PTSD sufferers don’t get to move on. This is how the disease works. Forgiveness, acceptance, inner peace–all of things are well and good, but at the end of the day, PTSD doesn’t care. You’re still going to jump when someone slams a door. You’re still gonna have nightmares. The trauma is not just a horrible event or experience. It’s a life sentence. It’s a burden that cannot be shed.
—  Ever

Brain Process Allows Memories to be Lost and Found

A team of University scientists believe they have shown that memories are more robust than we thought and have identified the process in the brain, which could help rescue lost memories or bury bad memories, and pave the way for new drugs and treatment for people with memory problems.

The research is in Nature Communications. (full open access)

Research: “Rescue of long-term memory after reconsolidation blockade” by Simon Trent, Philip Barnes, Jeremy Hall and Kerrie L. Thomas in Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms8897

Image: The study could help pave the way for new drugs and treatment for people with memory problems. Image is for illustrative purposes only.

anonymous asked:

What's the difference of dissociation and a dissociation disorder????

Dissociation is a symptom.
For example, depression can be a symptom of many disorders (bipolar, BPD, PTSD, etc), but then to an extent and pattern, it can be a type of a disorder in itself- it’s the same with dissociation.

Dissociation occurs as a defense mechanism against stimuli the nervous system finds overwhelming (whether it be an anxiety, threat, etc).
It thus tries to ‘shut down/block’ and ‘defend’ itself because of emotions and stimuli it finds overwhelming. It’s a common neurological defense mechanism in borderline personality disorder particularly due to the intensity of symptoms and traumas. It also often occurs in post traumatic stress disorder due to the trauma and other overwhelming factors.

Generally, dissociation is said to be a “lack of” or “a disconnection of” reality. Due to the ‘blocking out,’ a series of symptoms occur that cause one to feel detached, disconnected, and separated from themselves, the things around them, and reality.
Symptoms include:
-Fuzzy/foggy, and disconnected vision, hearing, and senses
-Double vision
-Difficulty making out objects (smaller/bigger than what they are, distorted, etc)
-Fatigue or a ‘heavy’ feeling
-Feeling empty and detached
-Feeling as if one is “floating” or “in a dream”
-Feeling as if one is watching themselves from outside their body
-Feeling as if their body does not belong to them
-A deja vu feeling
-Trouble with memory (lapses, difficulty remembering what happened during the dissociative moment, etc)
-Headaches
-Dizziness
and more

Dissociation may last a few seconds, minutes, hours, or even days in response to the stimuli, depending on the trigger.
For example, it can happen if the individual experiences high stress levels at a time or severe depression, which then triggers periods of dissociation that may be longer lasting.
On the other hand, an immediate threat might trigger an immediate, shorter response.

When one dissociates, at times it can get so severe, that they actually black out and lose the memory completely or partly.
This dissociation is typically what happens in response to an immediate stimuli, such as a threat or something that angers/panics the individual. They may black out, have difficulty moving, not do anything, or not be able to hear or talk. They immediately get triggered and then immediately dissociate. This is why people sometimes hear of individuals that do not remember a traumatic incident.
As I said, the amount of time dissociation lasts ranges depending on the trigger, but a full black out and symptoms like this is short term as it’s not like the individual is going to go hours or days without moving or something.

When one dissociates, one may continue talking, consciously or unconsciously, (depends on severity) or going about. One may remember this all, partially, or not at all. This includes:
-Talking in a monotone, quiet, slow, or dull manner
-Talking in a manner that may not make sense
-Doing things and not remembering
-Buying things and not remembering
etc.
-Cry, hide, run away, try to avoid the stimuli (if reacting to anxiety, threats)

This is simply occurring because unconsciously, one is continuing. Sort of like how someone may enter a room and not remember doing so, forget doing something, etc, except this is more severe and a result of dissociation rather than day dreaming, having something else on your mind, etc.

Dissociation is difficult to explain as it really ranges from symptoms, to conditions it occurs in, to triggers, to how long it lasts, but hopefully this helps explain symptoms.

