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On August 29, the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) celebrated its 25th anniversary. For the past 25 years, the Center has been the leader in research and education helping those who are living with PTSD. I was privileged to be a part of the team that started the Center, and for being part of an ever-growing number of people who work to further understanding of the consequences of being exposed to a traumatic event.
The proposal to create the Center arose from the growing mental health needs of Vietnam Veterans and others, and the recognition in 1980 of the PTSD diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association. In 1984 Congress directed VA to form a National Center for PTSD "to carry out and promote the training of health-care and related personnel in, and research into, the causes and diagnosis of PTSD and the treatment of Veterans for PTSD."
The Department of Veterans Affairs established the National Center for PTSD in 1989 as a center of excellence that would set the agenda for research and education on PTSD. The diagnosis of PTSD had been formalized only 9 years earlier, in the third edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The new diagnosis -- for symptoms that had been observed in the medical literature after the Great London Fire in 1666 and had been described in more recent medical literature as railway spine, shell shock, and rape trauma syndrome -- significantly increased research on the consequences of exposure to horrific, life-threatening events. (DOI: 10.1002/jts.2490050310).
Sure, exercise is good for your body, but did you ever think about how it could boost your mood?
Happify, a website dedicated to helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, put together an infographic exploring all the ways fitness makes us happier -- and also how to make our workouts more fun.
Women who have the largest number of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are almost three times more likely to develop an addiction to food, a new study suggests.
The findings don't prove a direct link between PTSD and women overeating or becoming addicted to food. And it's also possible that certain women are prone to food addiction and experiencing trauma, PTSD, or both.
Still, the research seems to add to existing evidence connecting PTSD to overeating and obesity, although the overall risk is fairly low, the researchers from the University of Minnesota said.
The findings can be helpful, said the study's lead author, Susan Mason, an assistant professor with the university's division of epidemiology and community health. "If clinicians providing mental health care are aware that PTSD is sometimes accompanied by problematic eating behaviors, then they may be able to offer better and more tailored care to their patients," she said.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops in some people after they experience a horrific event, like a natural disaster, violence or warfare. Those with PTSD may become endlessly vigilant, have a difficult-to- impossible time relaxing, and can develop flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety.
A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the students’ backgrounds likely are not the cause of the differences.
According to the Center for Civil Rights, although the United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, segregation is still on the rise. To better understand segregation’s impact on student performance, FPG scientists looked at nearly 4000 first graders in public schools nationwide.
“When the minority composition of schools was 75% or more, the growth in African American first graders’ reading skills lagged behind their African-American peers in more integrated schools,” said Kirsten Kainz, FPG’s director of statistics. “This alone wasn’t news. Numerous studies have shown how the performance of African American students suffers in segregated schools.”
Kainz said that researchers have long faced a difficult problem when investigating the reasons behind differences in reading development or other learning outcomes in segregated settings.
By Steve LePore Founder and Executive Director of 1in6, Inc.
I was encouraged this week by the National Football League’s appointment of an expert panel to help"lead and shape the NFL’s policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault." The move came in response to a series of domestic-violence and abuse incidents involving NFL players Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy.
Understandably, the focus has been on confronting the visible, egregious actions of those players and the people they hurt. The resulting discussion also provides a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of how the complex, life-long impacts of sexual abuse, assault and interpersonal violence affect both men and women. I was reminded of the reality that many more players on professional teams may be survivors of childhood trauma as well – including sexual and physical abuse and domestic violence..........
Obviously, no trauma history justifies abusive or violent behavior. But I am hopeful that other professionals in the field will share my belief that looking at how traumatic experiences might impact adult behaviors is a critical step toward changing cultural norms. Indeed, trauma-informed practices and policies have allowed for a historically positive shift in how mental-health professionals, educators, and law enforcement treat and respond to survivors of abuse, with increased effectiveness.
It occurred to me while reading reports about the suspended NFL players over the weekend that, of the 1,700 male players in the NFL, nearly 300 of them will have experienced sexual abuse when they were boys growing up. The ACE study predicts that nearly 1,100 of them experienced at least one of 10 traumatic experiences in childhood – and that’s in addition to any neighborhood violence, racism, peer violence or losses, or adult traumas they experienced.
On Aug. 11, 2013, Donald Telfair says, he was brutally assaulted by three men who thought he had robbed them earlier that evening. The 46-year-old spent the night at a hospital in Suffolk County, New York, where doctors had to wire his broken jaw shut. Then, he says, the police showed up.
“They arrested me for a robbery, a crime I did not commit,” Telfair told reporters during a conference call Wednesday. He spent 18 hours in custody before being arraigned. Telfair couldn’t afford a lawyer so he was assigned a public defender. But the public defender didn’t meet with him before the arraignment.
“Knowing nothing about me, she was unable to defend me,” Telfair said. When the prosecutor allegedly mischaracterized his criminal history, his lawyer didn’t object, and Telfair said he had to protest himself, speaking through the wires keeping his jaw shut.
But it wasn’t enough. Unable to meet the bail set by the judge, he was sent to jail, where he would remain for months before accepting a plea-bargained sentence of one-and-a-half to three years.
Following the news that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson reportedly used a tree branch to hit his 4-year-old son (and the later accusation that he injured another 4-year-old son), the acceptability of physical punishment has been a topic of national conversations.
Some Internet commenters and even other athletes have defended Peterson -- many arguing, "I was spanked and I turned out OK!" Others admit they're in support of spanking, but recognize Peterson's behavior as abuse.
A poll conducted by The Huffington Post and YouGov found that 81 percent of 1,000 adults polled believe spanking with a hand should be legal, and almost half think it's an effective form of punishment.
Indeed, whether the respondents' own parents used corporal punishment made a big difference in their views about the legality of spanking. Eighty-eight percent of those whose parents used corporal punishment, but only 69 percent of those whose parents did not, said spanking with the hand should be legal. Peterson has justified his behavior by saying he believes he is successful because of the way his parents disciplined him.
One is becoming as well-known for her autobiographical work as she is for her test for what movies meet a gender-balance baseline. Another directed one of the best-reviewed and most surreal documentaries of the past decade and has a follow-up on this year's film-festival circuit. Another has been leading the fight for gay-marriage rights since 2004 in Massachusetts. And one is investigating the subtle, complex, largely unconscious yet deeply ingrained ways that individuals racially code and categorize people, with a particular focus on associations between race and crime.
Alongside cartoonist Alison Bechdel, The Act of Killing director Joshua Oppenheimer, attorney Mary Bonauto, andsocial psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt, other 2014 MacArthur Award winners are using math to model the human brain or define the limits of prime numbers, or providing physical, home and job security to some of the country's most at-risk populations.
Jane asked me to design some ACEs logos for printing on mugs and buttons to help promote ACEs and get people talking. I've attached a PDF files with the designs. You can use these at any online printing store like http://www.zazzle.com/create. These...
In the foreword to the Community Resilience Cookbook, Dr. Robert Anda says that when people understand how ACEs have affected their lives, they become "empowered to take responsibility and change their lives, the lives of their children and families,...
My apologies for this repeat post. We had some great success after our initial post, so I'm hoping to reach others as I strive to connect a few remaining first year graduate students with practicum placements. Please contact me directly if...
This recording of "Beauty and the Brain," a session hosted by Guy Raz at TED 2014, brings popular speakers back to the TED stage with updates on their work and personal lives. Tierney Thys talks about how being in the natural world engages your...
Hi all- As many of you likely are aware, the influx of immigrant students from Central America will likely have a significant impact on schools. I know some of the local districts by me have hundreds of enrollments as they prepare for the new...