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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