When it comes to dissociative disorders, it occurs to a severe extent and is a disorder in itself rather than a symptom of another condition.
-Dissociative disorders disrupt perception, feelings, identity, awareness, etc, to a different extent and pattern.
Types:
-1. Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder)
Typically caused be severe trauma or sexual abuse, when the individual dissociates as a result of a defense mechanism, there is an alter identity/personality. Their memory during these states is impaired and they may or may not be aware of the alters. The presentation differs per individual- there may be extreme changes of behavior, voice, appearance, and name, or it may be less obvious, remain hidden, etc.
The individual has gone through so much severity, the dissociative states have an alter to take after.
-2. Dissociative Amnesia
Due to trauma, the individual loses memory- may forget who they are, where they are, what happened,
-3. Dissociative fugue
Amnesia of the identity, such as perception, memory, and personality. Includes a sudden change in who they are, which then includes wandering or traveling to places, unplanned, a make-up of a new identity, etc.
-4. Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder
There are parts of dissociation. Depersonalization (self) and delrealization (surroundings). This is when someone persistently dissociates and is aware it is not real, and it is a condition in itself and not a result of another condition like BPD and PTSD.
-5. Dissociative disorder otherwise specified/unspecified

Hopefully this helps you see the difference between it occurring as a result of a symptom and then a disorder in itself :)

Trauma Changes the Brain Even Without PTSD

Trauma may cause distinct and long-lasting effects even in people who do not develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), according to research by scientists working at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry. It is already known that stress affects brain function and may lead to PTSD. However, until now, the underlying brain networks have proven elusive.

Led by Prof. Morten Kringelbach, the Oxford team’s systematic meta-analysis of all brain research on PTSD is published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews. The research is part of a larger program on PTSD in British war veterans run by the Scars of War Foundation based at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford. The foundation uses neuroscience to advance understanding of the effects of war and disaster.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2015/08/trauma-changes-brain-even-without-ptsd

You be the how &
I’ll be the why-
the when’s tonight.
By firelight I want to
show you all the things
I’ve kept inside.

I had a dream the other night.
We were major
& minor Ursas in
the sky- your stars
bursting before
my eyes & I thought
I was alright with that.
I thought I was alright.

Now the sky seems
bigger than it used to,
and I feel smaller than I am.
I thought I was alright with that,
but now I’m never ok
at night.
I thought I was alright.
I really
thought I was alright.
How do I be the why
anymore?

anonymous asked:

Uh hi im the anon asking for the OCD before... Can i actually alter that? Im looking for that too but really i just want fics that deal with PTSD that arent like, overly intense or violent. A lot of the ones ive come across were very dark, and id like to read fics that deal with the issues but arent so graphic and/or dismal. (So definitely not suicide) Sorry if this is too difficult of a request since its so specific just thought id ask! Thanks!

Hi love ♥ It’s okay, don’t worry. I don’t mind making specific recs, specially when someone asks so nicely for them (; So here you go:

Not graphic PTSD fics:

OCD: (these are the only fics I’ve read where one of them has OCD, they’re kinda graphic and angsty so it’s up to you if you wanna give them a go)

Hope these fics are what you had in mind (:

You know what the doctors
Don’t tell you, or warn you
About, after a horrible accident?
They don’t tell you about the
Sleepless nights you’ll spend
Because of nightmares. They
Don’t tell you about how you’re
Going to replay things in your
Head over and over again. In the
Hopes of seeing what went wrong.
In the hopes of changing the outcome.
They don’t tell you that even after
Almost a year you’ll still be scared of
Riding in the front seat. That you’ll
Hands will clench into fist and your
Feet will dig themselves to the car’s
Flooring when ever the vehicle
Unexpectedly breaks. That
You no longer feel safe. That
Pulling to the side of the road,
Sometimes is the best thing you
Can do because your fear takes over.
That anger will flood your eyes with
Tears because you’re still upset about
It. No, the doctors don’t take
This and much more into consideration.
They stitch you up. Send you home,
With pain killers that only numb you up
But none of this helps 11 months later.
The anger, fear and nightmares are all
Vividly present, like the scar you’ve been left
With….
—  Ileana S.
philly.com
Philly420: Marijuana, PTSD and Pennsylvania
Military veterans are committing suicide. Prescription painkiller overdose deaths are skyrocketing. There is a national discussion around these issues. Medical marijuana can help. In these cases it could save lives.

