Tag Archives: Treatment

024 – Running Through, Not Away From, Memories

RunningTowardTarget by Master isolated images FDP

by Master isolated image on Freedigitalphoto.com

Hay, I found an instant, quick fix to post-traumatic stress… Not really.  But there are many tools we can use to grow and work toward—and achieve—success over PTSD.

One of the coping mechanisms in PTS is to avoid memories.  At times this may be necessary.  But at some point we will need to deal with our past.  We can equip ourselves with tools to help with this process.

This week we take a look at the role running can play in the recovery process. 

We will discuss:

  • The brain and body in stress (and post-traumatic stress): hormones, steroids and the body/brain connection (see Episode 001 – Post Traumatic Stress: It’s not just in your head).
  • The brain and body while running
  • How much running?  According to Dr. Otto, blood levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), increase after about 30-40 min of running.  But this is not the only benefit!
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy
  • Other benefits – besides the physical and psychological: goal achievement, causes, comradery.
  • What about those that cannot run?  Perhaps it is best if we not focus on what we can do and consider whatever we can do right now.  I share my own struggle with not being able to run or do other intense physical activity because of my lungs.


Article, “Running Back From Hell”, http://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/running-back-from-hell?page=sing

Team Red, White, and Blue – helps service members transition http://teamrwb.org/

STRONG STAR (South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience) http://delta.uthscsa.edu/strongstar/

Question:  Have you found exercise to be beneficial?  Please join the discussion.  Your experience can help or encourage others.

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010 – Cannabis: Curse or Cure for PTSD?


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In this episode we will discuss:

  1. A report on 21 days of my gratitude exercise from episode 007 – Can Gratitude Save Your Life?
  2. Cannabis: Curse or Cure (or something in between) for PTSD

21 Days of Gratitude

  • Consistency was difficult
  • Helpful or not?

Medical Cannabis (Marijuana) Curse of Cure?

(List of topics and terms.  There are hours of research linked below.  I would love to hear your thoughts and credible resources you may find.  Please share them in the comments section.  Some of the journal articles only link to an abstract.  When that is the case, the full article is only available at a library that subscribes to the journal or for a fee.  Links to news reports about many of the articles is also provided.)

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder involves a complex body/brain response – anxiety, intrusive memories (flashback, nightmares, anger, fear and other emotions
  • Full disclosure: I am not a medical doctor and none of this should be construed as medical advice.  Consult with your licensed healthcare provider for all your medical needs and guidance in making medical decisions.  Also, I never used cannabis.
  • Antidotal Reports: Billy Bob’s Smoke Blog – non-scientific, credibility questions, no check and balance to the facts or outcomes.
  • Scientific Evidence: more “objective” controlled, peer reviewed studies
  • Effects of Long-term/high use of cannabis = Study shows direct relation to decrease in memory, metal processing and intellectual markers even when sober.  There appears to be a direct link to duration and intensity to low performance on cognitive test for long-term and heavy users.  (Full JAMA article)
  • Brain chemistry and function (senses, emotion, memory, reasoning)
  • Developing Brain – The reasoning center does not complete until about the age 25!  Don’t mess with it!
  •  Medication for depression (SSRI) or other mental illnesses – Are they helpful for PTSD?
  • Cannabinoid Receptors (emotions, memory, appetite) CB1 and CB2
  • Endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by our bodies)
  • PET-image of brainPositron Emission Tomography (PET) scans of PTSD brains
  • Brains with PTSD show greater number of CB1 receptors in certain parts of the brain and a decreased anandamide concentration compared with subjects not diagnosed with PTSD  (Brain-Image Study at NYU)
  • Anandamide (an endocannabinoid produced by our bodies)
  • Researching ways to increase anadamide w/o causing damage and minimal side-effects


Other news articles and references:

Question: Do you think that the government should allow more research into the use of cannabis and its components in the treatment of PTSD and other disorders?  Why/Why not?

Reshaping Memories: Science Fiction or Our Future?

TranslucentBrainIs the day approaching when we can take a pill to change our brains perception of traumatic events?  Researchers at MIT have accomplished this in mice.

They have been able to activate genes involved in what they call “memory extinction”.  The process does not so much erase the memory as allow new experiences to somehow overwrite the perception experience of the memory.

When they activated certain genes, Tet1, in the mice they were able to add new experiences to the old memories.  This resulted in the old memories being washed out—at least from their emotional impact.

Mice were conditioned to fear a specific cage via electric shock.  When they were put back in to the same cage without the electric shock some mice still exhibited fear.  Other mice put back into the cage quickly learned that the cage was safe and stopped showing fear. 

What was the difference?  The mice that contained to show fear—even though the cage was now safe—lacked Tet1 gene activation.  The mice that adapted to the situation had the Tet1 gene activated.

There is still a long way to go before human trials.  Yet this raises some interesting questions and even more interesting potentials.

Do you think we should mess with memory gene activation?  What are some potential benefits of this kind of treatment?  What are some risks?  What would a future look like if people could take a pill to alter all of their unpleasant memories?

Join the discussion…

Further reading…

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002 – RESTORE: 7 Practical parts of the RESTORE process


I am David Fell, your host for this podcast where we are building a community Hope and Restoration for all those dealing the Stress, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress and much more.

Each week we seek to inform, educate and yes, perhaps even entertain as we learn together how to live lives of victory!

In today’s episode we will:

  • Discuss ways to get connected to the community
  •  Give an overview of the RESTORE process
  • Talk about a potentially exciting treatment for the most server PTSD

So how do get connected?

> Leave a comment or a voice message   Name, where you are calling from and a brief message or question.  Please only question per message, but as many questions as you like.

On to our main topic of our show…a 10,000 foot overview of the RESTORE process…

Recognize: Issue (problem)/Opportunity

– What is not “right”, going well, in my body, thoughts, attitude, relationships, etc…?

Evaluate: Impact and Sources

  • Don’t get caught up in this part of the process!
  •  Sometime our situations are complex and need qualified outside assistance to work through. There are many qualified counselors/therapists skilled in different tried and proven techniques.
  • The purpose is not to answer every possible question or understand every aspect of the issue. Rather it is to help identify something for us to do, a goal we can set and achieve.

Example 1: Marc, 70 with High Blood Pressure….

Example 2: High anxiety in large crowds


Set goal(s)

  • measurable, obtainable!
  • Let others help identify and define the goal; but they must be YOUR goals! You have to take ownership of the process.

Tool: Gather tools and resources need to accomplish goal

> Friends, equipment, books (or other training material), doctor, therapist, coach…

Action Plan: Goal and Tools in a concrete plan

> Who, What, When, Where and How

Run with it!!! Execute the plan with confidence.

Test: Is the plan leading me toward the goal, is this goal leading me toward the major objective.

Tune: Adjust and modify as necessary to accomplish goal

Overcome: Obstacles will arise; but they can be overcome. When we Recognize an obstacle we can Evaluate it and START to take action to overcome.

Reach Out to others: A key ingredient!

Evolve: Change and grow in Post-Traumatic Strength and Success

Science update:

NOTE: The following links are not endorsed by this podcast of the Hope and Restoration Team. All medical options should be done in consultation with your licensed medical provider.

Stellate Ganglion Block

Dr. Eugene Lipov

As of 2012 Livop has treated 65 people with variable success. Still under investigation.

Links to interesting articles and news reports….

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