Saturday, May 30, 2009

PTSD in the News: Weekly Roundup


I'm trying out a new format for the news today: short synopses rather than just a linked title. Like? Dislike? Don't care?
Let me know what you prefer....

Also, a short note before the news: For those of you chiming in and/or following the 'Forgiveness' thread going on here with Nancy Richard's post and then mine, I think you'll find Jaliya's latest installment a really interesting way to further the ideas being bandied about.

Civilian PTSD

PTSD Can Surface for Years After Initial Trauma, 9/11 Study Shows A new study that assessed New Yorkers exposed to the events of September 11, 2001 provides additional evidence that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can surface up to 2 years after the event in individuals with preexisting emotional or social problems

Protocol for investigating genetic determinants of posttraumatic stress disorder in women We posit inherited vulnerability to PTSD is mediated by genetic variation in three specific neurobiological systems whose alterations are implicated in PTSD etiology: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the locus coeruleus/noradrenergic system, and the limbic-frontal neuro-circuitry of fear. The secondary, exploratory aim of this study is to dissect genetic influences on PTSD in the broader genetic and environmental context for the candidate genes that show significant association with PTSD in detection analyses.

Bitterness as mental illness? Embittered people are typically good people who have worked hard at something important, such as a job, relationship or activity, Linden says. When something unexpectedly awful happens -- they don't get the promotion, their spouse files for divorce or they fail to make the Olympic team -- a profound sense of injustice overtakes them. -- Still wondering how anyone can call this a disorder of the PTSD variety.

Bitterness: The Next Mental Disorder? In its discussion of post-traumatic embitterment disorder, the APA may have correctly gauged the mood of the country, but as usual it has ignored or shunted aside most of the explanatory context, to pathologize the individual in all of her or his frustrated grievance. -- I'm, um, beginning to feel a little bitter about these stories.

Tornado survivor finally finds relief. Getting help (in the form of EMDR) was key.


Combat PTSD

TEAGUE'S PTSD MEASURE LOOKS TO AID TROOPS Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M., said Wednesday he will introduce next week a bill aimed at bolstering services to address post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition affecting a growing number of troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation, titled the Kyle Barthel Veterans and Service Members Mental Health Screening Act, would mandate mental health screening for personnel upon induction into the military, before and after deployment to a combat zone, and before discharge.

Post traumatic stress, suicidal soldiers and the nightmare. The consensus amongst physiatrists and psychologists alike is that suicide can be attributed to brain injuries and severe stress or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Because there is a stigma among Western society and certainly in the military concerning mental illness, soldiers are hesitant to seek help and treatment. New programs are being implemented to educate service men and women to identify symptoms and to encourage them to seek help for PTSD.

Army Launching Program To Train Soldiers To Combat Post-Traumatic Stress. Faced with a growing number of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cases in the armed forces, the U.S. Army will begin a program this summer to proactively address the problem by focusing on building the mental resilience of its personnel.

Rowing for Veterans. Cook's trip is sponsored by Rivers of Recovery, a non-profit program that helps raise awareness for veterans with disabilities. As executive director of the program, Cook is stopping at major metropolitan areas along the Missouri River and visiting veterans' hospitals to get the word out about the physiological benefits of recreational activity.

Paula Schnurr is a leading expert on post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD - at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She told EarthSky that 15% of those serving in Iraq might suffer from this disorder.

Veterans Affairs Money Flows To Rural Oregon Programs. The Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center found out Thursday it will receive almost $2 million for rural mental health care in Oregon.

McCormick Foundation, Major League Baseball Announce $2.6 Million in Additional Grants for "Welcome Back Veterans". The McCormick Foundation's Board of Directors has approved $2.6 million in 2009 grants as part of Welcome Back Veterans, a national public awareness and fundraising initiative to address the mental health and employment needs of America's veterans and their families.

New weapons available to fight military stress. Wounded soldiers back from the battlegrounds rehabilitate at places like Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed. Now the military is taking steps to improve their care once they leave.

"A Wound in the Mind", a short novel of combat-related stress disorder penned by Francis J. Partel Jr. Mr. Partel was a young naval officer who served in the Southeast Asian naval theater in which his book takes place.

VA reaches out to veterans. Years of free health care are available to those who served in 2 battle zones.

Horse therapy helping Ft. Huachuca soldiers cope with war stress. The Warriors in Transition Unit helps soldiers adjust their feelings of isolation, anger and grief. One way to help is with horses.

Online Network Available to Veterans. California has a sophisticated new web site this Memorial Day weekend, linking veterans to thousands of different services. Network of Care directs war veterans and others to programs designed to mend wounds both visible and invisible.


(Photo: Claudiaveja)

7 comments:

Jaliya said...

Great format, Michele! Yes to it :-)

I'm agog at the cascade of information now coming out re: PTSD and its offshoots ... and am reminded of how awareness of child abuse suddenly peaked around 1984 ...

Embitterment as a clinical subset of PTSD? ... My gut response is, *Crap!!* It gives an already species-wide behaviour an excuse for its perpetration. Embitterment, I think, is becoming a norm as more and more humans grapple for basic sustenance on a rapidly shrinking planet (so to speak) ... Is bitterness not a character trait, hardened by habitual behaviour over time? Or is it being considered an emotion?

Isn't bitter behaviour really a "civilized", "adult" version of the temper tantrum? Isn't bitter a variation on the theme of PISSED OFF? ... as in, one of the variants of anger?! -- #@&! ;-D

... Interesting that this whole "embitterment disorder" matter arises during bloggy conversations about forgiveness ... !

Bitter behaviour *is* disordered; it brings injury and harm; it creates chaos and relational rupture. But bitterness as a quality? ... that's a more or less conscious and chosen character trait.

There's my pissed-off two cents about bitterness! What, me bitter! My *bad*! ... Yeah, I do feel bitter at times. What human doesn't? It's what we *do* with the bitter feeling that matters ...

All that said (blathered, really), I'm now going to read your links and do me some research! :-)

Thanks for all you're doing here ...

P.S. Wondering if bitter behaviour also arises in part from chronic and cumulative physical tension and pain ... "hardness of body = hardness of mind" ...?

Laura Burlingame-Lee said...

Hi Michele - I'd like to link to your blog from mine, "The Other Side of the Couch." Would you be interested in a mutual link? I'm also still very interested in doing a post for your blog. (And although I'm a "member of the establishment" in terms of APA, I detest how easy it's becoming to stick a label on the different experiences...bitterness? PUL-LEEZE!)
Thanks - Laura

Michele Rosenthal said...

@Jaliya - You raise an interesting chicken/egg question: what comes first, bitterness or bodyness? I'm going to guess bitterness b/c (as a chinese doctor told me yesterday) the body only reflects a state of mind. And: the body is always the last place a symptom shows up.... There's some food for thought! (And I never mind you blathering, you're always interesting!)

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