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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Blog

Related terms: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, PTSD, PSTD

More Evidence of Long-Term Illness in 9/11 Responders

Posted 2 days 17 hours ago by

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 – Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers who came to the rescue at the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, have some of the same chronic health problems that their colleagues in the police and fire departments do, a new study finds. When tracked over 12 years following the attacks, EMS 9/11 responders were seven times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than EMS workers who didn't work that day. Responders were also twice as likely to have depression, according to the study. EMS responders had nearly four times the risk of acid reflux and sinus infections compared to those who weren't at work on the day of the attack. And the risk of obstructive airway disease was more than doubled in EMS responders, the study found. Moreover, those who arrived at the scene right after the attack were most at risk of these physical and ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Serving in Iraq, Afghanistan Not Behind Rising Suicide Rates in Military: Study

Posted 18 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 – In a study of almost 4 million American military personnel, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan was not associated with suicide risk, a new study finds. The suicide rate among members of the military has increased over the past decade and seeing action in Iraq and Afghanistan seemed a likely culprit. But that appears not to be the case, said lead researcher Mark Reger, a clinical psychologist at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash. Rather, it is the separation from the service and readjustment to civilian life that plays a greater role, he said. "Everyone wants a simple answer to the suicide problem in the military," Reger said. "As the suicide rate started increasing, we were also deploying people to Iraq and Afghanistan, so it was reasonable to assume deployment was causing the increase in the suicide rate." But there is no data to support that assumption, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder

Talk Therapy May Cut Suicide Rate Among U.S. Soldiers: Study

Posted 18 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – Short-term cognitive behavioral therapy can lead to fewer suicide attempts among at-risk U.S. soldiers, a new study suggests. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy designed to stop ineffective and damaging patterns of thinking. Mental illness diagnoses among active-duty U.S. military personnel rose by more than 60 percent during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a similar increase in rates of suicide and suicide attempts, the researchers wrote. "The significant increase in military suicides over the past decade is a national tragedy," said study co-author Alan Peterson in a University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio news release. He is a professor of psychiatry at the university's School of Medicine. The study included 152 active-duty soldiers who had attempted suicide or were considered to be at high risk for suicide. Over ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder

Parents of Young Stroke Victims at Risk for PTSD, Researchers Find

Posted 12 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 – Parents of children who suffer a stroke are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a small study suggests. The research included 10 fathers and 23 mothers of children and teens who had suffered a stroke, as well as nine stroke patients between the ages of 7 and 18. The researchers found that 55 percent of the parents met at least one of the PTSD criteria and 24 percent met all the criteria. PTSD was not seen in any of young stroke patients, but 22 percent of them had clinically significant levels of anxiety. "Our concern is that PTSD in parents of a child with stroke or pediatric stroke patients experiencing anxiety may have a harder time complying with therapy, which could affect health outcomes of the child," lead researcher Dr. Laura Lehman, a neurologist at Boston Children's Hospital, said in an American Stroke Association news release. "The ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ischemic Stroke

PTSD May Raise Women's Risk for Diabetes

Posted 8 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 – Women with post-traumatic stress disorder seem more likely than others to develop type 2 diabetes, with severe PTSD almost doubling the risk, a new study suggests. The research "brings to attention an unrecognized problem," said Dr. Alexander Neumeister, director of the molecular imaging program for anxiety and mood disorders at New York University School of Medicine. It's crucial to treat both PTSD and diabetes when they're interconnected in women, he said. Otherwise, "you can try to treat diabetes as much as you want, but you'll never be fully successful," he added. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after living through or witnessing a dangerous event. People with the disorder may feel intense stress, suffer from flashbacks or experience a "fight or flight" response when there's no apparent danger. It's estimated that one in 10 U.S. women will ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Almost Half of U.S. Kids Suffer Traumatic Stress, Study Shows

Posted 11 Dec 2014 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 – New research suggests that almost half of U.S. kids experience traumas that can disrupt their development. "This study tells us that adverse childhood experiences are common among U.S. children and, as demonstrated in adult studies, have lifelong impacts that begin early in life," study author Christina Bethell, a professor in the department of population, family and reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release. The researchers reached their conclusions by analyzing the results of a 2011-2012 survey of the parents of more than 95,000 children under the age of 17. The survey looked at kids who experienced several types of trauma, such as living in extreme poverty, seeing their parents divorce, living with someone who was mentally ill or abused drugs/alcohol, having a parent who served ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Mini-Strokes May Lead to PTSD, Study Finds

Posted 3 Oct 2014 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 2, 2014 – A mini-stroke may not cause lasting physical damage, but it could increase your risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a small, new study suggests. Almost one-third of patients who suffered a mini-stroke – known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) – developed symptoms of PTSD, including depression, anxiety and reduced quality of life, the researchers said. "At the moment, a TIA is seen by doctors as a fairly benign disorder," said study co-author Kathrin Utz, a researcher in the department of neurology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. However, Utz and colleagues found that from a patient's perspective, a TIA is not so benign. "We found one in three patients develop PTSD, which is perhaps better known as a problem found in survivors of war zones and natural disasters," Utz said. PTSD can develop when a person experiences ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Transient Ischemic Attack

