Schmitt & Coletta, P.C. - Veteran Attorneys Fighting For Veterans and Their Families

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Military Sexual Trauma

One Woman's Story

After trying for decades to suppress memories that nearly destroyed her life, Ruth Moore would have been forgiven had she struggled with the words Wednesday as she recounted being raped as a young Navy enlistee and her ensuing years of trauma.
click image to enlargeNavy veteran Ruth Moore, a Maine native, testifies Wednesday about being raped by a superior officer when she was 18.The Associated Pressclick image to enlargeRuth Moore, right, is accompanied by her husband, Butch Moore, and daughter Samantha on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Military Sexual Trauma. PTSD and Eating Disorders

Despite high rates of comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and disordered eating, there is little in the way of empirical research or practice guidelines to inform the treatment of these frequently co-occurring disorders. Clinicians who provide treatment for this patient population must navigate complicated decisions about whether these problems are best treated concurrently or sequentially, and which treatment approaches and modalities are most appropriate for the patient. The current clinical case describes the treatment of a female soldier who was admitted to a 25-day, trauma-focused inpatient program 3 months after she experienced military sexual trauma. Although treatment initially targeted her PTSD symptoms, she later disclosed her ongoing struggles with disordered eating, which raised complex questions about the most effective treatment approach. This case study illustrates the intricate link between PTSD and disordered eating, and highlights important clinical considerations relevant to the assessment and treatment of these commonly comorbid disorders.
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