post-traumatic stress disorder

Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger long-term post-traumatic stress

One in six women experience long-term post-traumatic stress following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. This is the finding of the largest ever study into the psychological impact of early-stage pregnancy loss, from scientists at Imperial College London and KU Leuven in Belgium. The research, published in the journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, studied over 650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss, of whom the majority had suffered an early miscarriage (defined as pregnancy…

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PTSD nearly doubles infection risk

First-of-its-kind study finds people with PTSD were 1.8 times as likely to have any infection as those without PTSD, ranging from being 1.3 times as likely to have meningitis, to 1.7 times as likely to have influenza, to 2.7 times as likely to have viral hepatitis. A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study is the first to examine the relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dozens of infection types in a…

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What is survivor’s guilt?

Survivor’s guilt is when a person has feelings of guilt because they survived a life-threatening situation when others did not. It is a common reaction to traumatic events and a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this article, we explore the phenomenon of survivor’s guilt and look at its symptoms and causes. We also discuss some tips for overcoming survivor’s guilt and explain when to seek professional help. What is survivor’s guilt? Survivor’s guilt…

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What is learned helplessness?

Learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They come to believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try — even when opportunities for change become available. Psychologists first described learned helplessness in 1967 after a series of experiments in animals, and they suggested that their findings could apply to humans. Learned helplessness leads to increased feelings of stress and depression. For…

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Psychologists release results of survey of ‘Maria generation’ kids

Psychologists from the Medical University of South Carolina have just published one of the largest post-disaster screening projects in U.S. history. The report, available online through JAMA Network Open, measured the magnitude of Hurricane Maria’s impact on the mental health of children in Puerto Rico. Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, an assistant professor at MUSC in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, grew up in Puerto Rico and led the study. “More than seven percent of youth, 6,900…

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Brain Biomarkers Could Help Identify Those at Risk of Severe PTSD

A study has shed light on the neurocomputational contributions to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans. The findings, published in Nature Neuroscience, revealed distinct patterns for how the brain and body respond to learning danger and safety depending on the severity of PTSD symptoms. These findings could help explain why symptoms of PTSD can be severe for some people but not others. The study was funded in part by the National Institute…

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Diversity Training Programs Nurture Research Career

“It had never occurred to me to do a Ph.D. It’s nothing I’d ever thought of. I didn’t know anyone who’s done a science Ph.D.,” noted Frances Johnson just weeks before matriculating in a neuroscience doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh. She was just completing a summer stint as a trainee in a neuroscience lab at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. A…

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A Shorter—but Effective—Treatment for PTSD

First-line treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often require many treatment sessions and delivery by extensively trained therapists. Now, research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has shown that a shorter therapy may be just as effective as lengthier first-line treatments. The study appeared in the March 2018 issue of JAMA Psychiatry. First-line treatments for PTSD consist of psychotherapies that focus on exposure and/or cognitive restructuring. One such therapy is cognitive processing therapy (CPT), which…

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80% of teenage girls suffer serious mental illness after sexual assault

Four out of five teenage girls who have been sexually assaulted are suffering from crippling mental health problems months after their attack, new research has found. Victims were found to have anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other serious conditions four to five months after being assaulted. Experts said the findings confirmed that becoming a victim of abuse in childhood can lead to mental health issues that can persist into adulthood and last a lifetime.…

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Certain PTSD therapies prove effective long after patients stop treatment

Both civilians and military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reap long-term benefits from psychotherapies used for short-term treatment, according to a new study from Case Western Reserve University. The findings suggest effective and lasting approaches for symptoms of PTSD-a debilitating and typically chronic disorder that rarely diminishes spontaneously and is associated with significant distress, impairment and considerable economic costs. For U.S.-based military veterans alone, lost productivity, health-care and other costs are estimated to be…

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