Thursday, July 28, 2011

Women with PTSD have lower birthweight babies

Mothers with PTSD give birth to babies that weigh, on average, one-half pound less than mothers who have not experienced trauma.

Read more here:

PTSD linked to lower weight in premature babies

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot weather & PTSD

We're hearing from a number of people that hot weather like we're experiencing this week can be a PTSD trigger for some folks, especially vets who may have served in the recent desert-based wars.

What are your thoughts/feelings on this? Are hot days a trigger for you? What do you do to stay cool, physically and emotionally? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Surf Therapy

I live on the coast of Maine, which isn't exactly ideal surf country, but when I want to relax, I like to go down and stare at the water.

But getting back to surfing, Miller-McCune has a great story about how some people with PTSD are benefiting from surfing, what is being called Ocean or Surf Therapy. It's been used the U.S. and UK military, as well as other groups.

Why does it work? It's exercise, it's fun, it's a whole-body-whole-mind experience, and... well, the rest is still being researched.

But don't let that stop you. Read more about it here:

Addressing PTSD With Surf Therapy - Miller-McCune

Monday, July 18, 2011

Art & Book Auction to Support PTSD Awareness

Cartoonists, fine artists and authors from around the country have donated items for an auction to bring awareness to the public about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The auction will benefit Fearless Nation PTSD Support, a 501c3 Non-Profit Public Charity dedicated to raising awareness and education about PTSD and to banishing the stigma associated with it.

"Art is such an important way to explore our thoughts and reflect on our society," said writer, cartoonist and Fearless Nation board member John Platt, who has organized the auction and donated three of his own drawings. "The artists we contacted were extremely excited to support this cause, and we are very proud to have their backing."

Artists and authors whose work appears in the auction include:

The auction began today, July 18 and will run through Sunday, July 24. It can be found at

This will be the first of several art and book actions to benefit Fearless Nation. "Quite a few authors have already promised signed books for our second auction, which we hope to hold in late August," said Platt.

"We are thrilled to have so many great artists step up and offer their work to support our efforts," said Colleen Crary, M.A., founder and Executive Director of Fearless Nation PTSD Support. "Donations like this are what make it possible for us to continue to help trauma victims worldwide and to break down the stigmas that people with PTSD face in their daily lives."

About Fearless Nation PTSD Support:

Fearless Nation PTSD Support is a 501c3 Non Profit Public Charity that provides free community support for all post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers, their family, friends and therapists through raising awareness and education about PTSD based in proven science in order to banish the stigma and misinformation associated with the condition. The Fearless Nation motto is "Be Fearless!" All are welcome. All are included. Visit

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Study links PTSD and compromised immune systems

A new study, which does not appear to be online anywhere that I can find, find a preliminary link between PTSD and compromised immune systems, possibly caused by inflammation. According to a report from The Times and Democrat:

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Arnold School of Public Health, and the Dorn VA Medical Center, shows that PTSD patients have increased levels of inflammation, caused by an increase in certain types of cells that regulate the immune functions.

The results are significant because they could lead to novel methods for diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, said Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, associate dean and Carolina Distinguished Professor at the USC medical school, who is the lead researcher in this study.

The findings also are the basis for a new $1.72 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to Nagarkatti and his team of researchers, who will intensify their research on the pathological basis of immune dysfunction in war veterans with PTSD.
Read more here:

Report: Study finds link between PTSD, compromised immune systems in veterans

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cyber-stalking can cause PTSD

A new study entitled "Cyberstalking in the United Kingdom" finds that the trauma of being victimized online can lead to PTSD:

"The results indicate that the prevalence of PTSD following cyber-stalking exceeds the occurrence in a general population following trauma and is comparable to other extreme specific traumatic events such as sexual assault and combat ... the victims' reactions are of a negative nature and include fear, stress, anxiety, as well as an erosion of trust in the self and other people."

The Register has a brief article about the report here: 'Being cyber-stalked is as bad as being raped, or in a war'

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trauma-senstive yoga

As we've discussed on the blog several times, yoga can be a very effective source of relief for people with PTSD. But finding the right yoga teacher, who understands the needs of people with trauma, is important.

On the blog Linda's Yoga Journey, the author discusses some things yoga teachers should keep in mind for their students who are trauma survivors. Here's her introduction:

A “trauma sensitive” yoga class is taught very differently from the yoga class with which we are familiar -- soft music, altars, incense, physical adjustments. A typical yoga class may not be comfortable place for a trauma survivor and in fact may feel very dangerous. Merely saying the word "relax" can be a PTSD trigger if the person was told to relax and then was abused.

For someone who has been abused, a physical assist can be a severe trigger for PTSD. Many teachers say, "but I always ask first." Think about that statement. For someone who has a history of abuse and was not allowed to say no (so has issues with power and control), assists are problematic.

Read more here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Study: Living in captivity gives chimpanzees PTSD

Two new studies reveal that chimpanzees, one of our closest non-human relatives, can get post-traumatic stress disorder from living in captivity, or from the traumatic events that led to their being in captivity in the first place. Many chimpanzees in zoos are rescues of the (often illegal) animal trade, in which young chimps are often torn from their mothers and placed in restrictive cages.

Earth Times has the story:

Can Chimps Have PTSD?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Study: Aerobic exercise potentially good treatment for PTSD

Preliminary results of a small study suggest that adding aerobic exercise to other PTSD treatment can have a good effect.

The study, presented at the 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine, examined 14 women recruited from a rape crisis center in Florida. According to a press release about the study, "All participants attended bi-weekly cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, and seven of the participants also attended a minimum of two group circuit training classes per week."

Results were good enough that the authors are now calling for more study. 

Read more: Exercise Should Be Considered For PTSD Therapy