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

Schizophrenia and Violence, Part II

By Betsy Seifter Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in After the Diagnosis
The insanity defense fails again, but mentally ill offenders need treatment, not punishment.

An Integrative Approach to Wellness Really Works

I had a cerebral bleed causing me to black out resulting in a serious automobile collision. Months later I had brain surgery. I was told by my doctors I was permanently brain damaged. Determined to get better, I set out on my journey to regain my life. So I experimented with a variety of different approaches to treatment, and got better!

How to Integrate Mindfulness Practices into the Classroom

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in The First Impression
How may college students benefit if mindfulness practices are introduced into their classes?

Good Reasons to Join the Mindfulness and Yoga Trend

By Temma Ehrenfeld on February 23, 2015 in Open Gently
You do have time to meditate--all you need is 12 minutes a day.

Discussing Illness Without Alienating the Ill

By Julie K Hersh on February 20, 2015 in Struck By Living
The arts offer an unthreatening microscope and telescope to examine stories, which we can adapt to our own healing.

Escaping Across the Border Through Art

By David Gussak Ph.D., ATR-BC on February 19, 2015 in Art on Trial
Often, women who are emigrating from Mexico—sometimes illegally—may be doing so to escape from violence and suffering. Sometimes, they escape towards it. This post examines how one art therapist, guest blogger Valentina Castro, uses art to help endure and heal from such pain.

Behavioral Science Versus Moral Judgment

Learning more about the mind clashes with simple descriptions of personality. But our moral judgments of others won't surrender without a fight.

Horses Bring Healing to Wounded Warriors

Horses make sense for soldiers/

The Role of Sleep in our Lives

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Sleep Newzzz
Many scientists studying sleep and dreams believe that dreaming does have a purpose.

Ritual Abuse, Cults and Captivity

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Talking About Trauma
Escaping the torment of a cult can be the most difficult part for a survivor, but recovery and rehabilitation can be just as challenging.

College-Bound Veterans

PTSD is an injury, not a mental illness.

Protection Compulsion...A Case Study

By Teri Woods Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Compulsive!
A psychologist can't fix what they don't know about. Sometimes a patient's defenses can be so strong they thwart their own treatment. But if a therapist slips into detective mode, he/she just might find enough clues to find out what's really going on.

How Meditation Changes the Structure of Your Brain

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in The New Resilience
New research finds that meditation alters the structure of brain regions associated with anxiety and stress, and it enhances positive emotions.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

Deadly Rescue

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on February 07, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
The “American Sniper” phenomenon is breaking box office records. It's not just a war movie. The publicity machine is cranking, but something doesn’t feel right. What does it mean to “snipe” anyway? And why should a sniper-hero fascinate us? And for that matter, why do we have so much trouble thinking about it?

Is Yoga Really Good for Your Health?

The many benefits of yoga today.

What Is Mindfulness and How Does It Work?

By Gregg Henriques on February 06, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Mindfulness is one of the most important developments in mental health in the past twenty years. Understand what it is and how it works.

Irrelationship's Performer—Human Antidepressants

The song-and-dance routine of the "Performer" is driven by the need to distance himself from his own anxiety and pain by taking care of his primary caregiver (usually a parent). He will often develop into the do-gooder, caretaker, rescuer or hero, but those are roles cultivated from childhood, usually emerging from a distinct relational—or irrelational—pattern.

The Surprising Psychology of BDSM

‘Fifty Shades’ piqued your curiosity? Answers to five kinky questions.

Hero de Jour

By Frances Kuffel on February 04, 2015 in What Fat Women Want
A hero, I began to think, is someone who doesn’t meekly accept a hopeless situation and steps up to change it, whether doing so will have a happy ending or not. It is not their job. They have no training. They aren’t impatient for their struggle.

The Perversion Files

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on January 29, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
A recent settlement regarding the Boy Scouts of America's private records about sexual abuse once more relegates them to the realm of secrecy.

PTSD Is Alive and Well, Unfortunately

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on January 28, 2015 in The Time Cure
"American Sniper", the top grossing film in the U.S. the last two weekends, opens our eyes to the invisible wounds suffered by our active duty military personnel and veterans. Are you brave enough to read the startling facts about our home-grown heroes, their PTSD—and the alarming number of suicides?

When Not Talking About Past Trauma is Wise

By Carrie Barron M.D. on January 27, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Though self expression is often healing, sometimes it is better not to tell your tale of woe. For some people repeating the story re-ignites the trauma. Learning to re-direct the thoughts can be more therapeutic. Here are some suggestions.

Bad Sports: 'Deflategate' and the Psychology of Cheating

By Jason Powers M.D. on January 27, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
A study suggests that most cheaters, if found guilty, wouldn't experience much remorse. Researchers found that the "high" may be mitigated by the magnitude of the perceived consequences. However, over time and perhaps through self-reflection, cheaters may become more likely to regret their actions.

The Walking Dead Psychology: A Cannibal Conversation

Actor Andrew J. West discusses playing Gareth from Terminus on The Walking Dead. Why does severe crisis bring out the best in some people and worst in others? Who rises to heroism and who descends into villainy? What does it take to turn to cannibalism? West examines what it takes to break a normal human being who would never previously considered munching on a man's leg.

Adult PANDAS: Seek and Ye Shall Find

By Jory Goodman M.D. on January 24, 2015 in Attention, Please
The autoimmune disorder PANDAS is common in adults. Unfortunately it is not diagnosed because it is not looked for. Psychiatrists in particular, and all physicians need to learn the key features that will lead to the diagnosis. Patients need to know as well and push for proper evaluation and treatment.

When Therapy Doesn't Work

There's no such thing as a magic pill, or a magic wand for that matter. Therapy requires as much effort from the patient as from the therapist. But not all patient/therapist duos are a good match. Read on to learn what to do when therapy just doesn't work.

Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse Through Self-Compassion

Shame can be the most damaging effect of child abuse--compassion is its anecdote.

When You’re Gone: Deployment Effects On Parenting

Deployed soldiers and their families often face great emotional strain when they are forced to separate.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on January 14, 2015 in Think, Act, Be
A new blog on PsychologyToday.com will present the latest findings on cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based therapy.