I had been doing some research for the in-depth movie review here at BNN entitled: Movie Review: Black Snake Moan; By Craig Brewer; Art Imitating Life Imitating Art; a Survivor’s perspective and found some rather interesting & promising new studies into the field of PTSD & Anxiety.  Even though I have both of these disorders, I hadn’t really thought about it in awhile. Then I started to ponder how many people don’t know anything or very little about these topics? How about those that know something, but not the up-to-date stuff? I thought it important to share the newest information I have found.

This is a link I found to a Texas Re-hab center. While it is a commercial site, I happily give this link due to the content it contains. The article specifically, that I want share is:

Survivors of Childhood Abuse Struggle With Addiction And PTSD

By Hugh C. McBride

It contains a lot of good, recent, in-depth information about PTSD.  Criteria, statistics, and more.

http://www.texas-drug-rehab.com/texas_drug_features/survivors-of-childhood-abuse-struggle-with-ptsd-addiction.php

Next up is a study written about on ScienceDaily.com.

by Brigham Young University. “Trauma, PTSD Followed By Reduction In Region Of The Brain Involved With Memory.” ScienceDaily 27 August 2008. 17 December 2009 http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/08/080825203813.htm. (It said to cite this as source).

“ The hippo-campus is involved with learning and memory. More than a decade ago, neuroscientists saw the first signs that it could be smaller in some people with post-traumatic stress disorder”

Yikes! While I already knew I have memory recall issues due to disassociation or PTSD I did not realize that my brain may actually have changed or altered due to what I experienced. I had often felt that it had a direct impact on my life choices early in adulthood and my earning power now. Why might you ask? Try going to and graduating college effectively, when you have a hard time remembering…period. It would be difficult but for some of us depending on how well we are doing. We might remember that it’s Tuesday and you have that appointment on Thursday. Other times we might wake up on Friday with a sudden jolt or just a faint inkling that there was something we were supposed to do. I’m laughing right now, because maybe I’m being too personal here ,but they say “Write about what you know”.  Now I may have a valid reason for what my kids tease me and call my “sometimers”.

Next up is another study on the brain and it’s memory processing issues written about on Science Daily.com

Stress Related Disorders Affect Brain’s Processing Of Memory

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203084310.htm

Then it’s off to modern marvels of medicine and new drug therapies.

Nicotinic Receptors May Be Important Targets For The Treatment Of  Multiple Addictions

“This study provides valuable insight into the mechanism of addiction,” says McGehee. “It raises the possibility that nicotinic receptors may be important targets for the treatment of multiple addictions, not just nicotine. Unfortunately, blocking these receptors may also interfere with healthy behaviors that depend upon the same brain circuitry. Precisely where these findings will lead drug treatment strategies is unclear, but this work provides insight into the role of nicotinic receptors in the vulnerability to multiple classes of addictive drugs.”

Now…just when I’m trying to quit…smoking. All joking aside everyone knows that cigarettes are deadly. However, ground-breaking new research may show us why they are so addictive, why some are having issues with addictions, and help aid the availability of better medicines.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070815134912.htm

Then there are a couple of articles dealing with Cannibanoids. New research suggest that :

Use Of Canabanoids Could Help Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Patients

According to Dr. Akirav, the results of this study show that cannabinoids can play an important role in stress-related disorders. “The results of our research should encourage psychiatric investigation into the use of cannabinoids in post-traumatic stress patients,” she concludes.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104091726.htm

Bodys Own Marijuana-Like Compounds Are Crucial for Stress-Induced Pain Relief

ScienceDaily (July 1, 2005) — Athens, Ga. — A new study shows, for the first time, that the release of the body’s own marijuana-like compounds is crucial to stress-induced analgesia — the body’s way of initially shielding pain after a serious injury.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050628064435.htm

Ecstasy Could Help Patients With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Study Suggests

 ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2009)— Ecstasy may help suffers of post-traumatic stress learn to deal with their memories more effectively by encouraging a feeling of safety, according to an article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology published by SAGE.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309092953.htm

While I do NOT endorse self-medication of any kind, I do find these studies interesting. Maybe the Vietnam Veterans who “smoked pot” & possibly had PTSD were on to something. Ecstasy? Apparently it helps another memory center by encouraging a feeling of safety.

“A goal during exposure therapy for PTSD is to recall distressing experiences while at the same time remaining grounded in the present. Emotional avoidance is the most common obstacle in exposure therapy for PTSD, and high within-session emotional engagement predicts better outcome,” explain authors PÃ¥l-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Krebs, who are based at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and supported by the Research Council of Norway.”

Psychiatrists that have administered MDMA to anxiety patients have noted that it promotes emotional engagement; strengthens the bond between the patient and doctor, known as the therapeutic alliance; decreases emotional avoidance; and improves tolerance for recall and processing of painful memories.

According to Johansen and Krebs, “MDMA [ecstasy] has a combination of pharmacological effects that…could provide a balance of activating emotions while feeling safe and in control.”

Who knew? Certainly not me. I personally have never experience Ecstasy or MDMA. While I would not be interested in using this substance illegally, I would like to see it’s effects once proven medically sound.

Well, once again, I’ve offered you a large amount to read. I hope you enjoy this little “side-trip” into what’s happening in the world of PTSD, Anxiety, and Addictions.

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