12th European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Vienna, Austria, 2-5 June 2011
Fifth International Congress of the Asian Society Against Dementia, Hong Kong,
China, 5-6 November 2011
*Post-Partum Depression Test Free By Phone*
March 21, 2011
A U.S. insurance company for doctors of obstetrics and gynecology is
offering a free post-partum depression test by phone, insurance company
The free test, available to any U.S. new mother through her doctor, is
conducted over the telephone and sends a report on a patient's session to
her physician's office. The test evaluates the patient's condition, and
involves the doctor in taking action for the patient, officials of
Obstetricians & Gynecologists RRG of America Inc. say.
Patients can sign up their doctors, and doctors then assign the test via the
Web site: www.freeppdtest.com.
Doctors are allowed an unlimited number of free tests for their
post-delivery patients and no advertisements are included on the Web site,
company officials say.
Some states, such as New Jersey, require post-partum depression tests, but
most doctors encourage all women to have a post-partum depression test 6-18
weeks after delivery.
Post-partum depression affects about one in nine or 10 women following
delivery. Symptoms include trouble sleeping, feeling disconnected from the
baby, having scary or negative thoughts about the baby, or worrying about
seriously hurting the baby, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
...Unless you read the scientific journals on this subject, chances are you would never come across it -- because it is seldom, if ever discussed. When’s the last time someone’s childbirth education instructor told the class that if you have a traumatic delivery in which you suffer excruciating pain and have no control over the process, you’re more likely to develop PTSD? The fact is that a state-of-the-art “walking epidural” can provide complete pain relief throughout labor and delivery, and with patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA), you can control how much or how little pain medication is given into your epidural...
Online PR News – 08-March-2011 –Mineral Wells, Texas, February 11th, 2011 – For those suffering from pain, anxiety, depression or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there is a new treatment that has been approved by the FDA and the DOD/VA. The treatment is called Alpha-Stim cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). The new treatment is delivered using a pocket sized electronic device that uses ear clip electrodes to deliver a low level current in a precise waveform configuration of less than one milliampere directly into the brain for 20 to 60 minutes at a time. This technology offers a newer, cheaper and less invasive way to treat many people who up until now were unable to find the necessary help...
You would never hear someone say to a bride who had her wedding completely ruined… Well, at least you have a healthy marriage… Right? I mean, I have seen situations where there were car accidents, hospital visits, or God forbid rain on a wedding day… and not once would someone have the audacity to say something like that… I am kind of guessing that kind of comment would end up as fighting words.
But in the case where a mother has a scary, or emergency delivery… even when medically necessary… the first comment a lot of people come out with is… at least you have a healthy baby! Like it is come kind of consolation prize for a bad experience.
Today in childbirth we are learning that many common practices can cause complications in birth. While all do not believe this necessarily certain studies over time have shown examples. Such as labor induction increasing the risk for fetal distress and a cesarean delivery. Below is one of my favorite examples of what can happen...
London - Kirstie Allsopp has made a scathing attack on natural childbirth experts, accusing them of stigmatising women who have Caesareans.
The TV presenter, whose two sons were delivered by the procedure, claimed that she and thousands of other mothers were being made to feel a “failure”.
She criticised the National Childbirth Trust for being “reckless” in not providing enough information about C-sections in its antenatal classes, which are attended by 100,000 couples every year.
Miss Allsopp said that while pregnant she had even been advised by some natural birth advocates to “ignore” doctors’ advice and try to give birth without medical intervention.
Figures show that more than a quarter of all babies are now delivered by Caesarean, up from just 9 percent 30 years ago. The rates are far higher in more affluent areas of the country, including parts of London and the South-East - which natural birth advocates claim supports the notion that some women are now “too posh to push”...
Commonly associated with soldiers who’ve experienced unthinkable tragedies while at war, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can disrupt the lives of various people from various backgrounds. According to America’s Heroes at Work, a site from the U.S. Department of Labor, it afflicts 24 million people nationwide, eight percent of the population. PTSD can be acquired after enduring any kind of traumatic event, including war, physical abuse, a natural disaster or bad accident, and can result in symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, angry outbursts and depression. Because it’s a mental health disorder, PTSD isn’t fully understood by people with little experience dealing with it. The following common misconceptions have been disproven by mental health professionals and those who live with the disorder...
