Once a year, you can find the world's trauma experts, the Dart Center's staff and the journalists who won Dart's annual Ochberg Fellowships in one place: the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. This year the place is Chicago, and while the fellows are bonding in their fourth day of seminars, I'm wandering in and out of panels learning about the cutting edge of trauma research from psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, counselors, administrators, advocates, journalists, and even clergy. Today through Sunday, I'll be blogging their nuggets of wisdom here.
Resources for PTSD & Mental Health
Journalists in Switzerland and Germany are talking about the case of Carl Just: a war reporter suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who just sued his former employer. Just's lawsuit appears to be the first suit for work-related PTSD to be brought by a journalist against a European media company.
According to a study in the September 2008 American Journal of Preventive Medicine, there are only a few proven, effective practices for treating children with post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet more than 75% of mental health professionals may be practicing something else.
According to a meta-analysis of 19 studies, trauma and PTSD symptoms may precede a reduction in the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory. The findings seem to support a physical, neurological component to PTSD.
As a risk factor for heart disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is like “smoking two to three packs of cigarettes per day for more than 20 years,” according to a Geisinger study published in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Military: A Selected Bibliography" has just been uploaded to the US Army War College website. The bibliography is an update of a 2005 bibliography compiled by the same librarian, Lori Sekala.
Last week, Alysa Landry at the Daily Times in Farmington, New Mexico penned a moving three-part series on veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Part one, Combat that Never Ends, tells the stories of Vietnam veterans who have wrestled with PTSD for decades, but only recently been diagnosed or treated.