Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and our Military

Supporting veterans has been an integral part of my becoming a social worker and continuing a higher education to provide therapy.  I wanted to become a counselor to work in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. That changed when my boyfriend and I began living together, eventually having our first child and then getting married. We had made a commitment to each other the moment we moved in; we moved in together because we knew this is it! We are committed and there is no going back. We had our son and life felt complete....more

Post Traumatic Growth

Post Traumatic GrowthLife is full of irony and paradoxes. The more people I meet, the more my theory about post traumatic growth is confirmed. We all want to live a life that is trauma free and coasts along smoothly. I can’t imagine anyone deliberately choosing hardship over harmony. Yet there are many virtues associated with experiencing a difficult time. When we are struggling and life has pushed us into a corner, we go into survival mode and we find skills and strengths that we never knew we had. This allows us to grow and be more resilient in life....more

EMDR, a treatment for sexual assault

EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It has been used effectively for veterans coming back from war and for others who have experienced trauma, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault at any age. It is a process that stimulates opposite sides of the brain (my therapist tapped alternately on my right and left knees), and breaks up the neural pathways that go from the trigger to the reliving of the trauma....more

New hope for PTSD, anxiety and depression

The effects of stress on the brain have been known for awhile, but the "why" behind it has been stumping neuroscientists.While they've known that hormones can change the way nerves fire, which leaves us open to PTSD, depression and anxiety, the cellular level has been more difficult to study....more

An Adult Child Abuse Survivor's Guide to the Holidays

This is a post from 'State of Grace',  a blog I maintained from 2004 to 2009. I wrote frequently and candidly about my perspectives and experiences as a survivor of child sexual, physical and psychological abuse and neglect.  This was a piece with a list of how I manage the profound difficulties of celebrating holidays with abusive members of my family.  For Christmas, 2013, I  humbly present this to the BlogHer readership, most espcially for my sister and brother abuse survivors and their allies.(Edited from original post, November 26, 2009)...more
Great list. I feel this anxiety every single time I walk through the door of my mom's house. The ...more

Soldiers Turned Songwriters to Perform at Nashville Breakfast

SAFE, Soldiers and Families Embrace, is continuing to help active military men and women and veterans seek healing from the traumas of war. In September, SAFE paired Nashville songwriters with soldiers to share their stories through songs....more

Sleeping Separately Won't Kill Your Marriage

Sleeping separately won't kill your marriage -- in fact, it can help it. A lot. Societal conventions say that moving into separate bedrooms is the beginning of the end of a marriage, but that is simply not true. According to one recent study done in Toronto, 30-40% of couples are already sleeping separately. Many couples just don’t want to talk about it publicly, because people assume that if you are sleeping separately from your spouse, your marriage is in trouble. ...more
Just wanted to add- we now have completed our 3rd move in the last 8 months for his job and we ...more

The "I Love You, But..." Book: A DIY Tool for Communicating with a Spouse with PTSD or TBI

This is the best way that we have found to communicate about issues that we’re having without fighting. Living with someone who has PTSD/TBI means walking on eggshells every day, even when things are great. When there are problems it becomes a total nightmare. He shuts down, but I take the opposite approach and start yelling. Soon neither of us are listening to each other and we both just give up and walk away. Or we fight for a few hours before walking away, wondering if it’s time to call this quits. ...more

Collateral Damage: The Reality of Living with a Soldier Who Has PTSD and TBI

post has moved! check out my blog for the full text.  ...more

Researchers find antihistamine compound reduces bad memories from PTSD

I'm no scientist so I shouldn't be surprised why I can't figure out how any drug only reduces BAD memories, and not good/neutral ones. But who cares? If it works to help those with PTSD and trauma and retains their good memories, fabulous!So here's the deal: researchers in Switzerland found that a single dose of a common antihistamine resulted in "major reduction" in negative memories. In this study, the negative memories were tied to recalling aversive pictures they had seen before....more