Lori L. Davis, MD
Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
I have devoted my 25-year VA research career to finding better treatments for veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress, depression, and addictions. A hallmark of post-traumatic stress is avoidance, which leads to social isolation and occupational decline. Just as the modern-day battlefield has no single-line of defense, so does recovery from post-traumatic stress. The strategy for recovery is multifaceted. In addition to counseling, medication, exercise, a healthy diet, and support from others, a veteran with post-traumatic stress benefits substantially from having a meaningful occupation. Those who struggle with unemployment may benefit from individual placement and support, an integrated treatment approach that helps someone obtain and sustain a job that aligns with preferences, skills, and abilities. By contributing to one’s sense of identity, mission, and belonging, work is good therapy.
Photo by Laurey Glenn