Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder News

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that causes a person to feel threatened and afraid when there is no threat. When people are in real danger, several changes occur within the body to help them survive or avoid the threat. This is often known as a "fight or flight" response where chemicals are released to prompt the reaction to the threat. But when a person has PTSD, the body enters this state even when there is no danger.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is usually associated with war veterans, but it affects many others who suffer traumatic events. For example, people who are victims of crimes, car accidents or natural disasters also frequently experience PTSD afterward.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The typical case of PTSD will involve three categories of symptoms: re-experiencing, avoidance or hyperarousal. Re-experiencing symptoms bring back the trauma all over again and include flashbacks, frightening thoughts or bad dreams. With avoidance symptoms, the person with PTSD tends to withdraw from people or activities that were once enjoyable. Finally, with hyperarousal symptoms, a person with PTSD may seem constantly on edge, easily startled or ready to snap at any moment. He or she may also have difficulty sleeping.

Treatment

PTSD can be treated, typically with some combination of psychotherapy and medication. The types of therapy that are helpful for PTSD include talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. The antidepressants paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft) are also approved for treating adults with PTSD.

SOURCE: U.S. National Institute of Mental Health

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6/12/2019
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The Health Effects of Life Trauma

Does stress from significant life events increase heart disease risk?

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Childhood Trauma and Adult Health

Childhood trauma may increase the risk of heart disease in adulthood, according to new research.

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Hurricanes' Toll on Mental Health Will Linger

Psychiatrist offers advice on coping with the aftermath

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Marijuana May Help Ease Nerve Pain, Review Finds

But evidence for using pot to treat other types of pain or post-traumatic stress remains inconclusive

7/17/2017
9/11 Survivors More Likely to Have Heart, Lung Diseases

Study found those exposed to dust cloud also more prone to develop asthma

7/13/2017
PTSD After Head Injury May Signal Brain Changes

Study found area linked to emotions was larger in soldiers who had both conditions

6/23/2017
Risky Behavior Triggers Vicious Cycle for Vets With PTSD

Report finds reckless acts a symptom of disorder, and they increase the odds of another traumatic experience

5/15/2017
'Fight or Flight' Response Greater in Combat Vets With PTSD: Study

This heightened stress could increase their risk for heart disease, researchers say

4/27/2017
Opioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study

Researchers conclude that use of the painkillers is 'an American problem,' not a VA problem

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Genes May Govern Your Risk for PTSD

Link with the psychiatric disorder is more apparent for women, study contends

4/19/2017
A 'Brainwave' to Help Fight PTSD

Study is preliminary, but suggests an acoustic 'feedback' technology might help some patients

3/22/2017
Suicide Often Leaves Mental, Physical Woes in Surviving Spouse

Rates of PTSD and depression are higher, but so too are liver problems and back pain, study finds

3/13/2017
Refugees Deserve Health Care, Compassion, U.S. Pediatricians Say

New policy statement urges government to keep families together, not place kids in detention centers

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Study Links Psychiatric Disorders to Stroke Risk

Mental health woes may trigger chronic fight-or-flight response, researchers suggest

2/1/2017
Parents of Kids With Heart Defects Face PTSD Risk: Study

They're also more likely to suffer depression, anxiety -- and new moms particularly vulnerable

1/2/2017
Sleep May Help People Process Traumatic Events

Researchers find sleep weakens emotions stemming from disturbing events

12/8/2016
Turning to an Ancient Art to Help Ease PTSD in Veterans

Small study suggests that Tai Chi could reduce symptoms, but a larger trial is needed