Each generation has to figure out what that event means

What’s The Best Way To Remember And Heal?
Tell Me More. September 11, 2012

when trauma occurs, it can either be used as something that sort of disrupts life in the form of a traumatic reminder, or it can be used in a healthy way, sort of like when they throw lemons, some people figure out how to make lemonade. How do you turn consciously traumatic helplessness into learned helpfulness is something that I think everybody can learn, because trauma is pretty common.

And these huge disasters are occurring more frequently, but regardless, you’ve got to figure out how to do the traumatic helplessness and shift it to learn helpfulness. So I think it’s a double-edged sword.

… And when we look at the Civil War and Civil War memory, each generation has to figure out, what that event means at any given time.

… BELL: Well, you know, pain is often the shell that encloses understanding, and you’ve got to somehow have enough guts, wisdom to understand that. Because a lot of times, there’s understanding underneath the pain, and Mr. Levin just talked about finding meaning, which is extraordinarily important in dealing trauma.

With trauma, you’ve got to tell the story to somebody who can listen. You’ve got to find meaning, and then you’ve got to find that understanding that’s inside the pain.

BELL: You know, one of the biggest challenges for this nation is how to manage its diversity. And it takes a lot of leadership skills, a lot of soft skills, a lot of emotional intelligence to do that on a very big scale. But there is a phenomenon from trauma called post-traumatic growth, and in post-traumatic growth, people actually learn from these kinds of experiences.



Customer service: It’s almost a PTSD

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call
July 18, 2014

“It was frustrating to listen to. It’s almost a PTSD we have with bad customer service,” said journalist Emily Yellin. She wrote a book on the customer service call experience — Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us.




In ‘The Evil Hours,’ A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD
January 20, 2015

Apophenia is the perception of meaningful connections in unrelated events. So after the IED went off, I began thinking about various aspects of my experience before the IED went off, which – the day before I hit this IED, I was out on a patrol, and the soldiers I was with said, hey, sir, have you ever been blown-up before – meaning had I ever hit an IED? And there was this really awkward pause because everybody knew that that was really a bad question to ask. And everybody got mad at that soldier for asking me that question because, you know, I hadn’t been hit – I hadn’t hit an IED yet, but now, that was all going to change.

When I look back on that event, that question kind of seemed like a warning. It seemed like the universe had sort of – had kind of created – had built this design that included me hitting an IED the next day. And apophenia is something that a lot of trauma survivors sort of struggle with – the idea that, you know, the time and the anniversaries of traumatic events seem to recur. And I think this is sort of a common theme among survivors, of trying to look for a deeper meaning, some sort of meaning in the near-death experiences that they’ve been through. And for me, I kept noticing patterns that seemed to point to this IED attack that I survived.

MORRIS: Prolonged exposure therapy is one of the VA’s leading therapies, and it’s based on the work of Ivan Pavlov, the Russian physiologist.
The idea behind PE is basically, it treats PTSD as, in a way, just kind of a learning disorder. And the idea is to get you to tell the story of your worst trauma over and over again in the presence – in the comforting presence of a therapist.
And the idea is if you keep telling the story and keep repeating it, eventually the story will lose its traumatic charge and it will seem almost as if someone else is telling the story, so it will become just like all your other memories.


Could Pot Help Veterans with PTSD?

Could Pot Help Veterans with PTSD? Brain Scientists Say Maybe
NPR. December 24, 2013

Veterans who smoke marijuana to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder may be onto something. There’s growing evidence that pot can affect brain circuits involved in PTSD.

Experiments in animals show that tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that gives marijuana its feel-good qualities, acts on a system in the brain that is “critical for fear and anxiety modulation,” says Andrew Holmes, a researcher at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The use of marijuana for PTSD has gained national attention in the past few years as thousands of traumatized veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have asked the federal government to give them access to the drug. Also, Maine and a handful of other states have passed laws giving people with PTSD access to medical marijuana.

For decades, researchers have suspected that marijuana might help people with PTSD by quieting an overactive fear system. But they didn’t understand how this might work until 2002, when scientists in Germany published a mouse study showing that the brain uses chemicals called cannabinoids to modulate the fear system, Ressler says.

There are two common sources of cannabinoids:

  • One is the brain itself, which uses the chemicals to regulate a variety of brain cells.
  • The other common source is Cannabis sativa, the marijuana plant.

So in recent years, researchers have done lots of experiments that involved treating traumatized mice with the active ingredient in pot, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Ressler says. And in general, he says, the mice who get THC look “less anxious, more calm, you know, many of the things that you might imagine.”

Problems with Pot
Unfortunately, THC’s effect on fear doesn’t seem to last, Ressler says, because prolonged exposure seems to make brain cells less sensitive to the chemical.

Another downside to using marijuana for PTSD is side effects, says Andrew Holmes at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “You may indeed get a reduction in anxiety,” Holmes says. “But you’re also going to get all of these unwanted effects,” including short-term memory loss, increased appetite and impaired motor skills.


Why Is It So Hard To Test Whether Drivers Are Stoned?
February 9. 2016
cognitively impaired for up to 28 days

PTSD: A Family Recalls Missed Red Flags

After A Marine’s Suicide, A Family Recalls Missed Red Flags 
June 19, 2013

When Nicholas Rodriguez returned from Afghanistan in 2010, his mother and stepfather had never heard of post-traumatic stress disorder. It was only after Nick killed himself that they learned the warning signs and realized he needed help dealing with his combat experience.

RODRIGUEZ: I still deal with a lot of guilt. Hell, yeah. I might have been able to change the outcome. I’m his mother. It’s the first time in my entire life when my kid needed help, and I wasn’t there. (Crying) I feel like I failed my son.


Aaron Glantz

Veterans Face Red Tape Accessing Disability, Other Benefits
Aaron Glantz
March 18, 2013

Last year the VA inspector general found that the average wait time for a mental health appointment was 50 days. … This is not because of a [malicious] intent; this is because the resources are being rationed because there are not enough providers.

Dr. Peter J. N. Linnerooth, 1970–2013




Writing Project Helps Veterans Heal Wounds
January 27, 2008

US healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP 1960-2013