Paper: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder What Happens in the Brain?


This is an excellent paper by Sethanne Howard and Mark W. Crandall, MD, of the US Naval Observatory, retired, Wash. DC, Reisterstown, Maryland.

Abstract: This is a brief look at the processes that lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and what happens in the brain. We take a light handed approach to the insides of the brain, not to demean but to promote understanding. PTSD is a disabling misery that is best understood through information.

I read the first paragraph and it clearly outlined the progression of my PTSD. I can even pinpoint the event and the moment when I woke up “broken”.  The complex part of it set in as I struggled to cope with the effects of a mid-life medical trauma.  I found I was no longer able to push aside the thoughts and memories of my abusive childhood.  I couldn’t silence my inner critic and couldn’t handle the emotions that took over my life.  My symptoms compounded, feeding the cycle of stress, metabolic dysfunction and mental unwell-ness until I simply couldn’t function as I once had.

The authors are correct in saying that information is essential for PTSD patients (and those who love them).

While they discuss this with some sense of permanence of the condition, there is hope.  Combating the physiological issues associated with PTSD, including management of stress levels, control of blood sugar, rest, and proper nutrition can help.

http://www.washacadsci.org/Journal/Journalarticles/V.93-3-Post%20Traumatic%20Stress%20Disorder.%20Sethanne%20Howard%20and%20Mark%20Crandalll.pdf

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