What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological reaction that occurs after an extremely stressful event, such as physical violence or military combat. Those suffering from PTSD have recurring memories of the stressful event and are anxious or scared even in the absence of danger. Flashbacks and nightmares are common symptoms as well. 

Recent Posts on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Your Life After Trauma

By Patty Chang Anker on May 26, 2015 in Some Nerve
For trauma survivors the thought of living a big, brave life may seem far fetched. A new book provides an essential blueprint for going forward with confidence.

Wrong Self-Appraisals Result from the Use of Wrong Criteria

Mental conflicts, including intrusive thoughts or emotions (e.g., rumination on trauma or other negative events, self-blame, shame, hopelessness, guilt, anger, or sadness) result from both unawareness that the self-schemas or appraisals are regulated by one’s pattern schemas, and the use of wrong or distorted pattern schemas for self-evaluations.

On the Battlefield of the Psyche

By Pythia Peay on May 25, 2015 in America On The Couch
Decker said, "I once had an interview with the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama. When I asked him for his advice on how to work with veterans he said . .first, they had to have some kind of spirituality. And secondly, they had to know that it was their job—their duty—to kill people.He also made a distinction between having to kill during war, and committing murder."

The Drama of the Drone Warrior

By Yosef Brody Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in Limitless?
The new drone warfare movie starring Ethan Hawke may be fiction but ironically it gives a better sense of the workings and effects of our actual drone program than has been offered so far by government officials.

Police Versus Community: Why All the Trauma?

The power of trauma is that it compels us to protect ourselves from threats both real and imagined. How do you help police and community members filter threats that deserve our attention from those that don't?

Helping Professions for Veterans

Psychology Careers for Veterans

New Evidence on Dreams and Memory

The dream lag effect, wherein images from daily events appear in dreams 5-7 days later, appears to be restricted to personally significant events only.

An Opportunity to Think Upstream

By Paul Gionfriddo on May 09, 2015 in Finding Tim
B4Stage4 changes the equation for people with mental illnesses. It gets us focused on what we can do early, before a crisis occurs, to change trajectories of lives.

How Do Your Genes Influence Levels of Emotional Sensitivity?

Neuroscientists have identified a specific gene variation that causes some people to be more emotionally sensitive.

Developing Resilience

Why do some people have a similar experience and one develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the other doesn’t?

12 Ways Eye Movements Give Away Your Secrets

Eye movements unconsciously give away your secret personal information.

Who You Calling Phobic?

Fears about unstable ground are real, say researchers. And that's particularly true after a major quake.

Optogenetics Allow Neuroscientists to Turn Fear Off and On

Neuroscientists at MIT have discovered how to turn the neural circuitry of fear conditioning on and off. This could lead to better treatments for PTSD, anxiety disorders, and avoidance learning.

Care for Nepal

Irrelationship is a shared defensive system that serves the purpose of shielding the participants from true connection. How might this be relevant for something as seemingly clear-cut as disaster response where responders and organizations trying to help are acting from altruistic motives? What can irrelationship tell us about care for the caretaker in disaster relief?

The Deepest War Wound May Be the Anguish of Moral Injury

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in Afterwar
That the military code—never abandon a buddy, bring all your troops home, don't put innocents at risk—is impossible to meet doesn't always register deep down. The result may be shame, and all too often suicidal shame.

Please Keep Your Mind in Your Body

By Hal Mathew on April 28, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
The look of being present

Returning to an Unchanged Place Reveals How You Have Changed

Returning to a place from your past that remains unchanged can reveal how you've evolved and give you clues as to where you should go with your life from here.

Women and Mental Illness

A host of factors may contribute to the higher prevalence of mental illness in women. In this post, we explore many of these.

10 Ways Mindfulness and Meditation Promote Well-Being

This post includes a "Top Ten" list of ways that mindfulness and meditation promote well-being based on the latest scientific research.

PTSD and Panic Disorder, the Huge Difference

By Hal Mathew on April 21, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
Eternal vigilance is the price of PTSD and panic disorder

Helping Veterans with PTSD Using Yoga

Not only should the VA continue with pilot studies of holistic therapies, but evidence should be taken from related fields, such as addiction treatment, where these therapies have been used for years with great success.

Coachella, King Kong,Tom Hardy's Bare Private Parts & PTSD

By Anneli Rufus on April 17, 2015 in Stuck
He's photographed Brad Pitt, Naomi Watts and other superstars, but his early work as a war-zone photojournalist left Greg Williams with PTSD.

5 Neuroscience Based Ways to Clear Your Mind

This blog post offers five easy ways to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts based on the latest neuroscience.

When a Sociopath Is Hell Bent on Destroying You

By Carrie Barron M.D. on April 13, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Sociopaths (anti-social personality, psychopath) can decimate a life. The mental, emotional or physical trauma can be stunning. The aftermath of sociopathic is unique because the assault instills a dim world view, a shaky sense of safety and a feeling that one has been visited by evil. Here are 16 points of focus to begin recovery.

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

Why Stress Rules Our Lives

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why today's adults feel more stress than did their predecessors -- and the lessons that we might learn from the past to better cope with our life stresses.

Forgetting PTSD: How Genes Affect Memory

The tet1 gene plays a central role in forgetting traumatic experiences.

A Meditation on How Moral Injuries Heal

By Nancy Sherman Ph.D. on April 09, 2015 in Afterwar
Many soldiers don't easily volunteer the word "guilt." They'll instead choose "fault" and "responsibility."

Will Love Conquer Addiction?

Addiction is a complex disorder that includes neuropsychological changes, biochemical disruption, and interpersonal chaos.

Another Guy Who Isn't a Sex Addict

By Marty Klein PhD on March 31, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
"Sex addiction" is a very poor way to understand people.