What Are PTSD Symptoms in Women?

What Are PTSD Symptoms in Women?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects individuals differently, with women being two to three times more likely to develop PTSD compared to men. The symptoms of PTSD in women can manifest uniquely, leading to differences in how they experience and cope with the condition. Here is an overview of PTSD symptoms in women based on the provided search results.

Symptoms of PTSD in Women

1. Re-experiencing Symptoms:
- Recurrent distressing memories of the traumatic event.
- Flashbacks where the individual relives the traumatic event.

2. Arousal and Reactivity:
- Being easily startled or frightened.
- Always being on guard for danger.
- Trouble sleeping and concentrating.

3. Avoidance:
- Avoiding places, activities, or people that remind them of the traumatic event.
- Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event.

4. Cognition and Mood:
- Negative thoughts about oneself, others, or the world.
- Hopelessness about the future.
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships.
- Feeling irritable, having angry outbursts, or engaging in self-destructive behavior.

Causes of PTSD in Women

- Women are more likely to experience high-impact trauma such as sexual assault, abuse, bullying, harassment, and violence.
- Traumatic events like sexual violence, physical assault, accidents, natural disasters, traumatic childbirth, and loss of a loved one can trigger PTSD in women.

Treatment and Diagnosis
- To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, a person must exhibit specific symptoms across different categories like avoidance, re-experiencing, cognition, and arousal.
- Treatment for PTSD often involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), prolonged exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), group therapy, and medication such as antidepressants or anxiety medications. The most effective way to cure PTSD without drugs is the use of a step-by-step protocol (RTM) that works by taking the emotional charge out of the trauma memories.

Long-Term Impact
- PTSD can disrupt various aspects of life including work, relationships, health, and daily activities.
- Individuals with PTSD may be at a higher risk of developing other mental health issues like depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts.

Understanding the unique symptoms and causes of PTSD in women is crucial for effective diagnosis and treatment. Seeking professional help is essential for managing PTSD symptoms and improving overall well-being.

What Are the Risk Factors for Developing PTSD in Women?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect individuals differently, with women being more susceptible to developing PTSD compared to men. Several risk factors contribute to the likelihood of developing PTSD in women:

1. Experiencing Traumatic Events:
- Living through dangerous events and traumas.
- Witnessing another person being hurt or seeing a dead body.
- Childhood trauma.

2. Emotional Responses:
- Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear during the traumatic event.
- Having little or no social support after the event.
- Dealing with additional stressors post-event like loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home.

3. Pre-existing Conditions:
- Having pre-existing mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders.
- Family history of mental health problems.
- Experiencing additional life stressors.

4. Biological Factors:
- Genetic predisposition that may make some individuals more likely to develop PTSD.

5. Vulnerability to Specific Traumas:
- Women are more likely to experience high-impact trauma like sexual assault, abuse, bullying, harassment, and violence.
- Experiencing traumatic events at a younger age.

6. Social Roles and Interpersonal Violence:
- Gendered social roles like wife, mother, or caretaker may compound the negative impact of trauma exposure in women.
- Ongoing interpersonal violence within relationships can increase susceptibility to mental health consequences.

7. Lack of Treatment Seeking:
- Females may experience symptoms for longer before seeking diagnosis and treatment compared to males.

8. Complex PTSD:
- Exposure to chronic multiple traumas can lead to Complex PTSD, which includes a complex of symptoms associated with early interpersonal trauma like alterations in affective impulses, attention and consciousness, self-perception, and relationships with others.

Seeking professional help and support is essential for managing PTSD symptoms effectively and improving overall well-being.

Which Careers Put Women Most at Risk for PTSD?

Certain careers have a higher percentage of women with PTSD due to the nature of the work and exposure to traumatic events. Here are some careers that are known to have a higher prevalence of PTSD among women:

1. Military Personnel:
- Military service involves exposure to combat situations, violence, and high-stress environments, leading to a higher risk of developing PTSD. A study was done to help women overcome PTSD using a non-drug intervention and & around 72% were symptom free in 6 weeks using the Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories protocol.

2. Police Officers:
- Law enforcement personnel often face dangerous and traumatic situations, witnessing violence and dealing with high-pressure scenarios that can contribute to the development of PTSD.

3. Firefighters:
- Firefighters frequently encounter distressing situations such as rescuing people from fires, witnessing loss of life, and experiencing the emotional toll of their work, which can lead to PTSD.

4. First Responders/Ambulance Personnel:
- Individuals in these professions are exposed to traumatic events like accidents, shootings, and disasters, which can result in the development of PTSD due to repeated exposure to distressing situations.

5. Healthcare Workers:
- Healthcare professionals working in high-stress environments such as intensive care units may be at a higher risk of developing PTSD due to the emotional strain of dealing with critical situations and patient care.

6. Journalists:
- Photojournalists and war correspondents witness emotionally distressing events regularly, which can lead to PTSD symptoms due to exposure to traumatic content and experiences.

7. Other Healthcare Professionals:
- Mental health professionals are particularly at risk due to potential threats or violence from patients, contributing to a higher prevalence of PTSD among this group.

These professions involve exposure to trauma, violence, life-threatening situations, and high-stress environments, increasing the likelihood of developing PTSD among individuals working in these fields. It is essential for employers in these sectors to provide adequate support, counseling, and resources for employees who may be experiencing work-related PTSD symptoms.

To learn how to overcome PTSD using the reconsolidation of traumatic memories protocol you might want to take a look at our notion template called how to erase trauma memories in 5 hours which highlights successful intervention done on military men and women that suffered from PTSD.

How to Cure PTSD Four Times in 5 Hours with Memory Reconsolidation Therapy

How to Cure PTSD Four Times in 5 Hours with Memory Reconsolidation Therapy

This case study shows how a non-drug intervention can be successfully used to cure PTSD in a Vietnam veteran in under 5 hours.

Here is the PDF of The Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories Protocol Case Study marked with my notes.

Below is a copy of the relevant text.

'Carl, our pseudonymous client, met criteria for at least one Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) Criterion A traumatic event and a current PTSD diagnosis. In addition, he asserted the presence of one or more flashbacks or nightmares during the preceding month. At the initial assessment, and at 2- and 6-weeks post-treatment, Carl completed assessments for PTSD.'

4 PTSD Memories targeted.

  • Rocket Attack, 1971
  • Viet Cong Sapper
  • Claymore Mine, 1971
  • Ditch Rat Bites, 1971

For the full step by step intervention and resources:
Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories-Bourke-Gray-Potts

'Carl, completed semi-structured clinical interviews at baseline to assess their current status and eligibility for participation. The PTSD Checklist-Military version (PCL-M) was administered to all participants at intake, two weeks, six-weeks, 6-months post and one-year post.'