(March 03, Ontario, Sri Lanka Guardian) PTSD is a relatively newly defined disorder with an old history and historical medical literature reveal clinical symptoms similar to post traumatic stress disorder dating back to the Egyptian civilization. In 1900 BC, an Egyptian physician eloquently described hysterical reactions of a patient after traumatic experience. These reports became one of the first medical textbooks ever when published in 1990 B.C. (Figley, C.R., 1993)....
Josh Nepon, M.D., Jina Pagura, M.A., and Jitender Sareen, M.D.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
TO THE EDITOR: In the October 2010 issue of the Journal, Melanie S. Harned, Ph.D., et al. (1) reported on an important study examining the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. This is an important area of inquiry, and the authors have done an admirable job in comprehensively assessing their sample. However, the study has several limitations, and the conclusions are not consistent with recent studies that were not cited.
As stated by Harned et al. (1) themselves, we want to underscore the fact that the small size and select nature of their study (94 women) make it difficult to draw conclusions. They conducted numerous comparisons across variables without any adjustment for multiple comparisons. Furthermore, they have not cited recent large epidemiologic studies examining the association between PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and suicide attempts (2–4).
Harned and colleagues' conclusion that frequency, intent, and lethality of suicide attempts are the same for individuals with borderline personality disorder with and without PTSD is inconsistent with recent work. Cougle et al. (2), using the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey Replication data (N=5,692), demonstrated that PTSD is associated with suicide attempts, even after adjusting for the effects of borderline personality disorder. We extended these findings using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N=34,653), by showing that PTSD is associated with suicide attempts after adjustment for all sociodemographic factors and axis II disorders (3). Pagura et al. (4) were the first to examine comorbidity of PTSD and borderline personality disorder in a large nationally representative sample by comparing individuals with PTSD alone (N=1,820), borderline personality disorder alone (N=1290), and comorbid PTSD and borderline personality disorder (N=643). This study found that individuals with comorbid PTSD and borderline personality disorder had greater odds of lifetime suicide attempt compared to individuals with either condition alone (4).
We have shown that individuals with co-occurring PTSD and borderline personality disorder have higher odds of having a suicide attempt than either disorder alone (3, 4). These findings are in contrast to the findings of Harned and colleagues' study (1). We believe the discrepancy between the epidemiologic studies and the Harned et al. study is due to the differences in sample size. We note that epidemiologic studies cited above are limited by lack of assessment of lethality of suicide attempts, a strength of Harned and colleagues' study. We suggest that future clinical studies need to gather a larger sample and include a comparison group of women with PTSD.
BROOKSVILLE — It's not just battle-worn soldiers who come home with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Just ask Michele Rosenthal. She suffered an allergic reaction to a medication at age 13 that left her entire body blistered like a burn victim. But it was the damage to her psyche that took the longest to heal.
"Fear is an emotion all of us have," said Rosenthal, 43. "It's hard to get over it. You've got to unravel it."
Now, she is taking that message on the road as a PTSD survivor and author. Speaking last week at a symposium at Pasco-Hernando Community College, she said PTSD awareness is critical to helping both individuals and their families recover from traumatic experiences.
"Nobody heals in isolation," Rosenthal said. "We heal in a community."
Studies estimate that up to 70 percent of adults in the United States will go through a traumatic event in their lifetime, and up to 20 percent will struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, up to 40 percent of the military returning from Afghanistan or Iraq suffer from PTSD, Rosenthal said....
PTSD sufferers would give up an average of 13 years of life to be without the disorder -- but may not realize that some symptoms don't affect happiness
In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder, not all symptoms are created equal.
In an effort to better treat PTSD, a study published March 1 in the journal Psychiatric Services is the first to examine which problems associated with PTSD actually correspond to lower quality of life, as indicated by the patient's willingness to die sooner or to risk life-threatening treatment to relieve their symptoms.
PTSD is more costly than any other anxiety disorder. As many as 300,000 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan currently have PTSD, with costs for their care estimated at $4 to $6.2 billion over the next two years.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to ask actual patients with PTSD about their health preferences," said lead author Jason Doctor, associate professor of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy at the USC School of Pharmacy. "These findings identify targets for treatment that may improve quality of life among people with PTSD."
The researchers found that, of four major symptoms associated with PTSD, not all were associated with a patient's immediate quality of life, even though those who sought treatment for PTSD expressed significant overall declines in mental health.
