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Ptsd Myths - Can You Name More?

Discussion in 'General' started by anthony, Jan 31, 2015.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    PTSD myths are abundant, with those who have PTSD and those who do not. The media quite often perpetuates many a myth with their limit news story view, allowing people to form narrow opinions from limited information, as though it is complete.

    So how many myths can you cite, with some evidence to substantiate your claim?

    Myth #1 - PTSD only affects military.

    Military is the smallest number of PTSD affected. Geographic location depends on who is majority affected. If you view USA demographics, then sexual assault, crime and childhood abuse are the largest causes of PTSD. If you view Denmark and Iceland studies, natural disaster and accidents were the largest cause of PTSD. This continues to change depending on which country you review. If interested, I have attached a good meta-analysis on resilience to PTSD, which outlines a lot of trauma types based on geography and specific events.

    Myth #2 - Symptoms appear immediately after the trauma.

    Our own poll clearly demonstrates the majority of people have no symptoms for 12 months or longer. The NIMH agree with our polls second most prevalent response, "Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the incident but occasionally emerge years afterward."

    Myth #3 - PTSD is all in your head.

    Well, PTSD is actually all in your head, being a mental health disorder, just not in the sarcastic exclusionary meaning that you're making it all up. PTSD is very real, can be measured via specific imaging devices and is proven beyond a doubt as a real outcome to abnormally traumatic events.

    A 2007 meta analysis of neuroimaging anxiety disorders concluded, "Patients with any of the three disorders consistently showed greater activity than matched comparison subjects in the amygdala and insula, structures linked to negative emotional responses."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Whilst I could personally keep going with this, I will give a few more and see if others can find data to support the below myths, and what other myths people can conclude and evidence.
    • You did something wrong to get PTSD.
    • Everyone has symptoms of PTSD.
    • PTSD isn't treatable.
    • PTSD causes violent behaviour.
    • PTSD affects only the weak.
     

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  3. Mecomey

    Mecomey I'm a VIP

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    Myth #4 : Kids Don't Remember. This describes how a child demonstrated memory, of being an infant, in the hospital. It has implications that adults can, also, accurately recover somatic memories.
    [DLMURL]http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2012/07/17/5-myths-and-misconceptions-about-children-and-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/[/DLMURL]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  4. Sweetpea76

    Sweetpea76 Semper ubi sub ubi. Moderator Donated

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    That's one that bothers my suffer a lot, especially when it is applied to combat vets....

    Myth #5: PTSD causes violent behavior.

    There may be some association with increased violent behavior and PTSD because of anger and impulse control issues, but the vast majority of people diagnosed with PTSD have never committed any violent acts. Also when looking at instances where PTSD sufferers do commit violence, other risk factors, such as substance abuse or TBI, aren't always taken into account. Also, combat vets with PTSD are statistically no more likely to commit violent acts than those without PTSD.

    http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/co-occurring/research_on_ptsd_and_violence.asp

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...vior-is-weak/2012/03/31/gIQApYFZnS_story.html






     
  5. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

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    Myth #6 : Everyone has symptoms of PTSD

    A symptom of a disorder, simply put, is normal human behavior, thought, action, or response taken to extremes, either in expression or duration. Just as everyone experiences fluctuations in blood sugar, but not everyone is a diabetic. Just as everyone experiences difficulty staying awake from time to time, but not everyone suffers from narcolepsy.

    All of the individual symptoms of PTSD may indeed be felt by most people at some point in their life to some degree. To short list only a few of the symptoms, most people will experience all 4 of the following; A brutal nightmare. Heart pounding fear. Crippling anxiety. A memory full of regret. These are normal human reactions. In everyday life, these things are transitory, as reactions usually have good reason to exist in the first place, and quickly fade. This isn't true with PTSD, however. The icewater that pours through your veins as you slam on the breaks to avoid hitting a child that's run out into the street? Isn't something you experience 40 times a day, every day, in response to such tasks standing up, or making coffee, getting the mail, cuddling with a loved one, or falling asleep. The nightmare that woke you up drenched in sweat so you only got a few hours of sleep? It isn't the same nightmare you've been having every night, night after night, so you've only gotten at most a few hours of sleep... for months and years. Your own memories of the past, are something that you're able to clearly define both as memories, and in the past. If your first thought on reading that is 'What else would they be?' then you've never experienced a flashback; where memories become more true than present life, and distinguishing one from the other can be durn near impossible. Normal memories, no matter how intense, simply do not do that. The brain is set up to be able to differentiate between past and present. However, there are actual physical changes in a PTSD brain that changes the way it operates.

    Moreover, individual symptoms do not a disorder, make. PTSD is one disorder amongst many disorders (from Autism Spectrum Disorder to Tourette's Disorder) , and one condition against many conditions resulting from trauma & stress. In order to be considered a specific disorder, one needs a constellation of symptoms, all existing at the same time. Flour does not a cake, make. All of the ingredients have to be present. And mixed together. And baked.