Participants were admitted to the program with a PCL-M ≥ 50. Participants also completed the Posttraumatic Stress Scale-Interview (PSS-I) version at intake (PSS-I > 20) and two-weeks post. Observations of autonomic reactivity were recorded using an in-house instrument, the Behavioral Screening Instrument (BSI), whose results are not reported here. Subjective Units of Distress (SUDs) were elicited during treatment sessions at each elicitation of the trauma narrative using the standard ten-point Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS).

Post treatment assessments relied upon the PSS-I and PCL-M at two-weeks post, the PCL-M and clinical observations at six-week, six-month, and one-year follow-ups. Clinical observations included the cessation of nightmares and flashbacks, the ability to re-tell the trauma narrative with a SUDS rating of 0, a fluid, fully detailed recall of the index trauma, and personal and family reports of positive adjustment.'

Carl was a talkative, thoughtful, reflective Vietnam vet who reached out for psychological assistance in 1984 for anger and “doing dangerous things that weren’t me”. He was diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, and was prescribed Prozac, which he had been taking for the past 34 years, along with sleep medications. Carl was an experimental subject, which meant that after qualifying to participate in the study he would immediately receive three individualized treatment sessions with the RTM protocol, with no waiting period. Follow-up interviews and measurements happened again at 2 week, 6 week, 6 month and 1 year intervals.'

'Pre-screen. At the Pre-screen, four different trauma events were reported. Carl easily qualified for the study due to three factors. First, Carl showed fast rising autonomic arousal when speaking of each event. Second, Carl was experiencing weekly trauma related nightmares and flashbacks. Third, his pre-treatment scores on the PCL-M and PSS-I were high, scoring 73 (of a possible 85 points) on PCL-M and 42 (of a possible 51 points) on PSSI. He endorsed PTS symptoms in all DSM IV clusters: re-living, avoidant, mood/hyper-vigilance. Based on the 75 minute pre-screen interview one trauma event was identified by the clinician as most physiologically reactive. This agreed with the client’s assessment that this was the most troubling. This event was linked to intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks 4 times a month.'

Carl reported that the flashbacks happened in the stillness of the night and he would flash back to the sky, red with incoming rockets and mortars. Additionally, he said he ruminated daily on his partner’s death. During a 1 ½ minute re-telling, the client’s hands immediately began trembling and his leg began bouncing up and down. Then, Carl’s voice broke and he physically froze. The clinician promptly interrupted the narrative and he was told, “that’s enough for now.” The topic was changed to the client’s favorite hobby.

The target event took place in Da Nang, 1971. In a 3 minute timeframe, Carl related the following:

“My worst experience was losing my service dog, Rex. I was part of the canine program at Da Nang and we became very close partners (voice warbles)… We developed a very close relationship. It wasn’t like any of the other units. We worked alone. This particular Christmas morning where Rex was killed (leg and hand trembling, pauses, freezes, head tilted down and right, pauses)… I’ve lived so many years of guilt (posture shifts, voice shifts, head lifts), because I should have died with my dog (voice trembling) … That dog was my partner and I’m alive and that dog died saving my life. When one of the rockets was coming down, Rex could hear the whistling of the fins. And he lunged, which brought me to the ground. The minute I hit the ground that rocket went off (leg shaking). What I re-live is the Medivac out of the area. I always remember I was laying on the floor of the helicopter and I had a loose leash. I still have (notice shift to present tense) the leash on my hand (voice shaking) and my dog (clinician attempted to interrupt telling, yet client kept talking)… I remember I moved my hand. I never felt it without my dog.” Clinician stood and interrupted saying,

“Thanks, count backwards 5-4-3-2-1, please.” Carl counts backwards. Carl shifted to talk of fishing and the recent purchase of a new rod for fishing. Event was given the name “Rocket Attack, 1971”.

Treatment One began two days later.

1.  Rocket Attack, 1971 (8 SUDS)

Treatment 1. Treatment 1 commenced with the first phase of the RTM protocol. Carl learned the visual formats characteristic of the RTM process using practice movies. He chose an activity he experienced recently which was ‘going fishing’ and the bookends (beginning and end points) for the movie were determined. The client was guided through three different versions of the practice movie. Carl was able to see himself dissociated, doing the activity on an imaginary movie screen. Additionally, he was able to take the color out of the movie and watch himself do the activity from beginning to end as a black and white movie. Associating into the end of the fishing event, in first person, through his own eyes, and going in reverse, backwards through the event, to the beginning, was practiced until it could be executed with ease.

'Client was asked to tune in to the event “Rocket Attack, 1971”. Carl responded by saying it was an “8 SUDs” and “it draws a lot of emotion.” Once the trauma intensity was calibrated, the clinician quickly moved on, changing the client’s focus of attention and physical position in order to ensure a relaxed re-structuring experience for Carl. The clinician directed the client to find a resourceful moment before the event happened, where he was safe. He chose “Ski patrol” at Mt. Green, where he worked stateside immediately before leaving for Vietnam. The end of the event, where he felt that he was safe, the event was over, and he survived, was the “Family gathering”, when he returned home. After doing the set-up from theatre to projection booth, Carl was lead through 11 iterations of the black and white movie watching himself in the theatre as he watched his 21-year-old self go through the rocket attack event. He was specifically directed to stay in the booth and watch the self in the theatre as he watched a black and white movie beginning at the safe image at Mt. Green - a black and white still image of himself on ski patrol. The procedure continued through the rocket attack, the death of Rex, and ended with a still black and white image, Carl, back home at the “Family gathering”.

This movie was run in 45 seconds or less. Carl had little difficulty doing the dissociated black and white movie. Only one time was he observed to associate into the movie, seeing it through his own eyes and in color.'

The variations included: extending the distance of the screen, the speed of the movie, watching only the bottom half and then only the top half, and temporal variations.

The Associated Color Reversal step followed and involved 8 repeated experiences of the event as imaginal, associated, multisensory reversals of the rocket attack ‘undoing itself’ beginning at the end of the event (Family gathering), and in 1-2 seconds moving backwards through the rocket attack to the beginning (Ski patrol). Carl experienced the associated kinesthetics of holding the empty leash and falling to the ground in reverse, undoing themselves. The sound of the incoming rocket was reversed, and events associated with guilt feelings were made a specific element of the undoing experience. After completing these two essential restructuring steps, the client looked visibly relaxed and was directed.

At the end of Round 1, Carl offered the following narrative with added information: “It was Christmas morning. We were advised there would be activity. We were three hours into patrol. Rex heard the high-pitched sound [of the incoming rockets]. He jumped and pulled me to the ground. At the moment the rocket hit the ground Rex was killed. At that point it turned into a Medivac. I now remember I did not leave Rex there alone. Rex was on the helicopter and not left behind. They put him on the helicopter with me. He was off leash. The leash was empty, yet he was there. He was covered in a poncho. I got a letter from the Squadron leader explaining how they had a nice burial for Rex.” When asked by the clinician, “how was this re-telling different?”, Carl responded that “I was comfortable. I did not see myself leaving my dog behind. I did not see the horrific things that I thought I saw. My dog was dead, but my dog was with me. I don’t feel painful. It was a terrible thing, but I understand it. I know what happened. I can’t well up in tears and cry like I normally want to do. I don’t know what is going on or what is happening, but I have a sense of pride in what I am talking about.”

