Holidays and PTSD: PTSD Monthly Update - December 2015

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

PTSD Monthly Update

In This Issue

Feature Topic

For Providers

Research at the Center

PTSD in the News

December 2015 Issue


Forward this to others so they can subscribe to the PTSD Monthly Update or other products by the VA’s National Center for PTSD.

Feature Topic

Holidays and PTSD

Spending time with family and friends over the holidays can be fun, but the flurry of festivities can also add stress. This is particularly true for someone with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

If you or a family member has PTSD, it does not have to negatively impact the holidays. There are healthy ways to cope and manage stress.

The following list of tips from our clinicians can help you manage your PTSD symptoms over this holiday season:

  • Make a list of your favorite coping tools that you can use for different types of situations. Keep them on hand, in the event something triggers you.
  • Bring stress management tools with you wherever you go with online tools and apps such as PTSD Coach Online, PTSD Coach and Mindfulness Coach.
  • Create a playlist of music that you can listen to when you are stressed.
  • Make a folder of favorite photos. Look through them to take your mind off what is stressing you.
  • Write a list of the reasons you want to change your habits or reactions. They help motivate you.
  • Set time limits for activities that are difficult for you.
  • Reward yourself for your hard work with a healthy activity.
  • Reach out for support if you need it. Know who you can rely on for help. If your symptoms of PTSD are getting worse or you feel down, reach out to your provider or call the crisis line.

If you know someone with PTSD, there are things you can do to make sure the holiday season is pleasant and enjoyable for everyone:

  • Educate yourself: Read about PTSD Symptoms, and how PTSD affects your loved one.
  • Talk to your family member about what they need to feel comfortable during the holidays. If your loved one needs services, call Coaching into Care for advice in talking to them about treatment.
  • Keep important resources at hand, such as the Veterans Crisis Line, a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

back to top

For Providers

PTSD Lecture Series for All Providers

New! We are excited to announce that free continuing education credits are now available to providers outside of the VA.

  • Non-VA Providers: Get more information and register at the TRAIN website.
  • VA Providers: Please continue to use TMS.

Next Lectures in the Series

  • 12/16 at 2 pm ET - Ismene Petrakis, MD on Increasing Pharmacotherapy for Substance Use Disorders and PTSD

Mark your calendar for the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2 pm ET/1 pm CT/12 pm PT.

Sign up for PTSD Updates to receive monthly emails that include a registration link and instructions for joining the live lectures.

Consult with PTSD Experts

The PTSD Consultation Program offers free PTSD consultation to any provider who treats Veterans in any setting. This program is now open to Community Providers.

PTSD Consultation Program

Have a question about PTSD? Contact us:
Call 866-948-7880 or

back to top

Research at the Center

Evaluating PTSD Apps for Veterans and Family

Investigators continue to examine how the PTSD Coach and PTSD Family Coach mobile phone apps may help trauma survivors and their significant others. Ongoing studies are testing the apps' impact on Veterans' PTSD symptoms and treatment engagement, as well as relationship quality and family members' well-being.

back to top

PTSD in the News

Brain Bank Opens to Help Study PTSD In War Veterans. The National PTSD Brain Bank, led by the National Center for PTSD, was profiled in a December 9, 2015 story by Oklahoma City CBS affiliate KWTV. Read more.*

Exposure Therapy: A Surprisingly Effective Treatment for Depression. Dr. Matthew Friedman, Senior Advisor to and former Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD, was quoted in a December 4, 2015 article in Everyday Health on the potential uses of exposure therapy for a variety of mental health problems. Read more*

Be sure to forward this update to others so they can subscribe. We send one update per month to keep you informed of the latest PTSD developments.

Thank you,

The Staff of VA’s National Center for PTSD

back to top

Produced by VA’s National Center for PTSD - Executive Division
Email: | Visit our Web site:

*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website to a non government site.
VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of these linked websites.