trauma

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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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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Trauma induces more alcohol craving than stress among veterans with PTSD and co-occurring alcohol dependence

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependence (AD) are two of the most common and debilitating disorders diagnosed among American military veterans. AD and PTSD often occur together, and this co-occurrence has a worse prognosis than either disorder alone. Alcohol craving is related to relapse, but the relationship between PTSD symptoms, craving, and relapse is not well understood. This study is the first to explore the effects of trauma-induced and stress-induced imagery on alcohol craving,…

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Scaling mental resilience more effectively

Many people get on with their lives after traumatic experiences without any psychological suffering. This is because, in spite of all the trauma, they manage to pigeonhole what they have experienced. Although this sense of coherence was first described in the 1970s, measuring it has remained problematic to this day. Psychologists from the University of Zurich have now developed a questionnaire that renders the sense of coherence in overcoming trauma tangible in a more appropriate…

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Electric patch holds promise for treating PTSD

An average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that had left them depressed, anxious, irritable, hypervigilant, unable to sleep well and prone to nightmares. But for 12 people who were involved in a UCLA-led study — survivors of rape, car accidents, domestic abuse and other traumas — an unobtrusive patch on the forehead provided considerable relief from post-traumatic stress disorder. “We’re talking about patients for whom illness had almost become a way…

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High risk of sleep apnea in young veterans with PTSD

A new study of young U.S. veterans shows that the probability of having a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increased with increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The study involved 195 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who visited a VA outpatient PTSD clinic for evaluation. Results show that 69.2 percent of participants had a high risk for sleep apnea, and this risk increased with PTSD symptom severity. Every clinically significant increase in…

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Mental health soon after war-zone concussions predicts disability

Evaluating military personnel with blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries, researchers have found that early symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as anxiety, emotional numbness, flashbacks and irritability, are the strongest predictors of later disability. The results were surprising because mental health more closely correlated with disability than assessments typically made after concussions, such as tests of memory, thinking, balance, coordination and severity of headaches and dizziness, according to the study led by Washington University School of…

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ADHD plus childhood trauma heightens risk for self-harm, suicide

Young women with ADHD who have been exposed to abuse, neglect or other traumas in childhood and adolescence are at greater risk for self-injury, eating disorders and suicide than those with ADHD who were not mistreated in early youth, according to new research from UC Berkeley. The findings, just reported in the journal Development and Psychopathology, add to a growing body of evidence that environmental factors, including maltreatment in childhood, can have a significant bearing on…

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Is there a better way to treat substance use in adolescents with co-occurring mental health disorders?

The majority (55-74%) of adolescents entering substance use treatment also have psychiatric disorders, such as depression, ADHD and trauma-related problems. Unfortunately, these youth face poorer treatment outcomes (e.g., relapse), and their mental health issues are often not directly addressed. Furthermore, few studies exist to guide those clinicians who would like to use integrated care to treat adolescent with co-occurring disorders. A review published in the new Substance Abuse Special Issue: Evaluating and Addressing Adolescent Alcohol and…

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How early trauma influences behavior

Traumatic events leave their mark. People exposed to a traumatic experience early in life are more likely to be affected by illnesses such as borderline personality disorder or depression. However such experience can also have positive effects in certain circumstances. Thus, moderate stress in childhood may help a person develop strategies to better cope with stress in adulthood. Further, it has long been recognised by psychologists and psychiatrists that the negative effects of trauma experienced…

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