Trauma exposure is pervasive among US youths

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The media is filled with stories about traumatised children and adolescents, such as the school shootings at Sandy Hook and Columbine. However, a range of more common traumatic events, such as accidents and caregiver maltreatment, receive less attention. We sought to understand how common traumatic experiences are in the lives of U.S. youths by conducting a study examining trauma [read the full story...]

Seeing is believing; how does family presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation affect psychological outcomes for family members?

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There are around 60,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year. Some of these events occur in the presence of relatives who may witness the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by the resuscitation team (you can find out more about CPR at the Resuscitation Council’s website). The emotional consequences of this for the relatives and the [read the full story...]

New Australian guidelines for the treatment of ASD and PTSD in children

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Do not use psychological debriefing when a child has been exposed to a traumatic event such as assault or a major car crash. And if you treat a child who has developed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to trauma, do not use pharmacotherapy either (that is, not as a first line treatment). Rather, apply the [read the full story...]

Concurrent treatments may be effective in treating comorbid alcohol dependence and PTSD

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In those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol abuse or dependence is the most common co-morbid disorder. Unfortunately, although individuals with PTSD and alcohol dependence (AD) often have complex needs, the treatments available usually only target one issue. This is often due to specialist treatment services not having access to treatments for comorbid disorders, and [read the full story...]

Patients with anxiety disorders are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and actions, says recent review

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Suicidal thoughts and actions are typically discussed in relation to depression, but a number of studies have suggested suicide may also be linked to anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders often co-occur with depression, and this may be masking a risk of suicide specifically related to anxiety. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day so it seemed relevant [read the full story...]

We need to know more about how to help adults who have experienced trauma

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People affected by trauma present in a number of different settings (Solomon et. al., 1997), sometimes immediately after the trauma, and sometimes much later when they are experiencing the effects of traumatic stress, depression, anxiety or other mental health difficulties. When trauma leads to an individual developing a post traumatic stress reaction, there is not [read the full story...]

Are the current approaches to treating traumatised kids actually making them better?

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More and more research is telling us about the long-term negative consequences of trauma and adversity in childhood with correlations between childhood trauma and poor mental and physical health outcomes across the lifespan. So, it makes sense that there should be a good evidence base for treating the effects of childhood trauma. In February this [read the full story...]

Childhood trauma and abuse is the smoking of psychiatry

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Childhood trauma and abuse is the smoking of psychiatry. As a risk factor for mental illness it is comparable to how smoking a pack of cigarettes per day increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease. As an adult psychiatrist I see the consequences of poor starts to life and do my best to [read the full story...]

New evidence update from NICE on common mental disorders

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The NICE guideline on common mental disorders (PDF) was published back in May 2011, which means that it only included evidence published up until the end of 2010. This is a fast moving field, so NICE have now put out an evidence update, which focuses on new evidence published from Sept 2010 to Oct 2012. This [read the full story...]

Women and men with mental health problems are significantly more likely to have experienced domestic violence

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The 2010/11 British Crime Survey reported that levels of lifetime partner abuse were 27% in women and 17% in men. The survey concluded that women experience more domestic violence than men and the abuse is more severe and prolonged in women. The Home Office is planning to redefine domestic violence in the coming months, to [read the full story...]