Here’s a great article on Philly.com​ by Communications Director of Philly NORML​ Chris Goldstein!

IT'S NOT NORMAL WATCHING PEOPLE THAT LOOK LIKE YOU DIE, CONSTANTLY. THAT MUST HAVE SOME SORT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT. I CAN'T WATCH ANOTHER INNOCENT LIFE BE TAKEN AND THE VIDEO REPLAYED VIA MEDIA CHANNELS AS IF IT WERE A SPORTS HIGHLIGHT ON REPLAY. I REFUSE TO.

They love trivializing and normalizing the image of black people getting killed in the media.

Charges dropped for man accused of growing ‘medically necessary’ marijuana

(TBT) Matthew Young won’t be spending any time in jail for growing medical marijuana, but he says each day continues to be a battle without the drug.

The State Attorney’s Office has dropped all criminal charges against the New Port Richey man arrested last year along with his girlfriend for growing marijuana to treat a slew of illnesses, including posttraumatic stress disorder.

“That we’re not going to be spending time in jail, it’s huge,” Young’s girlfriend, Lynne Nesselroad said. “It’s a big relief for everyone.

During his 1,600 days as a military contractor in Iraq, Young said he experienced numerous concussions from explosions, leaving him with brain injury, broken bones and PTSD. He also contracted HIV while working as a field medic and was diagnosed with AIDS about six years later, his attorney Shawn Gearhart said.

Young said he tried several medications to treat his nausea, bone pain and other symptoms, but none worked. He turned to medical marijuana, paying a Jacksonville lawyer nearly $800 to help him get a doctor to sign paperwork authorizing his right to grow and use cannabis. The drug immediately helped, he said.

"It calms everything,” Young, 45, said. “Without cannabis my head is like a tornado and a hurricane all at the same time.”

Young and Nesselroad were arrested in November 2014 when Pasco County sheriff’s deputies found the cannabis plants growing in their home. They showed officials what they thought was certification that allowed them to grow pot for Young’s medical use, but they faced criminal charges anyway.

The certification was provided by lawyer Ian Christensen, founder of Jacksonville-based Health Law Services, part of the IJC Law Group. The company tells its clients that patients with serious medical conditions have the right to use medical marijuana in Florida as long as a physician deems it “medically necessary” and orders its use. The company charges each client $799 for a doctor-approved identification card authorizing their use of the drug.

Combat PTSD and Sexuality

Why Katniss and Peeta probably had great sex…but it took them a hella long time to get there.

I’ve been seeing some interesting posts speculating on Katniss and Peeta’s sex lives after the horrific events of the Hunger Games and the Revolution. Some opinions go from they had NO sex life at all until Katniss decided to make babies to THEY GO AT IT LIKE WILD MAMMALS (muttpeeta has promised us a delectable one-shot on this point :D). And let’s face it, while a good hunk of our fanfiction is dedicated to looking at their sexuality in GREAT detail, much of it is wish fulfillment (myself included). Because the truth is, we want our babies to ride the waves of orgasmic glory to infinity because they’ve been through so much and doesn’t Everlark deserve a little happiness, in the end?

But research in to combat PTSD shows that, while veterans and those traumatized by torture and violence can come to have meaningful and fulfilling sex lives, it takes a lot of therapy and time to reach that end.  And we are dealing with TWO combat veterans, and, if it’s true what some of you speculated, which is that Peeta was sexually assaulted in captivity (I don’t really share that opinion but who cares, since there’s no support in either direction), we are talking about some serious psychological hurdles for our beloved couple to overcome.

Together with my friend loudman1, who actually treats combat veterans with PTSD in his practice, we discussed some of the issues and looked at the facts.

