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...]

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...]

Prazosin may help reduce nightmares in people with PTSD, but more evidence is needed

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People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often have nightmares that relive the experience and these can sometimes be as terrifying as the original trauma. These nightmares can be very difficult to treat effectively as there are few options available. A team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic have published a systematic review that [read the full story...]

CBT and other psychotherapies can help children with PTSD in the short-term, but more evidence is needed according to Cochrane

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Nearly a year ago I blogged about a promising but small RCT, which showed that Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy may help young children with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The blog generated a fair bit of feedback from readers and so I’ve been on the look out ever since for a systematic review that brings [read the full story...]