Hi my name is Bennett Garfinkel. I’m neither an attorney nor a physician but I’m the lead medical researcher and legal assistant to lead counsel Brian Wiklendt here at the law firm Garfinkel Schwartz. Today I’m talking about how PTSD works in the brain.
We’re located in the Maitland office a suburb or Orlando Florida here in Central Florida.
If you’d like to watch the video called “How PTSD Works in the Brain,” on our YouTube channel.
One great thing about this area of law is that we will travel to you around the country. The fact that we’re based in Florida is insignificant in relation to your case which can be located from anywhere from San Diego to Oklahoma to South Florida anywhere.
PTSD: The Brain Almost Attacking Itself
The Chemical and Physical Reactions Including Triggers
Today I’m here to talk to a little bit about how PTSD works in the brain. It’s important to think of PTSD as the brain almost attacking itself.
Now when an individual goes through a severely traumatic event there will be certain symptoms that you may be familiar with: withdrawal, isolation, quickness to anger, a lack of pleasure in activities that you once loved. Like if u no longer get the same enjoyment out of sports. Or if you don’t enjoy going for walks. Or you can’t even go to movies because of the loud noises or the movie is potentially triggering images.
These can all cause intense anxiety, nightmares, sleep deprivation. These can have a very, very, very severe effect on your affect, on your personal life and especially on your family life.
PTSD Effects the Family
PTSD is not just a mental illness for the individual. It places an enormous amount of stress on the family. And it’s not well understood exactly why post-traumatic stress disorder develops but we do know some things in the brain about why exactly you might be experiencing these very, very troubling symptoms.
There is an area in the brain called the hypothalamic pituitary and adrenal axis.
Now this axis is associated with arousal, with the ability to react quickly. And in traumatic situations, you have a flood of adrenaline going. And this adrenaline will trigger this HPA axis to make the memories more pertinent in the brain. The memories will almost be indelibly etched into the memory center of the brain. And these can lead to symptoms such as flashbacks. Such as a car backfiring and it’s similar to a gunshot.
And you may have an anxiety attack. And for all these reasons it can be very, very debilitating it can be unexpected.
You might be feeling fine at one point in the day and out absolutely out of nowhere, you’ll have a severe anxiety attack. Or you’ll be very, very quick to anger for no reason at all.
More Private Military Contractors = More PTSD Cases Likely
One of our largest client bases is with private military contractors sent overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan. The Department of Defense is the largest employer in the entire world.
And at least in 2011, there were only a hundred and forty five thousand uniformed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. But over a hundred and fifty thousand private military contractors. These included logistics, translators, support and security personnel.
And the number of private military contractors has continued to grow while the number of uniformed military personnel has diminished. Now the VA and the military has mechanisms in place to help soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
PMCs Are Not Screened for PTSD
There are screenings, there are there are psychiatric help available, their psychological help available. But most private military contractors don’t know that this help is available to them too under a law in the federal statute called the Defense Base Act. Now if you have any questions we urge you to call us and have a conversation with us. You can always speak to myself or lead counsel attorney Brian Wiklendt.
If you’re a wife or a girlfriend of an individual that was sent abroad on a contract to support the US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world, we very much may be, may be able to help you. And it’s always worth having a conversation with us just to see what help is available.
One of my favorite parts about my job here at Garfinkel Schwartz as a medical researcher and legal assistant is the conversations that I have–not only with clients–but clients’ families.
Now because I’m not an attorney and I’m not a physician, I can’t give legal or medical advice. But I can help you in your process of researching treatments, finding physicians or just giving personal advice.
Find Out What Our Resources We Have to Help You
I look at how maybe I would approach the situation from my own experiences here Garfinkel Schwartz. And also the insights of Brian Wiklendt our lead counsel here, we’re able to have conversations with you that could prove very, very helpful. So we encourage you to give us a call, an informal call just a conversation to see if we could help you out in any way. Even if you don’t end up signing up as clients with us.
We’re always very eager to talk with you because we’re an advocacy law firm we really believe in what we’re doing.
Again my name is Bennett Garfinkel. I’m coming to you from our Orlando offices here in Central Florida. We also have another office on the Space Coast of Florida in Cocoa Beach. Thank you very much.