Talking to your doctor about PTSD

By Thomas Crisp - Contributing Columnist

In your life, have you ever had any experience that was so frightening, horrible, or upsetting that, in the past month, you have had nightmares about it or thought about it when you did not want to? Tried hard not to think about it or went out of your way to avoid situations that reminded you of it?

Were constantly on guard, watchful, or easily startled? Felt numb or detached from others, activities, or your surroundings?

If you answered “yes” to any three items, you should think about seeing your primary care provider or a mental health provider.

Here’s some information to help you prepare for your appointment, and what to expect.

Bring a list of any symptoms you’ve been experiencing, and for how long.

Make a list of questions to ask so you can make the most of your appointment. You might want to ask about treatment recommendations, managing symptoms, or about other common problems.

Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you, so you might want to consider bringing a trusted family member or friend along.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions anytime you don’t understand something.

It’s important for you to see a provider who can help you with PTSD, as soon as you can. The good news is that PTSD can be treated. The earlier you get treatment, the better the chance for a full recovery.

Treatment may include “talk” therapy, medication, or both. Evidence based talk therapy usually lasts three to four months. For some people, it can take longer. Treatment is not the same for everyone. What works for you might not work for someone else. (Source: PTSD Monthly Update | August 8, 2016)

Watch for signs medical information has been hacked

Did you know that health care is the number one target, nearly as much as retail, finance, and banking combined, for identity theft and fraud?

Your health information is important to you and your health care provider. But in the wrong hands, it can be valuable to someone else.

Would you know if someone stole your medical identity? Identity theft affects millions of people every year. The Federal Trade Commission offers several steps you can take to make sure your health care information remains secure.

First, read your medical and insurance statements regularly and completely. They can show warning signs of identity theft. Look for services you did not receive or providers you did not see. This is like seeing charges on your credit card statement that were not yours.

Next, read the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement or Medicare Summary Notice that your health plan sends after each treatment. Again, check the name of the provider, the date of service, and the service provided. Do the claims paid match the care you received? If you see a mistake, contact your health plan and report the problem.

You should also watch for bills if you know part of your care was not covered. If a bill doesn’t show up when you expect it, look into it.

Being cyber fit requires us to be mindful of your health information even when you’re not using health IT. You are the center of your healthcare. Empower yourself to protect your information. For more information about cyber fitness, visit the TRICARE website at (Source: TRICARE News Release | August 4, 2016)

By Thomas Crisp

Contributing Columnist

Thomas Crisp is a retired military officer from Whitmire.

Thomas Crisp is a retired military officer from Whitmire.

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