Carl reported the event at a 3 SUDs. Client and clinician then moved on to the revised movies with a better, safer different outcome.

The first version of the revised movie involved Carl acting as a movie director on a movie set with cameras and stunt actors standing in for himself and Rex. In this revised version the rockets overshoot, everyone is down on the ground and OK; the rocket fire stops and they all jump on the helicopter, including Rex, and take off. Then, as Director, Carl yells cut and Carl’s substitute and Rex take off for their dressing rooms. A second revision involved Carl and Rex safely finishing their shift and going to China Beach, so Rex could wash his paws. In a third revised movie, the patrol is finished, Carl and Rex are re-assigned stateside and they fly home.

After running these multiple revised movies several times, Carl is directed to tune into the original event, “Rocket Attack, 1971,” and it is a 2 SUDs. He reflects voluntarily, “I don’t feel that whatever it was… that would take over. I don’t feel I’m leaving him behind. Wow, that’s pretty strong. I feel good, I do. (Here client exhales a deep sigh and takes a Kleenex to dab his eyes. The clinician is calibrating tears of relief.) He’s OK.” Client went on to further comment on the process, “I have no idea what is going on here. I feel in a much better place.” For Carl, the shift in focus to recognizing that he did not leave the dog behind represented an important pivot point in rewriting the trauma event. Since the event was not yet a 0 SUDS, Carl was instructed to do another round of five black and white dissociated movies and four associated color reversals for the same event. The same bookends are used. When directed to re-tell in detail, Carl related the event in a matter of fact tone. He said the re-telling was different this time in that, “I’m proud to tell the story. The dog gave his life for me. I’m honored to do that for him. I’m not torn up emotionally. I’m not thinking horrifically bad things. It was war. It is now a 1 SUDS.” Another revised movie was completed with Carl and Rex safely missing the rocket and Rex receiving accolades for his bravery. Revised version was run several times. Carl offered the following comment at this point, “In 40-plus years, I have never been able to discuss something in such a manner, that is, putting it into real perspective. I had to do what I had to do. My dog did what he was trained to do. It was war and we were the casualties of war, but we did the best we could. This is remarkable. This is wonderful.” The event was reported as a 0.

The treatment of “Rocket Attack, 1971” took 78 minutes in total to reach a 0 SUDs rating. 

2.  Viet Cong Sapper (8 SUDS)

Next the clinician moved on to an earlier Vietnam event, Hand to Hand Combat “Sappers”, that was replicated in a recurring nightmare. A Viet Cong ‘sapper’ was akin to a combat engineer. The task of VC ‘sappers’ was to penetrate American defense perimeters.
At pre-screen, Carl reported experiencing this recurring nightmare at least 4-8 times a month.

The nightmare content was described as follows:

“I am in a battle with no end to it.  My dog, Rex, is in the dream and he is aggressively fighting and biting one sapper. I have a knife and am involved in hand to hand combat with a second sapper.”

Carl indicates that he’d wake up in the morning and feel exhausted because it seemed like it never ended. His wife reported that he recently kicked a sliding door off its runner after jumping out of bed during a nightmare. She commented further saying that he frequently talks in his sleep saying repeatedly: “Be careful.”

Carl’s daughter disclosed that many times when she would walk up behind her dad, he would startle, spin around and raise his fists. As treatment one continues, Carl reports the “Viet Cong Sapper” event as follows:

“Rex and I were on night patrol. I went out on patrol anxious every night. Rex and I were always at least one-half mile away from help. It was very lonely on patrol. Drain ditches had outlets around the base. Sappers would come through the ditches giving them access to planes and weapons dumps. I completed 1st quarter of the patrol then started the 2nd quarter where I went down a tunnel. Rex was alerted to action as his ears went up. It happened so quickly. We were there engaged in a fight. Rex took one sapper and lunged at him. I had a rifle but no way to get in position to do damage. The sapper was on me and I pulled my ka-bar [combat knife]. I stabbed him in the stomach and cut the side of his throat (facial muscles tighten, voice quickens, breathing gets shallower). I cut his jugular vein and he was bleeding. He went to the ground and I just kept stabbing and stabbing (throat tightens, voice tone changes). I don’t want him to get up and move. Sappers taped their chests with duct tape so that if they got injured they could keep going and get to their target. They are like terrorists. The most troubling part was blood and things have a terrible odor. I remember the whole picture (looks at the ground) of chaos that I painted. It’s never going to come to an end. That was the first time in my life fighting like that… fighting for my life. It felt in slow motion and ‘please stop, please stop’, I was saying to myself. I did not want to be there at the base of this tunnel with the Viet Cong sapper.” Client reflects that with that re-telling he felt the emotion in his chest and re-experienced stabbing and stabbing and seeing the guy bleeding from his neck. During that telling the clinician observed shifts in breathing, voice tone and tempo, facial muscles tightening and skin color draining. The client described the event at an 8 SUDS with feelings of fear and terror linked to it.

The client and clinician decided to use the same bookends as used in the event “Rocket Attack, 1971”. The client was then returned to the movie theatre, was seated, then guided to put the first still black and white image on the screen. Next, he was directed to float up to the projection booth leaving his body in the theatre. From the booth he was instructed to watch the self in the theatre as he watched the sapper movie of the younger self. The client was guided through 11 iterations of the black and white sapper movie at a distance and dissociated, with each lasting 15-20 seconds or less. The accelerated speed of the dissociated reviews was designed to counteract the client’s description of the event as perceived ‘in slow motion with no end’. Once the self in the theatre was comfortable watching the event in black and white, Carl was directed to come down from the projection booth, re-enter his body in the theatre, walk down to the screen, and step into the end bookmark, “Family gathering”. Seven iterations of the associated color reversal followed. The client completed all steps successfully.

When directed to re-tell the event in as much detail as possible, Carl described it more briefly indicating that when the sapper came upon him and Rex, he slashed him, fell on top of him and stabbed him several times. From there, a SWAT team came. He points out that there was no equipment in 1971 like they have today. He was out on patrol with no radio turned on. He says that this re-telling was different in that he no longer felt tension in his chest and hands. “I was comfortable with it. I did what I was trained to do. My dog did what he was trained to do. If I did not respond the way I did, I would not be here talking to you. It was war.”

Carl’s pre-treatment narrative, Carl reported that he only stabbed the sapper three times, and no longer described the event as “slow motion over and over again”. The event was rated with a SUDs level of 2. Two different revised movies were created and run with multiple revisions. The first revision involved a movie director version on a movie set with stunt actors and Carl as director. All equipment was fake, non-crippling gear and actors got up from the ground after the fight and went to a staff party. This version was run several times.

