caught my attention was when Dr. Figley mentioned that the wife’s of soldiers learn how to function successfully as single mothers. They are able to run their household on their own and then, their husband returns from war and still thinks of himself as the head of the household. There must be a tremendous amount of readjustment that occurs, only to have it further complicated with the redeployment of the father a few months later.
I think the best recommendation that Dr. Figley offered in the care of veterans is allowing them to take the lead and finding out from them what would be most helpful. Everyone experiences things in life differently and copes with things differently. I think this idea should to be applied to this population. I think as a society we lump soldiers and veterans together and make assumptions about what they want and need. By basing, the care this population receives on what they as individuals would find helpful, we would better utilize the finances allocated to this population, which as Dr. Figley discussed, are not well utilized currently.

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Average Rating: 5stars  support troops & ptsd, Thursday, July 08, 2010

By Chevaun L. :

Dr. Figley covered a lot of important aspects concerning our veterans in the podcast. I enjoyed someone discussing our veterans in a way that shed light on topic we usually do not hear about.

For example he suggests that America need to more to assist our soldiers then putting a bumper sticker on their car saying “support our troops”. I completely agree with this statement and believe that Americans can do so much more as a whole to support the troops. And for those who may not where or how to further assist the troops; Dr. Figley gave great examples that could be done such as donating to the Red Cross, writing letters or sending care packages. But I feel the most important suggestion he gave was to educate others on the needs of the veterans.

I also feel that Dr. Figley did well with getting people to realize that it is not only the soldiers that need help. He even went as far as saying that the families need more help than the returning soldiers. I agree that families should be educated on ways to welcome home their soldiers and being able to give the time they need to heal since every soldiers experience is unique. At some point we all need to do our part to assist our troops, a little effort goes a long way.

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Average Rating: 5stars  insightful and thought-provoking, Monday, May 24, 2010

By Naomi Cleveland :

Dr. Figley made numerous insightful and thought-provoking points throughout this podcast. Two of which caught my attention in particular.

The first statement was that this generation has had it more difficult than any other. I found it interesting when he stated that soldiers today are unclear of what they're fighting for. This statement makes me curious to speak with a soldier and hear what they believe to be their motivation. As they are not fighting for our land, as Dr. Figley mentioned, I wonder how this affects their morale, especially after repeated deployments.

The second point that made me pause was his discussion of "war fatigue." This being the possibility that Americans will grow tired of the war and begin to blame the warrior, who is no longer seen as perfect. I agree with him when he said this will demoralize our troops. It is unfair and detrimental. This idea is concerning as our men and women need this country's full support when they are away and more so upon their return. I hope the individuals that make up our country will keep this distinction clear, as our men and women honor those at home.

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Average Rating: 4stars  my thoughts, Monday, April 05, 2010

By Allison :

I enjoyed the podcast of Charles Figley. This podcast brings to light the realizations of how people view Veterans. Charles Figley talked about how people blame “the warriors and not the war.’ This is so true when working with Veterans. It has been my experienced working with Veterans how difficult it can be accessing services through the Veterans Administration and other agencies depending on the Vets insurance. A few of the Vets I have worked with don’t trust the Government and are very hesitant in accepting services from the VA. I agree with Charles Figley when he acknowledged that more should be done for Veterans. These men and women fight for our country and when they come home they should have access for services they need and within their timeframe. We as helpers need to keep an open mind and assist our Vets in any way necessary to transition them back into the community and regain some sort of stability.

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Average Rating: 5stars  review of dr figley's pod cast, Sunday, January 31, 2010


I recently listened to a conversation with Dr Figely. The topic was what needs to be done for all of the people who are affected by the current war situations, soldiers, families, and communities.
The issues were discussed in plain English and easy for anyone to follow. The Dr seemed warm, knowledgeable and interested in teaching others what their roles as helpers should be.
The main point of the interview was we should not get hung up on what we think soldiers, families, and the community need. We should ask them and follow their lead. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a subject that most of us have been learning about in school. This is very important but statistically is not pertinent to 78% of the veterans and their families. Dr Figley explained many areas that may bring on stress to all involved to educate the Social Worker as to possible causes of stressors but did not give the answers to treatment as that differs vastly. What , if anything at all, is the problem? This needs to be the Social Worker’s focus.

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DISCLAIMER: The content shared by the presenter(s) and/or interviewer(s) of each podcast is their own and not necessarily representative of any views, research, or practice from the UB School of Social Work or the inSocialWork® podcast series.