How well-connected a particular brain network is, and how successfully memories are formed, may determine which patients with post-traumatic stress disorder benefit from behavioral therapy, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.
The finding could indicate a biological subtype of PTSD whose clinical relevance only becomes obvious when patients undergo treatment, the researchers said. Furthermore, by replicating their results across a diverse range of patients, the researchers were able to clearly and objectively characterize a biological signature in PTSD patients who differ in their response to behavioral therapy. more
“Let it go, let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore.” Okay, to most wide-eyed children, Elsa from Disney’s Frozen is just this super-cool, kind of complicated snow queen with a great singing voice and a killer side braid. But if you really boil it down, the character is oh-so-relatable to the adult set, too. Think about it: She spends most of her life hiding from the outside world. She’s so worried about what might happen that she secludes herself from all of it. Beyond withdrawing from her family and friends, she avoids her problems instead of accepting or dealing with them. And not to get all clinical, but might it be possible that Elsa was suffering from some pretty intense anxiety while she was refusing to build a snowman with sweet Anna?
Sure, it’s a cheeky comparison, but in today’s ever-busy, always-working, rise-and-grind #hustleculture, all people are practically wired for anxiety. We may not have to worry about dudes trying to steal our castles and family fortune (probably), but the demands of life today are no joke, whether you’re a successful CEO, an analyst by day and yoga instructor by night, or a living-paycheck-to-paycheck recent grad trying to figure out WTF to do next. So, in the event your worries ever percolate into anxiety-attack territory, here’s what to do. more
THEY ARE THE COUNSELORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS OFTEN BEST ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE RECOVER BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN THERE THEMSELVES.
Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or text “Hopeline” to the National Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
From China to Europe, from India to South America, average suicide rates around the world have fallen 33 percent since 1990.
Not in the United States. American suicide rates are at their highest levels since World War II, making suicide the second leading cause of death between ages 10-34, government data show.
The increase in suicides, combined with record levels of drug overdoses and alcohol-related fatalities, are so extreme that they’re lowering the life expectancy of the average American. Mental health problems disable more American workers than any other affliction — suburban, rural or urban — and caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue are epidemic. more
It took me a quarter of a century (literally) to realize that I experienced trauma throughout certain points in my childhood. It took me another year to realize that my behaviors were deeply rooted in how I responded to that trauma. And it took me even longer to realize that my emotions during those years were not normal.
It seems obvious, doesn’t it?
The thing was… no one told me that the things I was doing weren’t normal. And a lot of times, as a kid, if someone doesn’t outright tell you something, then you have no idea.
I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal to self-harm at twelve years old. All of the friends I’d chosen were doing it so I assumed ALL preteens were doing it. None of us hurt ourselves to fit in with each other (we actually knew each other for quite a while before admitting to one another that we were self-harming), but we were all doing it to cope with something. We were all kids with messy stories, which drew us together like magnets. more
The family of a veteran who took his own life is sharing his story in hopes of saving others.
Ricky Holmes, a United States Marine, was 22-years-old when he committed suicide.
“He grew up in North Providence and West Warwick,” said Ricky’s father, Russ Holmes.
Ricky’s stepmother, Sherry Holmes, described him as a gentle giant.
“He was always so kind to everyone,” Sherry said.
Russ shared similar sentiments.
“He was a happy-go-lucky kid with the whole world in front of him,” said Russ. more
After applying for DD214 online and receiving the document, it could be easy to think that the veteran has left everything to do with their service behind.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Many veterans suffer with mental illness after returning from duty and this affects everyone, including the service members and their families.
It is entirely possible that some people may not experience some of these symptoms until a few years after leaving the armed forces. They may also delay seeking help for several reasons, such as thinking that they can cope, fear of criticism or feeling that therapists will not understand.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is perhaps the most infamous mental health problem veterans face after returning from duty. more
Fireworks-heavy holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July can put dogs on edge
I have what’s been described as an intimidating dog. She’s part Rottweiler, part God knows what. Earlier this week, my husband and I watched her jump and bark at two coyotes we spotted during her evening walk. She’s the same size as they were, but hearing her growl, the coyotes quickly scurried away from her.
While she often appears to be fearless, she becomes a ball of nerves on holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, when our neighbors shoot fireworks well into the wee hours of the morning — and often for days afterward. We live in Los Angeles, where firecrackers are illegal but firmly entrenched in the city’s culture. Drought-devastated Southern California doesn’t get many rainstorms, but when thunder does occur, it sets my dog on edge too. more
Hallucinations and Combat Veterans with PTSD
Among combat veterans with PTSD, 30-40% report auditory hallucinations(AH). AH are more frequent in combat veterans with chronic PTSD and it has been suggested that this may reflect a distinct subtype of PTSD that may be under recognized for two reasons: first, patients are reluctant to report AH and, second, more emphasis has, traditionally, been placed on the intrusive images associated with PTSD and less on intrusive auditory hallucinations.
It is important to recognize that such patients do not have the overt changes in affect or bizarre delusions characteristic of other psychoses e.g. schizophrenia. AH in PTSD appears to be seen more in veterans with higher combat exposure and more intense PTSD symptoms and who report more severe symptoms of hyperarousal. The AH are typically: ego-dystonic; contribute to an increases sense of isolation and shame; associated with feelings of lack of controllability; consist of combat-related themes and guilt; non bizarre; not associated with thought disorders and, overall, more refractory to treatment interventions. more
I don’t let very many people into my apartment. It’s partially because I’m an introvert and like my alone time, but it’s mostly because I struggle to maintain a level of cleanliness fit for company. There are usually a couple dirty dishes lying around, I haven’t vacuumed in a while, throw blankets are tossed haphazardly onto the couch. I keep a very “lived in” space compared to my more put-together friends. It’s an image that is totally at odds with what people see when I’m out in public, which is this powerhouse of a woman who’s totally got her life together. But both people are me; I just have PTSD, an invisible illness that can sometimes make everyday tasks too overwhelming to handle.
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is most commonly associated with military veterans, but anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event can develop the condition, according to Mayo Clinic. Dr. Shainna Ali, licensed mental health counselor, educator, and clinical supervisor, tells Bustle that trauma itself is subjective, meaning that something might be traumatic for one person but not traumatic for another person. For me, that traumatic experience was repeated sexual assault when I was a teenager. more
Approximately one in five adults in the US — 43.8 million — experiences mental illness in a given year, according to The National Alliance on Mental Illness. That being said, it’s no surprise that each and every year researchers put time and enormous amounts of money into tackling the growing mental health crisis.
It seems in 2018, much of their hard work paid off — around the world researchers crumbled myths and opened new doors as they aimed to better comprehend the complicated world of invisible illnesses.
Here are 10 of the most important things we learned about mental health in 2018. more