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

Why Are So Few Programs For Survivors of War Scaled Up?

Why Aren't More Mental Health Programs For War-Affected Civilians Brought To Scale? A shift in how we do research can help make findings more relevant to real world practice.

Brain Networks in TMS for Combined PTSD and Major Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a promising treatment for people with both PTSD and depression. New TMS research gives insight into how to refine existing approaches.

Post-Traumatic Growth and Post-Traumatic Stress Can Coexist

By Christopher Bergland on January 14, 2018 in The Athlete's Way
We commonly associate PTSD with natural disasters. Surprisingly, a new study reports that personal growth can coexist with post-traumatic stress in the years following.

Rape Victims' Reactions Misunderstood by Law Enforcement

Most rape victims suffer secondary victimization by the justice system.
RobHyrons/Shutterstock

Fear-Driven Learning Circuit

Informing efforts to develop more effective PTSD treatments.

Never in Vain

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on January 06, 2018 in Bear in Mind
One man's work from the ground up helps to unchain elephant minds and bodies.

Acupuncture in Mental Health Care

There is emerging but still inconclusive evidence for acupuncture as a treatment of depressed mood, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health problems.

What Is Your Risk for Clinical Depression after Disasters?

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on December 30, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Due to the increasing prevalence of disasters, including natural disasters, technological accidents and terrorism, understanding risk and intervention is more important than ever.

Winner of Survivor Sparks Conversation about PTSD

PTSD doesn’t only affect the soldier, but also has profound effects on the victim’s family. Treatment often focuses on three main behaviors.

How Helpful Are Interventions for War-Affected Civilians?

A new report casts intriguing light on the impact of mental health interventions for refugees and others affected by war or disaster.

Bergdahl and Moral Injury in War-Related PTSD

By Jean Kim M.D. on December 20, 2017 in Culture Shrink
Bowe Bergdahl's controversial desertion and return highlights the dilemmas of moral injury and its relationship to PTSD in combat zones.

Rwandan Stories of Change

By Stephen Joseph Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in What Doesn't Kill Us
Post-traumatic growth describes positive changes that may be experienced by survivors of trauma, but is it ever appropriate to apply this concept to the perpetrators of violence?

The Neuroscience of Loneliness

By Elena Blanco-Suarez Ph.D. on December 19, 2017 in Brain Chemistry
Can loneliness kill? Science shows us how feeling lonely has a life-saving purpose.

Medical Marijuana for PTSD?

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on December 14, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Combined with other therapies, medical marijuana may help those with PTSD.

Mental Health and the Holidays

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on December 12, 2017 in The New Normal
Tips for surviving the holidays.
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Study Suggests Patients Can Treat Depression on Their Own

In general, the participants expressed higher life satisfaction and self-efficiency.

Trauma Psychotherapy, Pilates, EMDR and Sensorimotor Work

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on December 08, 2017 in The New Normal
Chronic pain, fibromyalgia symptoms, and other physical manifestations can reflect unresolved psychological trauma residuals. But maybe Pilates can help?

Psychotherapy Is THE Biological Treatment

Psychiatric problems come purely from traumatic adaptations as digested by our temperament. Psychotherapy deactivates problematic brain mappings and activates healthier ones.
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Not Talkative? Not Emotional? That’s Okay, and Here’s Why.

By Michael S. Scheeringa M.D. on December 07, 2017 in Stress Relief
If you have PTSD, when you talk about your traumatic memories, do you fall into the categories of Expressive, Avoidant, Undemonstrative, or Fabricated?

Sexual Assault Stories Can Traumatize the Public

Sexual assault stories in the media can traumatize the public, a plea for mindful reporting.
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When Cops Need Help, Why Does It Take Them So Long to Get It

By Ellen Kirschman Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in Cop Doc
When cops need help, Why does it take them so long to get it? Five mistaken beliefs that get in the way and a few ideas to change them.

Snakes in the Toilet!

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on December 01, 2017 in Fighting Fear
When Freudian nightmares become real.

Let Worry Motivate Your Next Move

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in All about Anxiety
Worry motivates us to act on our plans, to stay on task, and to solve problems. It can trigger planning, preparation, and action—but worrying in itself is not acting.

The National Crisis of Disclosure of Sexual Violence

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on November 22, 2017 in Social Lights
Making sense of all the recent reports
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Selling Bad Therapy to Trauma Victims

It takes more than 20 sessions, or about six months of weekly therapy, before therapy patients start to improve.
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Why Don't Victims of Sexual Harassment Come Forward Sooner?

No wonder victims of sexual harassment keep quiet. It is time we supported them, rather than questioning them.
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Refugee Children Need Our Help

Refugees, including many children, from war-ravaged areas continue to flee. Psychologists can document, call attention to, and address to their trauma.
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MeToo: A Watershed Moment

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Collection of bold narratives from a range of writers, male and female, documents the social movement against sexual assault.