Distressing recollections of a traumatic event and avoidance of certain activities and thoughts – both commonly conceived of as dysfunctional behaviors – had little correlation to a patient's reported sense of well-being, according to the study.
However, symptoms tied to heightened arousal – such as trouble sleeping, irritability and vigilance – were associated with lower quality of life among PTSD patients. Anxiety and depression were also associated with lower quality of life.
"We conjecture that although avoidance is an important aspect of PTSD, its effect on quality of life may be limited because it is a coping strategy. Avoidance may be a dysfunction that improves, in the short term, subjective well-being," explained Doctor, who is on the research faculty of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC.
The researchers found that, on average, a patient with PTSD was willing to give up 13.6 years of his or her life to live unburdened by the symptoms of the disorder.
On average, those with PTSD were willing to accept a treatment with up to a 13 percent chance of immediate death in order to achieve total relief of PTSD symptoms.
Lori Zoellner of the University of Washington, Seattle, and Norah Feeny of Case Western Reserve University were co-authors of the study.
The researchers interviewed 184 persons seeking treatment for PTSD at two treatment sites in different regions of the United States. The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
For a full-text copy of the paper or to arrange an interview, contact Suzanne Wu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doctor et. al, "Predictors of Health-Related Quality-of-Life Utilities Among Persons With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder." Psychiatric Services: March 2011.
Steve built his adult life on the foundation of a childhood trauma.
He and his brother suffered through years of physical violence and emotional abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father.
“He had no emotional connection but anger,” Steve said of his dad. “He had no idea how to relate to kids.”
His father was an engineer, and was a very smart man, Steve said. So when Steve came home with bad grades, his father called him stupid. He would not hesitate to beat him for this, and other reasons.
While the abuse has long passed, the effects lingered on through his life. Steve, who lives in Geneva and asked that his name be changed for this story, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He is 67 years old now, and while he has confronted his past through therapy, as recently as last summer he’s experienced recurring bouts of anger stemming from his PTSD.
The anger manifested itself as road rage, he said. The people in his everyday life would comment about how calm he always seemed to be, and never noticed anything — but if a car cut him off on the road, he felt himself grow unnecessarily and uncontrollably angry....
SATURDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Armed with brain scans, researchers have discovered bawling babies trigger a far more muted response in the brains of depressed mothers than in mothers who aren't depressed.
Contrary to a previous theory, "it looks as though depressed mothers are not responding in a more negative way than non-depressed mothers. What we saw was really more of a lack of responding in a positive way," said study lead author Heidemarie K. Laurent in a news release from the University of Oregon.
Laurent is an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming, but she worked on the study as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oregon.
The study, which appears online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, is the first to examine how the brains of depressed women responded to the crying of babies.
In total, the researchers studied the brains of 22 women using functional magnetic resonance imaging, which measures brain activity through blood flow changes. The women were all first-time mothers with 18-month-old babies.
When the babies cried, the brains of the mothers who weren't depressed lit up in the areas connected to reward and motivation. "In this context, it was interesting to see that the non-depressed mothers were able to respond to this cry sound as a positive cue," Laurent said. "Their response was consistent with wanting to approach their infants. Depressed mothers were really lacking in that response. "
The key message from the study, the researchers noted, was that depression can have a long-lasting impact on mother-infant relationships by dampening the brain's response to a baby's emotional cues.
According to Laurent, the research -- and the levels of activity in the brain -- suggests the challenges of treating depression in mothers. "Some of these prefrontal problems may be changed more easily by addressing current symptoms," Laurent said in the release, "but there may be deeper, longer-lasting deficits at the motivational levels of the brain that will take more time to overcome."
SOURCE: University of Oregon, press release, Feb. 22, 2011.HealthDayCopyright (c) 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The increasingly commonplace decision by pregnant women and their doctors to induce labor for convenience rather than for medical necessity entails some health risks to both mother and child, research suggests.
The new report, which highlights the negative impact of what is known as "elective induction" for first-time mothers, indicates that going that route increases the chances of a Cesarean delivery, while also boosting the mother's risk for greater loss of blood and a longer post-delivery hospital stay.
"The benefits of a procedure should always outweigh the risks," study author Dr. Christopher Glantz, professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a university news release. "If there aren't any medical benefits to inducing labor, it is hard to justify doing it electively when we know it increases the risks for the mother and the baby."
