Understanding the Importance of Mindsets

Understanding the importance of mindsets is critical to healing. Let’s talk about what patients with PTSD have said and what it means to have PTSD. Patients with PTSD have said….. “In war, you die a death that you live with for the rest of your life.” “The vision of horror was now permanently stamped in my mind.” “When you get back to the world, your traumas become your everyday struggles.” “What do you do when you don’t know what else to do?” “Before therapy, I didn’t understand why I was… Read More »Understanding the Importance of Mindsets

Trauma Symptoms

There are trauma symptoms that you should be watching out for when you or your loved one suffers a trauma. These include mental or cognitive reactions, physical reactions, and behavioral reactions. Below is a list of symptoms and reactions to look for. Mental (cognitive) Reactions Blaming someone Change in alertness Changes in the way you think about yourself Confusion Changes in the way you think about the world Difficulty concentrating Changes in the way you think about other people Difficulty making decisions Heightened awareness of your surroundings (hypervigilance) Loss of… Read More »Trauma Symptoms

PTSD causes and triggers

Now let’s talk about PTSD causes and triggers. As humans, we are born with built-in alarms systems to alert us to danger so we can either “fight or flee.” That alarm system, which is commonly called the “limbic system” or the “arousal system”, is vital to our survival. When activated by stress, the alarm system prepares you to fight off an attack or to flee (escape), which means your heart rate and breathing rate increase, muscles tense, adrenaline rushes, etc. Our alarm system does not know time or location; it… Read More »PTSD causes and triggers

PTSD in combat veterans

PTSD in combat veterans is a very common occurrence. The estimates of lifetime PTSD are 8% of veterans. Lifetime prevalence rates for Vietnam vets is 30.9% for men and 26.9% for women. 22.5% of men and 21.2% of women have subclinical PTSD. The current prevalence rates for Gulf War vets is 12.1%. Prevalence rates for Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom are 13.8%. There are many symptoms of PTSD. These include intrusive symptoms, negative alterations in cognition’s and mood, and changes in arousal and reactivity. PTSD in combat veterans can manifest… Read More »PTSD in combat veterans

Hardcover Edition Now Available!

I am so excited to announce that Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is now available in hardcover! I have autographed copies available on my website for $20 with free shipping. Or if you would prefer, Amazon has un-autographed copies available for $25.95 with free Prime shipping. Now I Lay Me Down to sleep is a valuable age-appropriate resource that can encourage open and honest communication to help families deal with mental illness, and remove the stigma of seeking help through therapy. My goal is to impart hope, reassure… Read More »Hardcover Edition Now Available!

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a very hot topic. The United States and her allies have been involved in the Global War on Terrorism for over 10 years. We have seen a lot of veterans suffering from PTSD because of this. Over three million military personal have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq during this period. More than 3 million combat deployments have been ordered since September 11, 2011. Approximately 800,000 veterans have deployed two, three, four or more times since the beginning of the conflict. Post Traumatic… Read More »Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD in veterans: Stressors

Our topic today is PTSD in Veterans: Stressors. Here’s a few statistics you may not have known. The total number individuals serving in the United States Armed Services is more than 3.6 million. Active Duty members make up 39.4% of that. Ready Reserve Duty represents 29.2%. DOD Civilian personnel is 24.9%. In 2010 approximately 40% of veterans were 65 years old or older. There are many reasons for people to join. Some people join the Armed Services to travel. Others join because it is a family tradition. Patriotism is also… Read More »PTSD in veterans: Stressors

PTSD in veterans: Military Culture

Our next topic is PTSD in veterans: Military Culture. Why is it important to be culturally competent? Increasing numbers of health care professionals with no prior military service history or experience working with military Service Members, Veterans, or their families are being called upon to deliver patient care to these rapidly growing populations. For current and former military Service members, the explicit organizational structures and implicit ideals and values comprising military culture play a significant and lifelong role in injury, illness, and recovery. In all fields of health care, but… Read More »PTSD in veterans: Military Culture

PTSD Avoidance and Safety Behaviors

Avoidance behaviors Many who suffer from PTSD exhibit PTSD Avoidance and Safety Behaviors. When an activity, place, thing, or situation makes you uncomfortable, a natural impulse is to avoid it altogether or escape from it as quickly as possible. When you have PTSD, behavior often changes as you try to avoid the triggers in your environment. Common examples of avoidance behaviors for veterans with PTSD include: Staying away from malls, movie theaters, sports arenas, restaurants, and other crowded public spaces. Refusing to ride in the passenger seat. Shopping late at… Read More »PTSD Avoidance and Safety Behaviors

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Triggers

What do you know about Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Triggers? Let’s start with what a trigger is. A trigger is an event, object, or cue that elicits feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, or other types of distress. Triggers are often harmless, but have become associated with the original trauma. For most people with PTSD, triggers are not inherently dangerous, but remind them of their traumatic experiences. The amygdala (old brain) recognizes the similarity and not realizing that the danger is over produces a surge of anxiety which activates the fight or… Read More »Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Triggers