Big Think and the Mental Health Channel are proud to launch Big Thinkers on Mental Health, a new series dedicated to open discussion of anxiety, depression, and the many other psychological disorders that affect millions worldwide.
Dr. Rachel Yehuda is one of the foremost researchers in the country studying neurobiology with regard to PTSD. In this video interview, Dr. Yehuda relays common symptoms and struggles associated with the debilitating disorder. Where does one's brain go when traumatic flashbacks emerge? How do you fight these uncomfortable situations? Dr. Yehuda delves into these and other questions.
Learn more at the Mental Health Channel: http://mentalhealthchannel.tv/show/big-thinkers-on-mental-health
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/rachel-yehuda-on-ptsd
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Rachel Yehuda: War changes people and this is something that we’ve known since recorded history. It’s spoken about in literature throughout the ages. It’s kind of a brotherhood of combat veterans and for many, many years it stayed in the brotherhood. And a lot of people came back from World War II, our fathers, our grandfathers, didn’t talk about what happened because nobody would understand. But the thing is that you’re transformed inside. You feel different. You’ve seen things, you’ve seen death, you’ve experienced, you’ve tasted fear, you’ve done things that you don’t want to talk about or feel should be talked about because it would be too scary for people to understand.
PTSD is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States and I think it’s – it might be the fourth most common condition. And that’s because trauma is so prevalent in our society. About 25 percent of women experience interpersonal sexual violence which is extraordinary. There are accidents and natural disasters. More than half of persons will be exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lives. The way that I like to describe a traumatic event is an event that kind of divides your life into a before and after, a watershed moment that really kind of changes the way you view the world. Whether or not you get post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s big. You’re leading your life a certain way, something very big happens and it changes the way that you look at yourself and you look at the world. So those kind of events are certainly transformative. They certainly have long lasting marks and one of those effects of trauma exposure can be the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. Imagine if you see danger everywhere and that you’re really worried for your safety. That is going to affect almost every interaction that you have. At work you’re going to be more on edge, more irritable. It could get you into fights with coworkers or with your employer.
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