Glantz and his colleagues report their findings in the February issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.
Elective induction has for the most part become a routine aspect of obstetric care, researchers noted.
But the authors caution that the decision is not without consequences, as the process does not unfold in the same manner as natural labor.
By analyzing the medical charts of 485 women who gave birth to their first child at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2007, investigators found that about one-third of those who elected to have labor induced had to undergo a Cesarean section compared with just one-fifth of those who were not induced.
C-sections are considered major surgery and carry the risk of infection, complications and additional surgeries.
What's more, 88 additional in-hospital days are logged for every 100 women who choose to undergo an elective induction vs. women who go into labor spontaneously, the research team found.
In addition, babies born after induced labor appeared to face a higher risk for needing oxygen following delivery and special care in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The study authors noted that women who had previously given birth might not suffer the same negative consequences.
"If you've delivered once before, your body knows the drill and can do it again," said Glantz.
SOURCE: University of Rochester Medical Center, news release, Feb. 18, 2011HealthDayCopyright (c) 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Are there any other moms out there besides me up for changing Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" mantra to "Eat, Pray, Sleep"? This feels more appropriate for moms caught in the pursuit of peace and happiness, no Bali in our crystal balls, and running around like pet gerbils to make spaghetti dinners, help with homework and organize sleepovers.
I really wanted to be one of those seven million who bought Elizabeth Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray. Love," inhaled it as soulful medicine, and felt an inner spiritual shift at that final page. But by the end of the book (no, really by the end of Gilbert recounting her divorce) I wanted to throw it in the toilet. "Eat, Pray, Love"? You've got to be joking.
Let's be real, a mother who is feeling miserable in life isn't going to disappear for three months, eat her way alone through Italy, pray in India at an ashram and go study with a shaman in Indonesia. Most moms of Gilbert's socioeconomic status set up weekly therapy appointments with an LCSW off of their insurance plan and cry in their minivans. Three months off isn't on the menu for moms....
Before I start writing this post out, I want to take a moment to warn my readers about a story that contains graphic birth trauma. This could be a trigger for those of you who have had trauma, or bad experiences. I encourage you to read with caution.
Yesterday afternoon I caught a tweet about Birth Rape from one of the women I follow on twitter. Emily had a c-section a little over a year ago, and as time went on was not happy with her experience. While her blog is mainly about her son who is super cute, she posts some birth stuff, like the birth rape post.We have all seen some serious doozies when it comes to birth stories on websites like Baby Center, or The Bump, but after reading this one myself, I literally cried for the mother, and wondered to myself, how is this happening in the United States? ...
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women, but not men, with post-traumatic stress disorder have high blood levels of a stress-related hormone, new research shows.
The hormone -- pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) -- is known to affect central nervous system activity, metabolism, blood pressure, pain sensitivity and immune function.
In the new study, published in the Feb. 24 issue of Nature, researchers assessed 64 people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and found that symptom scores were five times higher among women with above-average PACAP levels than among women with below-average PACAP levels.
The team also found that, due to genetic variations, PTSD may be triggered by different biological pathways in women and men.
The finding that PACAP levels are an indicator of PTSD symptoms may lead to new ways to diagnose and treat PTSD and other anxiety disorders, the study authors noted.
"Few biological markers have been available for PTSD or for psychiatric diseases in general. These results give us a new window into the biology of PTSD," first author Dr. Kerry Ressler, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about PTSD.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: Emory University, news release, Feb. 23, 2011
A common gene variant was associated with a nearly doubled likelihood of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in at-risk urban women -- but not in otherwise similar men, researchers said.
The affected gene encodes a receptor protein believed to mediate stress responses, and is also modulated by estrogen signaling, according to Kerry Ressler, MD, PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta, reporting in the Feb. 24 issue of Nature.
Heavily traumatized civilian women with two copies of a specific single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ADCYAP1R1 gene were more likely to show PTSD with an odds ratio of 1.66 (95% CI 1.32 to 2.09) relative to similar women without the condition, Kessler and colleagues found.
The same SNP -- called rs2267735, substituting a cytosine base for a guanine -- in men exposed to fearful situations showed no association with PTSD, the researchers also found (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.27).
The authors did point out, however, that women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and this discrepancy may relate to the modulation of the receptor pathway by estrogen....