Research Shows Possible Neurological Patterns for PTSD Symptoms

Posted 18 Sep 2014 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 18, 2014 – Imaging technology has shed new light on how certain symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manifest in the brain, according to a new study. PTSD is a mental health condition that can cause a wide range of debilitating symptoms, such as flashbacks to a traumatic event, being in a constant state of stress and avoiding certain situation and people, according to background information from the study. Researchers identified a specific opioid receptor in the brain linked to emotion that is also associated with a specific group of PTSD symptoms, including listlessness and emotional detachment. They suggested their findings could help doctors develop targeted, or personalized treatments for the condition. "Our study points toward a more personalized treatment approach for people with a specific symptom profile that's been linked to a particular ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD Link to Food Addiction Seen in Report

Posted 17 Sep 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 – Women who have the largest number of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are almost three times more likely to develop an addiction to food, a new study suggests. The findings don't prove a direct link between PTSD and women overeating or becoming addicted to food. And it's also possible that certain women are prone to food addiction and experiencing trauma, PTSD, or both. Still, the research seems to add to existing evidence connecting PTSD to overeating and obesity, although the overall risk is fairly low, the researchers from the University of Minnesota said. The findings can be helpful, said the study's lead author, Susan Mason, an assistant professor with the university's division of epidemiology and community health. "If clinicians providing mental health care are aware that PTSD is sometimes accompanied by problematic eating behaviors, then they ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Civilian Life, Not Combat, May Drive Many Veterans to Drink

Posted 31 Jul 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 – Difficulties in civilian life, rather than war experiences, are a source of drinking problems among U.S. National Guard soldiers back at home, a new study suggests. Setbacks such as job loss, divorce and financial problems – all common for returning vets – may make as many as 13 percent of vets turn to drink, researchers found. "Exposure to combat-related traumatic events has an important effect on mental health in the short term, but what defines long-term mental health problems among Guardsmen is having to deal with a lot of daily life difficulties that arise in the aftermath of deployment when soldiers come home," said lead researcher Magdalena Cerda, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. These difficulties don't just aggravate existing drinking problems; "they may lead to new ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism

Too Little Known About PTSD Treatments for Veterans, Experts Say

Posted 22 Jun 2014 by

FRIDAY, June 20, 2014 – U.S. government agencies must do more to determine whether treatments are actually helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an expert advisory panel contends. The report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee says that the effectiveness of PTSD therapies remains unknown because they are not tracked by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. "Given that the DoD and VA are responsible for serving millions of service members, families and veterans, we found it surprising that no PTSD outcome measures are used consistently to know if these treatments are working or not," committee chair Sandro Galea, professor and chair of the department of epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, said in an institute news release. Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing an event (such as having a flashback), ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

More U.S. Service Members in Treatment for Mental Health Disorders

Posted 15 Jun 2014 by

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014 – About 3.5 percent of U.S. military personnel were in treatment for mental health conditions in 2012 – up from just 1 percent in 2000, a new military study finds. Experts said the rise is likely due to two factors: an actual increase in mental health disorders since Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; as well as the military's efforts to get more soldiers into treatment. "That second factor is the positive part of this," said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, a psychiatrist and president of the New York-based Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, which studies post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among service members. "The military has become more sensitive to the needs of personnel and their families," said Borenstein, who was not involved in the research. "It's been making an effort to ensure that people who need treatment receive treatment." That ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatric Disorders

ICU Patients at Much Greater Risk for PTSD: Study

Posted 19 May 2014 by

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 – After being discharged from an intensive care unit (ICU), patients are at much greater risk for developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new review finds. "An ICU stay can be traumatic for both patients and their families," researcher Dr. Ann Parker, a pulmonary and critical care medicine fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a news release. "In our analysis of more than 3,400 ICU patients, we found that one quarter of ICU survivors exhibited symptoms of PTSD." People with PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares or angry outbursts. In the review, which was to be presented Monday at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting in San Diego, researchers reviewed 28 previous studies involving 3,428 adults who survived an ICU stay. Of these, 429 were evaluated for symptoms of PTSD one to six months after they were ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Psychiatric Ills Widespread Among U.S. Soldiers: Studies

Posted 3 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 – Three new studies suggest that a sizeable percentage of American soldiers suffer from some type of mental health issue, at rates higher than those seen in the general population. "Some of the differences in disorder rates are truly remarkable," Ronald Kessler, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and senior author of one of the studies, said in a Harvard news release. "The rate of major depression is five times as high among soldiers as civilians, intermittent explosive disorder six times as high, and post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] nearly 15 times as high." Two of the three studies relied on data from the STARRS survey, a major research effort involving almost 5,500 soldiers. The survey is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army and the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). All of the studies were released online ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Modern War Wounds Can Devastate Vets' Sexual, Emotional Health

Posted 21 Feb 2014 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2014 – The tools of war have changed. With the increased use of powerful explosive devices, men and women patrolling on foot in bomb-laced areas of combat are increasingly suffering traumatic injuries to the groin and genitals, experts say. Those injuries can pose complex long-term sexual and psychological challenges. It is hard to even imagine having your genitals crushed, burned or ripped off in a blast by a makeshift bomb, said Dr. Chris Gonzalez, the lead author of a new review article published recently in The Journal of Men's Health. "For some, it's even worse than losing a limb," he said. The impact of so-called "improvised explosive devices" (IEDs) is different from gun fire encountered in earlier combat, explained Gonzalez, who is a professor of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. "The energy comes from the ground up, so ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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