The next safer outcome involved Carl and Rex on patrol, sighting the Sappers from a distance, exchanging gunfire, and taking the Sappers out. Carl liked this version, commenting: “There was no rolling around in sewer water. Engaging at a distance is much better.”

He ran this revised version multiple times. The client then re-told the actual event and indicated that his revised perspective was that “It was a night in the jungle. A night doing my job. It had to be done. I feel it’s a 0 SUDs now.” For this trauma, the client’s entire experience took 36 minutes. As the clinician drew the session to a close, the client was asked how he was feeling. His response was: “I’m not sure. Wow. I’ve sat for a couple of hours and I’ve done some things here that I’ve tried to do with others in a different way and never have come close to having this type of ending with a session. I love it. I want to build upon that.”

Treatment 2. Carl returned for RTM session 3 days later. He described his experience over the past few days as follows:

“A lot of processes inside myself have changed. Since the last session my thought process has changed when it comes to Vietnam. I’ve been talking with my wife and daughter. I remember it as a process. I go to Vietnam, did what I had to do, but came home to a good process. I wasn’t stopping off and dwelling (on past events). I wasn’t getting these charged up feelings. I feel more rested and comfortable than I have in a long time. We talk about the process (RTM). It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s hard to imagine how somebody can be dealing with something like this for so many years and having psychiatric care and getting medication for umpteen years. I’m off the sleep meds and blood pressure pills and I cut back on the Prozac. I want to take this good feeling and expand on it. I’ve been talking with the neighbors and getting out for a morning walk. My front door is not a blockade for me anymore. I go to bed after the late evening news and am sleeping with a clear head. No more checking doors and windows. Before, I know I’d lock the doors and windows and then go back and check them again. I’m calm now.”
0 SUDS. 36 minutes of RTM Treatment.

3. Claymore Wire, 1971

The clinician directed the client’s attention to a third Vietnam traumatic event, “Claymore Wire, 1971.” At pre-screen, the event was described as follows: “I was assigned at the Da Nang airport to patrol the perimeter. Incoming Rockets were going off. When rockets were going up, there would be infiltration happening somewhere on the base. I was in charge of the machine gun on the vehicle. As we were moving, a claymore wire was set between the trees. (Pause and deep breathe.) The wire wrapped around my neck. (Swallows and color drains from face.) I got pulled out of the turret. Fortunately, the wire broke.” The shift in voice tone and tempo are audible as he expressed with a horrified look on his face: “I would have been decapitated if that wire did not break.”

 

Because this event was identified at Pre-screen by Carl as significant, and sympathetic arousal was observed, the clinician decided to check and see how he represented the event in the present time. Carl started the description by saying, “It was the 1st event that set a precedent in my mind that this is dangerous. I had only been in country for a week and it was the beginning of events that would weigh on me for years and years and years.” He went on to relate the event with the same details described at Pre-screen, yet was observed to tell it smoothly, with even voice tone and tempo and no autonomic arousal. Client indicated that: “I did not feel choked up and, to be honest, I talked about this with my family since that the last meeting. It’s done. There is no component of it that is troubling.”

4. Ditch Rat Bites, 1971

The Clinician moved on to a 4th Vietnam event, “Ditch, Rat Bites, 1971,” that related to a long term rat phobia.

This traumatic memory is somewhat reminiscent of a scene from First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone where Rambo walks through muddy water while bitten by rats.

 

At pre-screen, Carl reported this event with a terse, rapid voice tempo, saying: “Rockets and mortars were incoming. I jumped into a sewage ditch. (Facial muscles tighten, posture shifts.) Rats were biting all over my body and holding onto my skin. (Vocal pitch raises.) I get medevacked to Saigon for rabies shots.” In an interview with client’s adult daughter she reported that when she was younger their family physician wanted her to get a pet. She chose a pet hamster. She said that anytime she brought it in the room, her father would flinch and start sweating.

At the 2nd treatment client and clinician were 25 minutes into the session and Carl’s re-counting of the event sounded as follows: “It was 3 am in the morning. Rex and I were on patrol. Around the base were many sewage ditches. This was how they transported waste. Trenches were a critical point for securing our property. VC sappers would crawl through them. This morning there was rocket, and mortar fire, and they would land close. I literally jumped into the ditch. Within seconds the rats were all over me; it was like a biting frenzy. Rex stayed on the bank. After 15 seconds I jumped out of there. It took 2-3 days before I got help. Rats were noted for their rabies. If you were bit by a rat, you could assume you were rabid. I got back to the base in Da Nang and cleared up the wounds on my hands. I decided to go through a course of injections. I had a terrible reaction to the duck embryo and they medevacked me to Saigon.”

The clinician asked about the most troubling part of the event and the client indicated: “The smell and noise. I smell the sewage (note shift to present tense) and feel them biting (rubs his fingers together).” Clinician calibrated as Carl associated into his worst second in the ditch and re-experienced the smells and sounds. The client then shifted to a dissociated perspective and commented further: “You could not see anything. They were big, black and making a noise. I couldn’t get out of the ditch fast enough. I was confined and did not have control. If I saw a mouse or rat today, I would get pretty tense. (Client looks down and imagines rodent and tightens throat.) I want it removed.”

Carl evaluated: “Telling it now was definitely less intense than before. I go to my happy place, Mt. Green ski patrol.” Carl reported event at a 4 SUDS level. RTM protocol treatment proceeded. RTM process for Carl involved the same bookends, “Mt. Green ski patrol” (beginning) and “Family gathering” (end point). Client returned to the movie theatre, floated to the projection booth, and watched self in theatre watch the younger self go through the event in black and white. Black and white movie variations were repeated 9 times, including lightening the movie to shades of gray due to the night time context of the event. Brightening the movie to shades of gray and running it very quickly so that the self in theatre could see the younger self in the ditch and then jumping out quickly, was reported as comfortable to watch by the self in the theatre. The associated color reversal step was repeated six times. The client was able to do this step handily and each iteration involved undoing a sensory component. The sounds of biting rats were experienced as receding, the smells fading and the felt sensations reversing. Each iteration ended at the start point (Mt. Green, skiing), where the younger self was safe and away from the rats. The narrative followed: “Rex and I were on patrol. There were heavy rockets and mortar. My number 1 instinct was to get down to the ground as low as I could. I jumped into a ditch that was full of rats and sewage. I was bitten numerous times. I finally jumped out of the ditch. I notified the medical folks what happened. It was 1 ½ days before I could get to a place for medical attention. I went to Saigon for 10 weeks of treatment.”

The clinician then asked: “How was that re-telling different this time?”

Carl responded: “It feels like part of a process I went through. I don’t have that horrible, choked up panicky… it’s over. I can think of the memory, yet the good outweighs the bad. I go to my safe place, Mt. Green. This event is just a memory. As I close my eyes this event is back from me.” Client rates event at 1 SUDs. Clinician decides to do some revised movies even though the event is at a suitable SUDs rating. For a revised movie, Carl indicated that he wanted the smells of popcorn and cotton candy wafting through the event, bunny rabbits in the ditch and landing on green grass. This revised movie was run disassociated, then run associated 8 times. Carl then re-told the actual event and said: “It’s a 0 SUDs. It’s like I go from combat to a Disney movie. It’s amazing. I feel no panic.” The clinician tested further and asked him to imagine a rat in his garage at home. He indicates, “I see it. It’s not going to hurt me. I shoo him out.”

