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    What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

    Though it may seem like a relatively simple concept, trauma—a powerful experience that may have long-lasting effects—has not always been defined the same. Scientists continue to study experiences of trauma in hopes of finding better treatments. One particular type of trauma is known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    PTSD can affect many different people, from survivors of rape and survivors of natural disasters to military service men and women. Roughly 10 percent of women and 5 percent of men are diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetimes, and many others will experience some adverse effects from trauma at some point in their lives. According to the National institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 30 adults in the U.S. suffer from PTSD in a given year—and that risk is much higher in veterans of war.

    Not all “traumatic” events meet the clinical standards for trauma. The loss of a loved one or the limitations resulting from an illness may cause trauma but the shock of such events is not in itself abnormal. PTSD includes both an event that threatens injury to self or others and a response to those events that involves persistent fear, helplessness or horror.

    Learn more about PTSD

    Read about PTSD, veterans and active-duty service members in the Veterans Resource Center.

    Listen to Maj. Gen. David N. Blackledge discuss his own experiences with PTSD.

    Recent scientific understanding shows that experiencing traumatic events can change the way our brains function. Especially with severe or repeated exposure, the brain can be affected in such a way that makes a person feel like the event is happening again and again. Repeated experience of the traumatic event can prevent healing and keep a person stuck in a pattern that may induce anxiety, sleeplessness, anger or an increased possibility of substance abuse.

    The Neurobiology of PTSD

    People are programmed to respond to threats to their safety. Unfortunately, this set of adaptive responses in the face of terror, which are lifesaving in the moment, can leave people with ongoing, long-term psychological symptoms. The biological mechanisms that encourage the powerful and protective “fight or flight” response and maximize physical safety at the time, such as enabling a woman to fight off an attacker during a sexual assault, can create complex problems later.

    When faced with terror, less critical body functions (e.g., the parts of the brain where memory, emotion and thinking are processed) get "turned off" in the service of immediate physical safety. Specifically, this “fight or flight” response increases the heart rate, moves more blood to muscles in order to run and adds stress hormones to help fight off infection and bleeding in case of a wound. As a result, the traumatic experiences are not integrated at the time they happen because the body is focusing entirely on immediate physical safety. A poorly integrated traumatic experience can be unpredictable and unexpected. The unprocessed memories of a traumatic event can occur without warning. As long as thoughts, memories and feelings associated with the trauma remain disconnected from the actual event, it is difficult for people living with PTSD to access their inner experiences because the normal flow of emotion remains deeply affected by the traumatic event.



    [Download the NAMI PTSD fact sheet.]


  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jackbu. Show jackbu's posts


    Peer pressure can be rough.  Young kids don't choose their families, schools and don't have control over who bullies them.  At the age of 13, getting bullied by peers can be the worst thing in the world.

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    Deciding who does or does not have PTSD from afar is just crazy.  It's like saying you can detect whether someone's pain is real or not over the internet.  


    I'm sorry about your friend.  It sounds like they truly suffered.  But you cannot judge the suffering of others.  It doesn't make your friend's pain any less real. 

    *This is the first time I've ever commented on anything on the internet.*

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    Fear of being judged is also one of the very factors that keeps people from asking for help, sometimes ending in tragic consequences for everyone. 

    *This is the first time I've ever commented on anything on the internet.*

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    Vicarious Traumatization (it's under the PTSD umbrella). 

    It's real.

    Avatar from "The Art of Catherine Darling Hostetter" 


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    I'd have PTSD too if I was "friends" with Jeeps.


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    You know, this reminds me of when PorkChop created the helpful "butthurt" form.  I think that made our LL discussions a lot more focused and actionable and gave some common definitions to some previously ambigious concepts.

    Perhaps we need to create a "PTSD approval form" that some subset of LL requlars could use to understand and validate LW's and Commentor's self or professional diagnoses of PTSD.   

    Jeeps could chair the committee perhaps and be the judge and jury in the process.  I'm sure others would volunteer to serve on the board.  That way we can be sure that any LW's and  Commenters who give advice that touches upon PTSD were approriately vetted and able to share their past experiences and beliefs.    Conversely, if an application was rejected, that person would be banned from sharing their perspective (and hopefully shunned).

    To make this all work, we'd have to decide on the voting process.   Is unanimous agreement required?  How about 2/3rd majority?  We'd also need some sort of an appeal process and perhaps an ombudsman role to handle any complaints from disgruntled parties.  Budget permitting, perhaps we could even hire a psychiatrist and keep him/her on retainer as needed.   Finally, hiring a consultant to create some process flows and swim lane charts to illustrate clear roles and responsibilities would likely be a great use of whatever remaining budget we can all come up with. 



    Or...perhaps we could all just stay out of it and have a modicum of respect for others.   


     - Montyy

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    Turkey WHAT?