Thursday, November 10, 2011

PTSD passed on from one generation to the next

Writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, Beverly Cook (Wolf Clan Mohawk) discusses how acts of genocide perpetrated upon Native Americans has passed "toxic stress" down the line from one generation to the next and how the evils of the past continue to hurt the people of today:

Toxic stress experienced by children can alter their brain, their genes and organ development if they do not have the caring support of an adult. So a young girl’s childhood experiences, her health and her diet will not only effect the outcome of her future pregnancies but also can effect her future grandchildren. She is not alone in this as the genes that come from the father have also been imprinted by his childhood and his environment in his mother’s womb. Combined, the mother and father lay the groundwork for their baby to grow and still the actual outcome can change depending on the environment in the womb. Imagine no worries or concerns, having nutritious food, adequate exercise, a loving partner, happiness and peace. The baby would form itself based on that particular environment as opposed to an environment laced with anger, fear, frustration or grief.

Read more here:

The Toxic Effects of Stress on American Indians

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Poster Girl documentary on HBO2 tonight

The Oscar-nominated short documentary "Poster Girl" airs on HBO2 tonight. Here's the trailer:

The story of Robynn Murray, an all-American high-school cheerleader turned “poster girl” for women in combat, distinguished by Army Magazine’s cover shot. Now home from Iraq, her tough-as-nails exterior begins to crack, leaving Robynn struggling with the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Shot and directed by first-time filmmaker, Sara Nesson, POSTER GIRL is an emotionally raw documentary that follows Robynn over the course of two years as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and redemption, using art and poetry to redefine her life.

Check your local listings for times, and visit the movie's official site for more information:
Poster Girl

Monday, November 7, 2011


Words have power. Is "post traumatic stress disorder" the right name? Does the word "disorder" lead to misconceptions and stigma? Instead, should it just be called "post traumatic stress" or maybe, as Gen. Peter Chiarelli suggests, "post traumatic stress injury"? Trauma causes an actual physical change to your brain. The term "injury" makes sense.

What do you think?

Read more:
Army General Calls for Changing Name of PTSD | PBS NewsHour

On a similar note, here's an image often used by Fearless Nation PTSD Support:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lisa Ling PTSD documentary airs Sunday night

Lisa Ling's excellent OWN documentary series "Our America" will look at veterans and PTSD this Sunday at 9pm (EST). She talks about it here:

Lisa Ling Talks 'Our America 

...and you can watch the first five minutes of the episode here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Third annual Be Fearless event starts tomorrow

The third annual "Be Fearless" online PTSD awareness event starts tomorrow, November 4. Hosted by Fearless Nation PTSD Support, the event will include informational resources about PTSD as well as live musicians, global DJs, art exhibits, interactive art, and other activities.

The event -- which will be held at Fearless Nation's virtual reality retreat in Second Life -- is already getting some great write-ups (here's one, and here's another), and you can see a preview of the amazing PTSD-themed art exhibits here.

The announcement about Be Fearless 2011 can be read at Hypergrid Business.

Full information on Be Fearless can be found here: Fearless Nation PTSD Support - Be Fearless 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

U.S. veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes

We previously commented on the staggering level of suicide among U.S. veterans -- 18 people a day. That number hasn't changed, but here's a new way of looking at it: that's one person every 80 minutes. Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, writes about it for CNN:

Kayyem: U.S. veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes – Global Public Square

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sleep disorders and PTSD

In a new study, nine in ten vets with PTSD or TBI were "hypersomniacs," meaning they were tired during the day. That's because more than half had sleep apnea and almost half had insomnia. (It's not clear if those numbers overlap.)

Interestingly, the vets with no physical injuries suffered from greater levels of sleep apnea. TBI caused by blast injuries caused higher levels of insomnia.

Read more:

Sleep disorders plague vets with head trauma or PTSD | Reuters