First of all, let’s just establish that not everyone develops PTSD as a result of their experiences. Those of us who argue that Peeta may be less likely to develop it than Katniss are not too far from what the data supports, given his upbringing and his character, as well as his gender and the nature of his traumas (his torture, being a largely imaginary condition invented by the author, and therefore nearly impossible to quantify in terms of long term trauma).   Because he is the symbol of hope and recovery, the “dandelion in spring,” it is implied that his recovery and optimism are the foundations of Katniss’ recovery. That is not to say he is trauma-free. Collins wants us to understand that he does experience the negative effects of his experiences (”There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over”).   But it is highly unlikely that he has PTSD to the degree Katniss has.

loudman1 also made some interesting points on Peeta’s innate optimism and Learned Optimism that I’ll let him elaborate on at his leisure.

Even if the novels did not give us clear and compelling evidence that Katniss suffers from both combat PTSD and depression, her life experiences and those of the war virtually guarantee that she will be a sufferer of PTSD.  I won’t go through all of the indicators but here is a link that discusses how some individuals are more likely than others to develop PTSD. She has a several of the indicators on the list, including her age, gender, the fact that she has experienced trauma in the past, a family history of mental illness and the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one (or loved ones in her case).

The ramifications on intimacy and sexuality for suffers of PTSD are multiple. The very numbing that victims of PTSD experience, their inability to manage very intense emotional experiences without relapsing into flashbacks, make navigating intimate situations very difficult. But it is possible. This link here discusses some of the symptoms and treatments of sexual dysfunction that combat veterans may face in dealing with issues of intimacies and this link here addresses the specific challenges of female combat veterans.

It is likely that Katniss experiences emotional numbing, withdrawal and a repression of her libido.  She likely has issues of low self-worth, compromised body issues resulting from her scarring and difficulties dealing with powerful emotions, including the intensity and vulnerability that accompanies expressing her sexuality in an intimate relationship.  If she is taking antidepressants or seratonin inducing medication, her libido will also be compromised.  And if Peeta really was sexually molested/attacked/raped in captivity, he may also experience repressed libido and erectile dysfunction as a result of those traumas.

The fact is, if we look at Katniss and Peeta’s relationship with an eye towards realism, they will have had so much to overcome. They will likely have a long courtship, full of friendship and intimacy-building facilitated by therapy, medication, their shared experiences and their profound affection for each other. They would have had a progression in their physical relationship, beginning with touching, kissing, moving onto oral sex before actual consummation.  This requires communication and a good sense of humor in most cases. They may have not discussed the war and their traumas right away, choosing a quiet life of routines before they moved to the stage where they could begin to process their losses using the memory book. 

Eventually, after twenty years, when we catch up to Katniss and Peeta and their children in the meadow, Katniss is finally able to recount her experiences, as she does through the trilogy (many critics have described The Hunger Games as a survivor story, given the first person narration technique and the didactic message at the end of the trilogy).  By this time, they’ve done the hard work of picking up the pieces of their lives and building something lasting and enduring, a monument to their resilience as survivors.

But make no mistake.  They probably took a long time to really get to a place of intimacy.  It was probably a lot of two steps forward, one step back. Periods of depression and numbness, lots of therapy and patience as they struggled against the weight of their experiences.  But they do it. They build a life. And it’s a good one. 

And finally, after all that, I’ll bet my hat that, at some point, they finally allowed themselves to explore their sexuality with abandon, in an environment of trust and love. In my headcannon, I’d like to think that Haymitch had the good sense to shut his windows because that must have been one helluva noisy summer!

Thanks for reading!  

XXXXX

This post and the subsequent one-shot based on this research is dedicated to my friend, loudman1, who has tolerated the flurry of emails as we talked through these issues and lent me his expertise in the writing of this post.

gofundme.com/ze2dgk

so many of you may have heard about me in the news, I’m autumn veatch, 16 yrs old and i was in a plane crash with my step-grandparents and I was the only one who survived. I hiked down the side of a mountain for three days, found a freeway and was taken to a hospital to be treated for burns, hypothermia, dehydration and severely atrophied muscles. I lost nearly everything I owned in the crash, including all of my clothes, laptop, phone, all of my art books and pens. a family friend made a gofundme to help raise money to replace the things I lost and to help pay for counseling regarding my PTSD. I would really appreciate it if you donated/reblogged, it would mean so much