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

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.

How The Politics of Memory Affects Us All

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Listen Up!
How our society remembers history affects our sense of identity and well-being. The current controversy about remembering the Vietnam War trickles through families up to the present day, and shapes what kind of future our children will encounter.

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.

The Real Dangers of “Diagnosing” Everyone a Narcissist

By Craig Malkin on April 12, 2015 in Romance Redux
The current promiscuous use of "narcissist" not only trivializes the pain of people who've suffered greatly in abusive relationships, it generates massive confusion about what narcissism really is. Here's the truth about narcissism and narcissists--and why we need to stop, take a breath, and think carefully before we use either word as an insult.

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.

7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude

Take a few minutes each day to acknowledge all that you have to be thankful for. Showing just a little bit of gratitude can transform your life in incredible ways.

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.

The Backlash Against Psychiatric Diagnoses

Only in mental health does there exist the idea that we should avoid diagnostic terms if the cause of the suffering is great. This well-intentioned but misguided effort only alienates people further.

Fear the Future

In our modern world, anxiety is a burden to many. In our past, however, it may have been the difference between life and death.

Are You a Survivor of Sexual Assault and Afraid of Flying?

12 Air travel tips for sexual assault survivors who are afraid of flying

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a powerful method of overcoming trauma via the mind-body connection, and often without medication. This piece by Saint-Laurent and Bird is a great introduction for those considering the treatment as well as for therapists interested in SE training.

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Health

Addicts and those with co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD are frequently overwhelmed by shame. This is not just an internal issue of being ashamed of past behaviors.

You the Seed vs. You the Gardener

By Hal Mathew on March 24, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
Hope springs eternal when you are both seed and gardener.

Are You a Traumatized Woman?

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on March 24, 2015 in The Time Cure
When we peruse the landscape of our world half the women we see have experienced a life-altering traumatic event, perhaps a natural disaster like a tornado, or a human-made disaster such as a car accident. And 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. But this number is probably much higher because these are only reported cases.

"American Sniper" and the Addiction to War

By Ray Williams on March 23, 2015 in Wired for Success
War has become the new normal for the U.S. Militarization, the justification for violence, and the privatization of war are now firmly entrenched.

How Most Anxiety Can be Beaten With Just One Simple Method

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on March 21, 2015 in Think Well
The most important ingredient in almost all successful anxiety treatments is what therapists call exposure. Here is what it is and why it works.