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

Four Things You Need to Know about PTSD

Is someone you know a little different in a way you can’t quite put your finger on, or perhaps a lot different in ways you find frightening or dangerous?

Waking Up From War and Healing our Wounded Warriors

The PTSD seen in vets is reinforced by social attitudes of dissociation, denial, and neglect. Healing requires community.

Equine-Assisted Therapy, Part 1

Enlisting horses to help heal our wounded veterans

Parrots to the Rescue: How they Help Veterans with PTSD

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 31, 2016 Animal Emotions
A New York Times essay by Charles Siebert called "What Does a Parrot Know About PTSD?" is a must read about how parrots can help people deeply in need. It could be a life-changer.

A Guest in Quiet

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on January 28, 2016 Bear in Mind
What rattlesnakes teach us about the grace and dignity of being reptile.

Prisons Perpetuate Trauma in Female Inmates

Perpetrators of sexual violence in prisons are often prison staff, and their crimes are going unpunished.

Why Psych Majors Should Watch Altered Minds

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on January 25, 2016 The Squeaky Wheel
Part one of my interview with the director of the psychological thriller 'Altered Minds' starring Judd Hirsch

How Can We Help Syrian Children Resettle in the West?

Child refugees have a tremendous potential to integrate, but their resilience depends on the schools and communities we offer them.

Nasal Spray May Prevent PTSD, Study Finds

Nasal spray may help prevent traumatic memories from forming in the first place.

Doing What Light Does

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on January 19, 2016 Bear in Mind
Explore the psychology of compassion that knows no boundaries.

Cerebellum Damage May Be the Root of PTSD in Combat Veterans

A new and revolutionary discovery by a team of brain injury experts reveals that damage to the cerebellum may be a hidden cause of PTSD in combat veterans.

When a Loved One Attempts Suicide

Learning to forgive oneself after a loved one's suicide attempt is essential.

Meditation Reduces Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

A new study reports that practicing Transcendental Meditation can reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the use of medications to treat PTSD.

The Neuroscience of Fear Responses and Post-Traumatic Stress

Two new studies shed light on how the brain processes traumatic experiences that create fear, anxiety, and often lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Trauma Survivors at Risk for Future Abusive Relationships

When offenders are caregivers, children often blame themselves, and love and abuse can become interconnected.

Vets' Aftercare Should be Calculated as a Cost of War

By Eric Newhouse on January 05, 2016 Invisible Wounds
Before going to war, our government should be prepared to provide post-war help for its soldiers. One mom's letter demonstrates the extent of our failure to do so.

Should Someone be Accountable for Acts He Can't Control?

By Eric Newhouse on January 02, 2016 Invisible Wounds
PennLaw Professor Stephen J. Morse suggests a new legal plea to reflect disorders like PTSD in which some vets may have cognitive or control deficits that limit their culpability.

Is Your Therapist “Trauma-Informed”? (And Why It Matters)

New principles guide our understanding of effective trauma care.

Behind the Bars, No World

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on December 27, 2015 Bear in Mind
Wildlife captivity has negative effects on human observers and captive animals, as revealed in this interview about Billy, the Elephant who is kept in isolation at the L.A. Zoo.

Is Addiction a Lifelong Disease While PTSD Isn't?

By Stanton Peele on December 22, 2015 Addiction in Society
Can addiction be a lifelong disease while PTSD is not? NY Times columnist David Brooks says that both are true, although he may be confused by contradictory instincts and beliefs.


The new movie “Spotlight”, about the sexual abuse by priests in Boston and around the world, brought back memories of my work with survivors of that abuse.

From Agony to Ecstasy

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on December 18, 2015 Bear in Mind
Elephants are our teachers. When our minds and hearts meet on common ground, we learn how to evolve as a species.

Vets Experiencing Trauma Can't Respond to Reason

By Eric Newhouse on December 17, 2015 Invisible Wounds
One prominent neuroscientist is finding that the rational brain shuts down in traumatic situations, leaving emotions in control. That means a new approach to therapy.

VA Therapists Help Vets Wrestle With Moral Injuries

By Eric Newhouse on December 14, 2015 Invisible Wounds
What a soldier did to his perceived enemies (or failed to do for his buddies) may haunt him for years because moral lapses can't be excused in hindsight.

Facing Trauma May Be Good Therapy

By Eric Newhouse on December 11, 2015 Invisible Wounds
Dr. Edna Foa (left) makes the case for prolonged exposure therapy at a CERL conference on PTSD in Philadelphia, but says she doesn't think moral injury is a useful concept.

Betrayal of Trust Can Result in Moral Injury

By Eric Newhouse on December 09, 2015 Invisible Wounds
Moral injury can occur when a soldier is ordered to do something that violates his moral code. And that may explain the rise in military/veteran suicides.

PTSD and the DSM-5, Part 2

A conversation with Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, founder of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth.

We Should Live: Surviving After Catastrophic Death

By Allen J Frances M.D. on December 08, 2015 Saving Normal
The moving story of how a community rebuilt itself after the deadly and devastating Japanese tsunami.

PTSD and the DSM-5, Part 1

More than thirty-five years after the 1980 recognition of PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the data are unequivocal: Today there can be no doubt about the validity of PTSD as a diagnostic entity.

Thank You! Parisian PhD Candidate Ludvig Levasseur!

On occasion, we receive requests from PhD candidates for assistance in their research regarding time perspective theory and therapy. Last week, one such candidate emailed with a request that opened our eyes to the magnitude of a problem we've been unaware of: What is the potential cost savings of our talk therapy?