Treatment of this event took 30 minutes in total.

Treatment 3. Carl arrived at treatment 3 saying he was sleeping well and had no flashbacks or nightmares related to the treated events. He was asked to re-tell each of the 3 events. With each telling no reactive indices were reported or observed. Carl indicated there were no other events in need of RTM treatment. The clinician and Carl met for 15 minutes and Carl left.

Treatment Outcomes. The two-week follow-up consisted of repeating the PCL-M and PSSI, the client was also directed to re-tell the target trauma. In Carl’s case “Rocket Attack, 1971” was the event specified. Family members, if present, were interviewed. At the 2 week follow-up, Carl’s wife and daughter volunteered their observations as to differences they were noticing post-treatment. For the three other follow-ups (6 week, 6 month and 1 year), only the PCL-M was administered. The Post Treatment Behavioral Assessment (not reported here) was conducted at all three follow-ups, in order to assess flashbacks, nightmares, and maintenance of behavioral changes. The 6 month and 1 year follow-ups were conducted over the phone.
After two weeks Carl met with the psychometrist. At that time, his score on the PCL-M had gone down from 73 (intake) to 17 (2 weeks), a 56-point decrease. None of the DSM IV symptom clusters were endorsed. His score on the PSSI diminished to 0, a 42-point difference. He reported no flashbacks or nightmares in the past 2 weeks. Specifically, the combat nightmare with the sapper, which had been happening 1-2 times weekly, had not returned. Carl went from sleeping 5-6 hours nightly to a full 8 hours sleep. Carl commented that, “It’s amazing to wake up feeling good. Sleep is half the battle. Since night patrol in Vietnam, I’ve been a night person.” No physiological arousal was observed or reported in relation to the narrative.

Carl was clearly reporting absence of re-living/intrusive symptoms, specifically no disturbing image of Rex’s death, feeling upset when reminded of death and killing, or spontaneously having physical reactions like breaking out in sweats when reminded of Vietnam events. His post-treatment behavioral reports further testified to the shift in re-experiencing symptoms. First, he verbalized: “When I look at Rex’s picture on the wall, it’s more of a positive for me.” Second, he offers, “I am not wearing Rex’s dog tags anymore. They are with my other dog tags. I have never gone without them. I took them off after treatment 2. I put that part of Rex I always felt had to be here (pointing to his heart) aside, in another place.”

Changes in avoidant symptoms were marked by significant shifts in Carl’s thinking and behavior. Rather than having to work to push trauma related thoughts and feelings aside, Carl reported, as early as the beginning of treatment two, that he comfortably talked to his wife and daughter about the treated events, Rocket Attack, 1971 and Sappers, as well as the Claymore wire event. The breakthrough for him was that he felt comfortable doing so with no tearing or other sympathetic arousal. Carl indicated he had reconnected with his fishing partner with whom he had not spoken in 8 years. He said that during the call: “There was no loss of words; no feeling of having to explain. It was like we just got out of the boat together. Now I want to socialize and communicate. I feel no need to be back in a suffering position. Before I would do anything not to put myself in a position to socialize. Now there is no discomfort talking to people.” So, rather than avoiding activities and situations, and having no interest in free time activities, Carl was talking with neighbors and engaging with family members rather than detached. His wife and daughter echoed these changes. His ‘zest for life,’ as he described it, contrasted sharply with past thinking that, “I thought tomorrow would bring nothing but pain and anguish.” Rather than no future plans or hopes, Carl described planning ahead: “I try to make every day an active day. I have been walking and gardening. I plan ahead for short fishing jaunts.” Carl was affirming his future and most definitely conveying a future orientation. Carl says of a difficult family situation that arose recently that, “Unlike in the past, I did not feel myself getting dragged down.”

Carl reported handling this situation decisively, without the tangle of emotions he would have in the past. His emotional palette involved a wider range of emotions, and greater clarity in thinking was his report and the clinician’s observation.

Carl displayed and reported a significant reduction in his level of arousal. The client’s wife and daughter were interviewed and echoed this shift in behavior. The wife reported that when she and Carl would watch TV crime or history shows involving loud banging noises, she was observing that he was no longer startling and jumping out of his seat as he had for years. She offered that he is “so much calmer.” Both wife and daughter echoed their pleasure in Carl’s calmer demeanor indicating, “If dad was in a mood and on edge the whole family would be on edge.” The earlier report at treatment two of no longer being obsessed with a house break-in and compulsively checking on doors and windows, further verified Carl’s decreased need to be on guard and super-watchful. Carl summed up the two-week follow-up by saying: “I’m getting off the Prozac. I’ve been taking 60 mg for as long as I can remember. I’m doing a gradual cutback using a Harvard medical process. When we meet for the 6 week follow-up it will be my last day. Now I want to socialize and communicate.” Carl summed up the follow-up by reflecting: “A significant change was made which impacted how I thought of each event. I have lived with this for 40 years and half of that trying to hide the emotion and pain and then to the point where it comes out. Now there’s an opportunity. I am a changed person after 40 plus years.”

At the six week, in-person follow-up (4 weeks later) scores on the PCL-M were recorded at 17, retaining the 56 point decrease seen at the 2 week follow-up. Carl reported no flashbacks or trauma-related nightmares. He reported socializing, exercising, feeling safe, calm and energized. Carl indicated he had just taken his last 10 mg dose of Prozac earlier that day. Carl had been on that medication for 30 years and was glad he no longer had to depend on it to feel good throughout the day.

At the six month follow-up, Carl’s score on the PCL-M remained stable at 17. He reported no flashbacks or nightmares. The six month follow up happened in February. Carl reported enjoying Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and the anniversary of Rex’s death, for the first time in years. This was in marked contrast to the report of his daughter, 4 months earlier, who had indicated that previously, for every Christmas Eve, for as long as she could remember, “Dad would toast Rex and then sit in silence, alone, for hours. On Christmas day he would seem melancholy all day.” Carl also indicated that this Christmas went smoothly. He reported feeling joy and a deep appreciation for life as he talked with family and visitors and his toasts were a celebration. At the one-year follow-up, Carl again scored 17 on the PCL-M. No flashbacks or nightmares. He reported sleeping comfortably, enjoying his wife and family, socializing, walking, and continuing to experience a “zest for life”.

Once the central trauma (Rocket Attack, 1971) and an important second trauma (Sappers) had been successfully treated, the process streamlined in a significant manner and its effects generalized to other events that might previously have needed treatment, or more treatment.