    For more on the difference between normal human experience & where one draws the line between them and the constellation of symptoms that make up disorders? Read here for a discussion on how to best define the word 'disorder' in the DSMV / DSM5.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3101504/#!po=2.77778

    For a complete list of disorders & conditions found in the DSMV / DSM5 see here
    http://www.psychiatry.org/file library/practice/dsm/dsm-5/dsm-5-toc.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  6. RussH

    RussH for the superhero in all of us. Premium Member

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    You can get over it if you just put it behind you
     
  7. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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  8. gone

    gone Active Member

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    PTSD will get better eventually, you don't need to do anything about it.

    PTSD isn't contagious.

    PTSD isn't inherited.

    If you toughen up, you'll get over it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  9. Mecomey

    Mecomey I'm a VIP

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    Citations with myths?
    They help by disproving myth, give interesting reading, and seem to strengthen the support they bestow.
     
  10. gone

    gone Active Member

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    Here's a quick quote re some of the emerging science that PTSD can be contagious and/or inherited [from van der Kolk MD, Bessel (2014-09-25). The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Kindle Locations 2208-2214). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition]:

    "In practice it often is difficult to distinguish the problems that result from disorganized attachment from those that result from trauma: They are often intertwined.My colleague Rachel Yehuda studied rates of PTSD in adult New Yorkers who had been assaulted or raped. (29) Those whose mothers were Holocaust survivors with PTSD had a significantly higher rate of developing serious psychological problems after these traumatic experiences. The most reasonable explanation is that their upbringing had left them with a vulnerable physiology, making it difficult for them to regain their equilibrium after being violated. Yehuda found a similar vulnerability in the children of pregnant women who were in the World Trade Center that fatal day in 2001. (30)

    (29) R. Yehuda, et al., “Vulnerability to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adult Offspring of Holocaust Survivors,” American Journal of Psychiatry 155, no. 9 (1998): 1163– 71. See also R. Yehuda, et al., “Relationship Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Characteristics of Holocaust Survivors and Their Adult Offspring,” American Journal of Psychiatry 155, no. 6 (1998): 841– 43; R. Yehuda, et al., “Parental Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as a Vulnerability Factor for Low Cortisol Trait in Offspring of Holocaust Survivors,” Archives of General Psychiatry 64, no. 9 (2007): 1040 and R. Yehuda, et al., “Maternal, Not Paternal, PTSD Is Related to Increased Risk for PTSD in Offspring of Holocaust Survivors,”

    (30) R. Yehuda, et al., “ Transgenerational Effects of PTSD in Babies of Mothers Exposed to the WTC Attacks During Pregnancy,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 90 (2005): 4115– 18.
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    I don't think you can claim that as a myth, as wait list studies for trauma treatment often show recovery results in wait list groups no longer meeting PTSD from doing nothing other than putting six months between them and assessment. This sheer fact from wait list says some PTSD will actually get better by doing nothing.

    Yes, trauma treatments out-perform wait list, though some still recover by doing nothing.

    A 33 study review evidences wait list participants no longer meeting PTSD: http://www.escriber.com/userfiles/ccoch/file/CD003388.pdf
     
    Vandya likes this.
  12. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

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    You know, I wonder about this one, though...

    Looking back I can say I was up to my eyeballs in symptoms for 5-7 years back when, but at the time?

    - If I was in a new relationship all star eyed, sated, and eminently distracted...
    - If I was using certain drugs...
    - If I was contracting / out in the field...
    - et cetera

    There were dozens of times where if I'd been polled in that moment? I was "fine". A symptomatic for the moment or a while. I can look back and see the patterns & the arcs, but you could have found my picture next to the definition in the dictionary for "living in the moment". Serious compartmentalization. And, less denial, than simply not being able to connect the dots. Pretty damn clueless.

    Even then, never had therapy back when, but I did eventually figure things out on my own. Didn't know it was all PTSD. Just gradually worked out what worked and what didn't, over about 5 years, and got really lucky. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out what I did back then that worked! (And what just covered things up, or made things worse). And I've been actively trying to parse it for maybe 6 months.

    I try really hard not to judge others by myself, but I wonder if "doing nothing" is an accurate statement. Whether the people who aren't showing symptoms have found a temporary patch (new relationship, etc.), or whether they've been working their asses off outside of a therapeutic environment and "simply" lucked out like I did in finding things that worked? Or if they really did do nada and it self resolved?
     
  13. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    The waitlist groups typically are not allowed to seek or do any type of therapy, no new or change in medications, et cetera. Waitlist normally have strict standards during that period to ensure they aren't tainted as you outline, by doing their own thing, differently than therapy.
     
    joeylittle and Friday like this.
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