Stanford Study shows effect of PTSD trauma on brain

There is current evidence that PTSD causes damage to areas of the brain. An ongoing study at the University of Stanford in California shows this to be true.

The history of PTSD says that this disorder wasn’t recognized until 1980. Although this means we have recognized PTSD for about thirty years now, that doesn’t mean we have reached a total understanding of what causes it and how to deal with it. Scientists and doctors are still learning. Compare PTSD to some cancers that modern medicine has dealt with for much longer and they still have no cure–just better ways to identify the cancer early and deal with it.  The earlier the discovery, the better chance for recovery and to live a life considered normal. Current evidence about PTSD is saying the same thing. If you have symptoms of cancer and ignore it, the odds are it won’t vanish. The same thing goes for PTSD.

I have read about research for other illnesses that show the longer a physical or psychologically health related problem is “not” treated, the less chance there is to overcome the damage caused.

One thing I’ve learned while living with PTSD for more than forty years is that a healthy lifestyle without booze helps me handle the trauma better.  Before I stopped drinking and eating an unhealthy diet, my PTSD symptoms were worse than they are now.  I still sleep with weapons and I still wake up at every sound and have trouble sleeping.  If I get four hours of sleep in one stretch, that’s good.

Before I sleep, I always do an inside perimeter check to make sure the windows and doors are locked. When I’m out in public, I’m alert to everything around me as if I were going to be attacked at any moment. I still have an unpredictable temper to watch over and there are times it escapes. Double that or triple it before I stopped drinking. The worse thing to do is be in denial and “not” to talk or write about it.  The first step to dealing with PTSD is to admit it is there and stop visiting the liquor store.

Imagine what life was like for people with PTSD before 1980.  How did WWI, WWII, and Korean War veterans deal with PTSD when they came home?  I read recently that the average Vietnam veteran’s lifespan is in the fifty age bracket.  Why do you think that is so?


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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9 thoughts on “Stanford Study shows effect of PTSD trauma on brain

  1. Maybe the vets that never made out of their 50s never admitted they have something called a mental disorder.

    There, I said it. I have a disorder. It is mental and psychological. Go ahead and stigmatize me. I don’t care about the “stigma” any more.

    What I care about is living a “full” life without fear of incarceration or even an early death. Hey, people in our age bracket may still have up to 20 years left in us. “Don’t squander away your life,” is a Buddhist chant I heard at a PTSD retreat that shook me to the core. I felt a message was being sent to me.

    Since then, I knew I needed to provide some sort of “service” to humanity, what ever little contribution I could make. Helping to bring PTSD out in the open is one way of giving back, I thought. Can’t think of anything more I feel as strongly about.

    Well, there is always the opposite sex. But we can save that for another blog with a little less trauma.

    michael j

    Conshohocken, PA USA

  2. Talking about the opposite sex, I’m in my third marriage now. And yes, I have a disorder too. It took awhile to even be aware of it until I started to write about Vietnam and the concrete walling in the memories broke–until then the beast only came out at night.

    I felt the message you talk about in 1981 when I stopped drinking and cleaned up my lifestyle. Now, I exercise regularly, take walks, eat healthy and stay away from booze–no getting drunk. I’ve been sober 29/30 years now.

    Live is too precious to spend it in a fog or in pain.

  3. Well, everybody should know that high level of cortisol for longer periods is damaging the brain. PTSD is actually little like cancer, even if it is psychological it still is attacking ones immune system. Lack of sleep and unavoidable triggers is putting ones body in high and permanent stress.

    Oh man, I get angry thinking of this. I never got any treatment for mine. And when I hear our conservative party that won the election for the second time want to send Swedish troops to Afghanistan it make me really angry ! There is no way Sweden will be ever able to treat this men and women who get in trouble if they can’t even give treatment of handle a nice lady as me *lol* I really hope that those who will get ill have the courage and ability to hurt those bastards bad for my account when that time will come to them. That will make them heroes to me ! 😀 Someone really need to beat up those fucking retarded therapists and nurses. Who tha fuck need a nanny trying to teach you right and wrong, when you feel like your head is burning ?!

    God damn this country is falling apart. We’LL go so AMERICAN. oH BOY.
    Gimmi a gun… I might need it for my self. LOL

  4. But I guess we will instead see those ex. veterans in tv-programs like “Wanted”, a program made to get information from people and to find the criminals. So sad really.

    The taboo of mental illness is yet too high, not to mention the knowledge of serious stress. It will be difficult for any of them to get support from others around. Swedes have the same mentality “survival for the fittest”, “mind your own business” and that in combination with non Christians = trouble.

    I do not recommend any American wanna bees to go to Afghanistan. It’s almost better to be a porn star if you want fast money I think. I mean, fuck while you still are able.. haha.

    Oh, I’m on a strange mood today, sorry Lloyd.

    • Sorry I haven’t been to this Blog for awhile to check the action. iLook China will eat time until I reach my goal and slow down then I will be back here writing some more posts. Thanks for your comments.

      I retired from teaching more than five years ago. If I had a choice between going back into a public school classroom in America or combat in Afghanistan, I’d rather go the Afghansitan as a human bomb and take a few terrorists with me.

      As for being a porn star, well …

  5. “I’d rather go the Afghansitan as a human bomb and take a few terrorists with me.”

    I think I understand how you feel. I’ve been writing my brains out on a place in hope to get the message through to some. 🙂 I’m done with my “mission”. Maybe I may rest in peace from now on and just be there for someone if they get way too lost in it somehow. I should get moving my ass but I have not had time to it yet because of all that self exposure mega turbo therapy that rips your heart out of your chest. In next life I will not walk on an ant.

  6. Helloo Lloyd.
    Will you return to this blog ever ? 🙂

    I realized I had to make one of my own as well so I don’t piss off all the readers at about *lol*

    • NN,

      Yes, I will return to this blog probably after the New Year. My goal is to post at least once a day on The Soulful Veteran. Soon, I will have reached my goals with iLook China and will slow down there from three or more a day to one or two. That will free up time for this Blog. I have a lot I want to write here.

      Thank you,

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