Streamlining was apparent in the lessened temporal investment in the treatment of later traumas. The first event took 70 minutes, the second and third took about half of that (36 and 30 minutes, respectively). This suggests that practice effects after the first treatment were a significant contributor to later treatments. Not only had the basic cognitive elements been practiced multiple times before (practice sessions) and during treatment (11 or more black and white movies and multiple associated reversals and rescriptings), but their subsequent negative reinforcement through the lessening of negative affects (fear, anxiety, sympathetic arousal, loss of control) may be presumed to have increased their availability and utility (behavioral salience) across treatments and sessions.

We may also suspect that the new behaviors, through the same mechanism of reconsolidation that we use as a major explanatory element, became incorporated in the meta-experience of the class of negative and intruding psychological states. So that now, when he thinks of rats, the phobic response is gone, and they are imagined, spontaneously, as bunnies. This process may be related to Gregory Bateson’s (1972) concept of second level learning (Learning II), in which the organism learns how to learn and learns to apply the learned behavior in similar contexts (Bateson, 1972; Kaiser, 2016; Tosey, Visser, &Saunders, 2012).
It is interesting to note that Carl so embraced what he called his ‘happy place’ that the bookends at the beginning and end of the “Rocket Attack, 1971” were used as bookends for the second (Sappers) and third (Rats in the Ditch) treated events. This suggests that these were effective for him in delimiting the traumatic space. That is, they really were safe places in which the trauma had either not yet happened or was truly over as an existential reality. Moreover, they, or their feeling tones, appear to have been integrated into his perception of the traumatic memories.

At one point, Carl refers to accessing the Mt. Green ski patrol scene as his happy place. The bookends apparently provide emotional contexts that he now, consciously or unconsciously, uses to reframe the meaning of potentially traumatic events. This may reflect that these “bookends” were in fact incorporated in the larger context of the fear memories as suggested below:
In previous reports (Gray & Bourke, 2015; Gray & Teall, 2016; Gray, Budden-Potts, & Bourke, 2017; Tylee et al., 2017), we have emphasized our belief and intent that the rescripting exercise in the second part of the intervention does not change the original memory, but provides a weakening of its salience and its meaning as an enduring threat in the present time. Here we note that Carl’s restructuring of the rat attack as a Disneyesque fantasy of soft grass, the odor of popcorn, and fuzzy bunnies may have been carried forward into everyday life as an alternate interpretive context for responding to rodents in his every-day life. In an imaginal test following the revised movie we noted above:

Carl wanted the smells of popcorn and cotton candy wafting through the event, bunny rabbits in the ditch and landing on green grass. This revised movie was run disassociated then associated 8 times.

Carl then re-told the actual event and said:

“It’s a 0 SUDs. It’s like I go from combat to a Disney movie. It’s amazing. I feel no panic.”

Clinician tests further and asks him to imagine a rat in his garage at home.

He indicates: “I see it. It’s not going to hurt me. I shoo him out.”
Here we see an imaginal, metaphorical extension (Skinner, 1957) of the revised event to similar contexts. This also reflects our discussion of Batesonian Level II learning (Bateson, 1972), above.
We note that there were several traumas that either were mentioned in intake or arose only after treatment of the other traumas, that Carl felt no longer needed treatment. He felt that they had become just part of his process. Specifically, his near decapitation by the tripwire of a booby trap connected to a claymore mine, was regarded as no longer traumatizing.

Generalization of the behaviors learned in the context of the treatment also appears in his interpersonal relations, his self control, and a general loss of hypervigilance. This supports our previous claims that insofar as other personal issues and comorbidities are directly related to the index trauma(s), they will often be resolved (Gray & Bourke, 2015; Gray & Teall, 2016; Gray et al., 2017; Gray & Liotta, 2012; Tylee et al., 2017). So, Christmas is redeemed, obsessive checking of home security disappears, self-control is manifested in difficult interpersonal relations, etc.
We again point to the persistence of Carl’s positive adjustment at one year post. At the one-year follow-up, Carl’s PCL-M remained stable at 17. He reported neither flashbacks nor nightmares. He was sleeping comfortably through the night, enjoying his wife and family, socializing, walking, and continuing to experience a “zest for life”.

Observations
At the beginning of treatment, Carl, like all clients in the study, met diagnostic criteria for current PTSD using PCL-M. The PSS-I was also captured at intake and two-weeks post. Carl scored far above the intake criterion of 20. His two week score was 0. Carl’s SUDs ratings began at 8 for the most intense trauma and decreased to 0 for all traumas at the end of treatment.

When trauma narratives were elicited at follow-up sessions, SUDS levels remained at 0.

At baseline, Carl had shown clear signs of autonomic reactivity, including tearing, freezing, color changes, breathing changes, loss of detail and the inability to coherently relate the entire narrative. At follow-up, his capacity to recall the events fully, as coherent narratives, without the observable indicia of autonomic arousal (tears, flushing, pausing, freezing, changing color and vocal tone, etc.) attested to his changed comfort level with the material. He also indicated that they were now comfortable with the trauma memories and that they were viewed as distant, relatively dissociated memories.

Several significant observations may be made regarding RTM, PTSD and the nature of the observed changes:
a) Here (and in the larger study), the client spontaneously reassessed and reintegrated the trauma memory into a fuller, more self-affirming vision of their own past. This suggests that, rather than being the path to recovery as hypothesized by some (Brewin, Dalgleish, & Joseph, 1996; Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2006), these changes may be the fruit of the transformed perceptions created by the RTM process.

b) With Carl, as with all of the treatment completers, reduction of the felt impact of the trauma, as evidenced by reduction in SUDs, was associated with more complete memory retrieval, more coherent narratives and a larger perspective on the event itself. Moreover, as the negative affect surrounding the index trauma decreased, this suggests that the narration is less the curative agent, as expected in CPT (Brewin, Dalgleish, & Joseph, 1996; Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2006), as it is evidence of trauma resolution. This is supported by a growing body of evidence to the effect that stress and strong emotion impair various memory functions (Diamond, Campbell, Park, Halonen, & Zoladz, 2007; Samuelson, 2011).

c) For Carl and other cases in the study, comorbid diagnoses including depression and guilt were eliminated or at least ameliorated with the resolution of the intrusive symptoms. This has been reported in other studies of RTM (Gray & Bourke, 2015; Gray & Liotta, 2012; Tylee, et al.2016) and have included the cessation of substance abuse/dependence and marital discord. The same effect has been observed by Resick, Monson and Chard with CPT (2006). This suggests that, in some cases, co-morbidities are maintained as responses to the intrusive symptoms of PTSD and not as self-maintaining syndromes.
d) Despite the listing of the age of the memory as a boundary condition of the reconsolidation phenomenon, such that older memories tend to resist labilization (Agren, 2014; Fernández, Bavassi, Forcato, & Pedreira, 2016; Forcato, 2007; Kindt et al., 2009; Lee, 2009; Schiller & Phelps, 2011; Schiller et al., 2013), these results, treating traumas with a life span of 46 years, suggest that some other interpretation is needed. We lead to the belief, with Lee, Nader, and Schiller (2017), that the replay of traumatic memories as flashbacks and nightmares maintains them as current memories. That is, each time the memory is evoked and labilized through the expression of intrusive symptoms, it is reconsolidated as a present-time threat, making it more susceptible to labilization and reconsolidation than older memories not renewed in this manner.

