Category Archive: PTSD

May 14

PTSD Prediction

PTSD Prediction Table of Symptoms

For people who have been exposed to violence or trauma, and who naturally experience some symptoms of anxiety, what approaches are most useful for PTSD prediction? The majority of people exposed to violence or trauma do not go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD, but, depending on the nature of the trauma (sexual …

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May 14

Media Violence – Psychological Effects

Media Violence Psychological Effects

A lot of attention has been focused on the question of whether exposure to media violence is linked to an increase in violent behavior. Less attention has been focused on the question of the other psychological effects of exposure to media violence. The recent study presented at the British Psychological Society’s 2015 annual meeting suggests …

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May 28

Stress and Trauma as Risk Factors for Bipolar

I have long been interested in the relationship between traumatic experiences and bipolar disorder. A couple of years ago I gave a presentation at the University of California, San Francisco, Bipolar Disorder Clinic on the topic. I got interested in the issue because I noticed how many of the women in my clinic with bipolar …

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May 09

Mood Swings – What Causes Them?

What causes mood swings? What do we think about when someone says their mood has been “up and down?”Among the most common causes of mood shifts are the following: A mood disorder such as bipolar, or an atypical depression. Bipolar as a cause is obvious, but an atypical depression can also be associated with mood swings. …

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Feb 20

Passing on PTSD to Children

At a recent scientific meeting, Rachael Yehada showed that traits that are related to posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD can be passed on to children during pregnancy. Mothers in New York City who were pregnant on September 11, 2001 and developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had children with low cortisol in their blood (a sign of …

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Feb 03

Media Makes PTSD Much Worse

  It was a sunny October day in 1989. Game 3 of the Battle of the Bay baseball World Series between Oakland and San Francisco. Then the largest earthquake in almost a hundred years hit the bay area. I was, as it happens, in my therapist’s office, my wife was at work. I rushed home …

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Nov 07

PTSD Psychotherapy Affects Gene Activity

  Mind-body dualism seems alive and well in the land of mental health. I am still surprised how often someone will say, “well that’s not a biological depression.” Meaning that it is the kind of depression that can be understood as a result of events in that person’s life, or that it can be treated …

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Sep 15

Child Abuse Update

Twenty years ago the National Research Council (NRC) issued a comprehensive report on child abuse. That report noted that child abuse was much more common than previously thought and called for urgent action. This past week the NRC and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released an update: New Directions in Child Abuse Research. The good …

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Aug 30

Childhood Trauma – Brain Effects

Experiencing trauma in childhood is associated with changes in the brain during teenage years, according to a study of 117 adolescents using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The researchers compared MRI’s from age 12 with MRI’s from age 16. They asked the teenagers about childhood trauma and also did psychiatric diagnostic interviews. There were significant differences in …

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Jul 10

Yoga Nidra as a Strategy to Cope with Insomnia

Many adults struggle with insomnia several nights a week. To maximize good health, it is important to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. More sleep can help decrease the risk of getting heart disease, stroke, or breat cancer. Insomnia can be extremely frustrating to deal with, for it can be exhausting to …

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Feb 05

10% of Americans Suffered Childhood Sexual Abuse

Approximately 10 percent of American adults were sexually abused as children, according to a study reported in Comprehensive Psychiatry. They are more at risk of psychopathology and suicide attempts than are adults who were not sexually abused as children. This study fits with other evidence. The global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% for females …

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