Summary
The client presented in this case study illustrated successful PTSD treatment using a novel, brief intervention requiring fewer than 5 hours of treatment. Using diagnostic criteria for Military trauma (PCL-M ≥ 50) his intake score was 73 and no longer met criteria for PTSD diagnosis following RTM. These gains were maintained, as reported above, at one-year posttreatment. These results are noteworthy in that Carl suffered from multiple, treatment resistant traumas, a complex trauma history, and had suffered from PTSD, for 46 years. Carl had previously been treated to little or no avail by the Veterans Administration and various veteran outreach agencies.
These results support RTM’s presentation as a brief, effective treatment for PTSD in those cases whose symptoms focus upon intense, automatic, phobic-type responses to intrusive symptoms.

 

To learn more about the clinical use of memory reconsolidation, this PDF by Bruce Ecker is over 90 pages and a good start. https://www.coherencetherapy.org/files/Ecker_2018_Clinical_Translation_of_Memory_Reconsolidation_Research.pdf

The study for this article is from the RTM-Bourke-Gray-Potts study.  

 

 


Learn the mental training strategies used by the military to clear veterans of PTSD.  This is the strategy mentioned in the Washington Post that is considered the most effective and least known protocol for changing problem memories.

Get Over a Breakup and Learn to Change problem memories so you can move forward without the baggage of a past relationship.

Learn how to get over a breakup fast and change the memories of your ex, for good!

 

 

 

Mind Control and Weaponizing Psychology During Covid

Mind Control and Weaponizing Psychology During Covid

Jason Christoff is a mind control expert and he has given a talk about the weaponization of psychology for mind control duing the Covid operations.


 

Here are highlights of the talk.

- 💡 Confusion is a powerful tool in mind control, as it makes individuals reliant on external authorities and unable to make logical decisions for themselves.
- 💡 The examples of confusion tactics during the pandemic demonstrate the intentional manipulation of information to confuse the public and maintain control.
- 💡 Group pressure is a psychological mechanism that drives individuals to conform to the majority's views, suppressing independent thinking and critical analysis.
- 💡 The various psychological tactics employed during the pandemic aim to instill fear, guilt, and shame, creating a sense of powerlessness and compliance.
- 💡 Paycheck mind control refers to individuals who prioritize financial gain over morality and ethics, allowing themselves to be manipulated for personal gain.
- 💡 Reclaiming morality and ethics is crucial to combatting mind control and restoring the principles on which nations were founded.
- 💡 To overcome mind control, individuals must lead with courage, take action, and fearlessly express their opinions and beliefs.

What to Expect When Quitting Marijuana

What to Expect When Quitting Marijuana

When quitting marijuana, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms as their body adjusts to the absence of the drug. These symptoms typically develop within 24-72 hours after quitting cold turkey and peak in intensity around the first week. Common withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia, anorexia, and strong cravings for marijuana. These symptoms can be challenging to cope with and may persist for up to 30 days, with insomnia potentially lasting longer.

Moreover, individuals who have been using marijuana to cope with underlying mental health issues like depression or anxiety may find that these conditions worsen during withdrawal. The rebound of anxiety or depression after quitting marijuana can increase the risk of relapse for some individuals. It is essential for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or struggling with mental health issues to seek support from healthcare professionals or addiction treatment programs.

While marijuana withdrawal symptoms are not typically life-threatening, they can be unpleasant and challenging to manage. Making healthy lifestyle changes, seeking mental health guidance and support, attending support groups, and considering rehabilitation centers or programs can help individuals navigate the withdrawal process effectively. It is crucial for those considering quitting marijuana to consult with healthcare providers for personalized guidance and support throughout their journey towards sobriety.

To learn about the effects of marijuana and the brain, watch this video:

 

What are the Physical Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal?

When quitting marijuana, individuals may experience various physical symptoms as part of the withdrawal process. These symptoms can include:

- Tremors
- Sweating
- Headaches
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Insomnia
- Decreased appetite or weight loss
- Restlessness

These physical symptoms typically manifest within the first few days after quitting marijuana and may persist for up to 30 days. The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the frequency and duration of marijuana use.

What are the Mental Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal?

When experiencing marijuana withdrawal, individuals may encounter various mental symptoms as their body adjusts to the absence of the drug. These mental symptoms can include:

- Anger, irritability, and aggression
- Feelings of nervousness and anxiety
- Restlessness
- Depression
- Experiencing strange or unsettling dreams

These symptoms may arise within one week of reduced marijuana use and can persist for up to 30-45 days after stopping marijuana consumption. The severity and duration of these mental symptoms can vary based on factors such as the frequency and intensity of marijuana use.

What are some Alternative Therapies for Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms?

Some alternative therapies and strategies for managing the mental symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with marijuana use, aiding in managing anxiety, depression, and irritability during withdrawal.

2. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness techniques and meditation can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance emotional regulation, which may help individuals cope with withdrawal-related mood disturbances.

3. Exercise and Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity can boost mood, reduce anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being during the withdrawal process.

4. Support Groups: Joining support groups or attending counseling sessions can provide individuals with a sense of community, understanding, and encouragement as they navigate the challenges of marijuana withdrawal[3].

5. Healthy Distractions: Engaging in hobbies, activities, or interests that bring joy and distraction can help individuals manage cravings and focus on positive outlets during withdrawal.

These alternative therapies can complement traditional treatments and support individuals in addressing the mental symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal effectively.

How Can CBT Help People Quit Marijuana?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be an effective tool in helping individuals quit marijuana by teaching them skills relevant to quitting and managing other problems that may arise during withdrawal. Here are some ways CBT can assist in quitting marijuana:

1. Functional Analysis: CBT helps individuals understand the function of their marijuana use, identify triggers for use, and develop strategies to avoid or cope with these triggers effectively.

2. Self-Management Planning: Through CBT, individuals learn to create self-management plans to avoid or cope with situations that may lead to drug use. This includes developing drug refusal skills, problem-solving skills, and lifestyle management strategies.

3. Coping Skills Training: CBT equips individuals with techniques for managing urges and cravings, recognizing triggers for drug use, managing withdrawal symptoms, and learning relapse prevention strategies. These skills are crucial in navigating the challenges of quitting marijuana.

4. General Coping Skills: CBT introduces general coping skills such as stress management techniques, assertiveness training, communication skills development, and relaxation strategies. These skills help individuals manage negative affect and stress effectively during the withdrawal process.

By incorporating these elements of CBT into treatment plans, individuals can develop the necessary tools and strategies to overcome marijuana dependence and successfully navigate the challenges of withdrawal.

Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind by Dr Georgia Ede

Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind by Dr Georgia Ede

"Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind" by Georgia Ede, MD, offers a unique perspective on the connection between diet and mental health. Dr. Ede, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist with extensive clinical experience, challenges conventional dietary recommendations and presents a 3-tiered approach to improving mood and mental health through diet modifications. The book emphasizes the impact of nutrition on brain health, providing insights into how different dietary approaches can influence conditions like anxiety, depression, and cognitive function.

Dr. Ede's book has received positive reviews for its well-researched content and practical advice on implementing dietary changes. Readers have found the book informative, impactful, and empowering, with detailed explanations on how food choices can affect mental well-being. The author's focus on ketogenic diets and other targeted dietary interventions for mental health sets this book apart from others in the genre.

Overall, "Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind" offers a comprehensive guide to optimizing mental health through nutrition, challenging traditional dietary norms, and providing readers with actionable steps to improve mood, overcome anxiety, and protect memory for long-term mental well-being.

Her interview  is a great way to get acquainted with her work and you can watch it here:

Her book is especially valuable if you are struggling with attention problems, mood swings, food obsession, or depression. Whatever the issue, you have far more control than you realize. In Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind, Dr Georgia Ede reveals that the most powerful way to change brain chemistry is with food - because that's where brain chemicals come from in the first place.

In this provocative, illuminating guide, Dr Ede explains why nearly everything we think we know about brain-healthy diets is wrong. The truth is that meat is not dangerous, vegan diets are not healthier, and antioxidants are not the answer.

Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind will empower you to:

  • Understand how unscientific research drives fickle news headlines and dietary guidance
  • Evaluate yourself for signs of insulin resistance - the silent metabolic disease that robs your brain of energy
  • Improve your mental health with a personalized plan to suit your own food preferences and health goals

Drawing on a wide range of scientific disciplines, including biochemistry, neuroscience, and botany, Dr Ede will ignite your curiosity about the fascinating world of food and its role in nourishing, protecting, and energizing your brain.

What is the Harada  Method and How to Use it for Achieving Your Goals.

What is the Harada Method and How to Use it for Achieving Your Goals.

At the age of 28, Shohei Ohtani signed a 10 year / $700,000,000 contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, he is talented, but talent is worthless without a vision, a plan & work ethic.

What system did he use to achieve such huge goals?

He used the Harada method which is very successful and popular in Japan. How did this come about?

Meet Takashi Harada.

He was a high school track & field coach at the worst school in Osaka, Japan. After years studying the world's best coaches, he created his own system. His school went from being dead last to the #1 school in Japan producing 13 gold medal winners during his span.

Shohei Ohtani studied under Mr. Suzuki who was a student of Harada's. Here is Shohei Otani's list of goals as well as his map of how to get there. What he has accomplished seems surreal & almost magical but it was planned all along.

The Harada Method, developed by Takashi Harada, is a system focused on fostering self-reliance and personal development. This method emphasizes individuals becoming highly skilled in a particular discipline, enabling them to make responsible decisions for themselves and the organizations they work for. The core principle of the Harada Method is to empower individuals to envision their future success through their own efforts, thereby instilling excitement and motivation for work.

Key components of the Harada Method include setting clear goals aligned with personal and organizational success, developing timelines for goal achievement, monitoring progress, analyzing past successes and failures, creating action plans, establishing daily routines to build new habits, and utilizing coaching and mentoring to support growth.

The Harada Method has been successfully applied in various contexts, including sports coaching and business management. It has been recognized as an effective tool for developing highly skilled workers essential for the future of industries. By instilling self-reliance and providing individuals with the tools to achieve their goals, the Harada Method aims to drive personal and professional success.

Individuals interested in implementing the Harada Method can benefit from online training courses designed to teach the principles of self-reliance, goal setting, and personal development. The method has been widely adopted in Japan and is now being introduced to English-speaking businesses worldwide through certification programs and coaching services.

Overall, the Harada Method offers a structured approach to personal growth and goal achievement by empowering individuals to take ownership of their lives, develop essential skills, and strive for excellence in both personal and professional endeavors.

What are the Key Principles of the Harada Method?

The key principles of the Harada Method, a management and self-development approach, include:

1. Self-Management: Individuals are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work and personal development. They set their own goals and are accountable for achieving them.
2. Visualizing Goals: People are taught to visualize their goals clearly, making them more tangible and achievable. Visualization is a key aspect of the method, helping individuals to stay focused on their objectives.
3. Breaking Down Goals: Goals are broken down into smaller, manageable tasks to facilitate progress incrementally.
4. Daily Practice: Emphasizes the importance of daily routines and habits that contribute to the achievement of long-term goals.
5. Measuring Progress: Progress is measured and tracked regularly to provide feedback and guide adjustments in efforts.
6. Continuous Improvement: Promotes the idea of continuous improvement (kaizen), encouraging individuals to evaluate their performance constantly and seek ways to enhance their processes and achieve success.

These principles aim to help individuals to become self-reliant, set clear goals aligned with personal and organizational success, and foster a culture of accountability, productivity, and continuous improvement within organizations.

How to Start the Harada Method for Yourself Today.

Step 1:  Answer questions based on self reliance. It's a gauge to see how self reliant you are and gives you a baseline with which to work with. Once you find your baseline your goal is to improve upon them. The questions can be accessed at the images below:

and here's the others...

Now that you've got those questions answered you can use those as a benchmark for your progress.

Step 2:  Create your long term goal. This is your north star where your actions will be directed towards. It will organize your goals, purposes, self analysis, and action plan.

Step 3: Analyze your obstacles to success. Once you do that you then create countermeasures to solve those obstacles before they happen. This helps you plan tasks and routines to achieve the goal when the going gets rough.

Step 4. Create an Open 64 chart. The Open 64 is a framework for coming up with tasks and routines you need to accomplish the goal. You create 8 pillars that will serve as principles to your achievement. Around those fill in the tasks needed to achieve them.

As an example, here is Shohei Otani's Open 64 chart from high school. While his main goal was to get drafted 1st overall in the MLB he achieved something even greater than that. He got signed to a $30 million contract by the Anaheim Angels.

Step 5: Create a checklist of routines. It's not enough to set a goal. You must set a system of habits that will make the goal an inevitability. Have a list you check daily to ensure you're hitting the actions you need to make your vision a reality.

Step 6: Keep a daily performance journal. The journal is broken down into tasks to be completed & a reflection on your performance at the end of the day. The journal is meant as a way to build self awareness while keeping you in line with your target.

The final step is to get a coach & support. We cannot achieve things on our own. Find a coach who can help you achieve success faster and stay accountable. Find people around you who can support and assist you on the way to achieving your goal.

Neurologist Dr Mark D’Esposito on How to Improve Focus, Productivity, Planning and Achieving Goals

Neurologist Dr Mark D’Esposito on How to Improve Focus, Productivity, Planning and Achieving Goals

Dr. Mark D'Esposito, M.D., a neurologist, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley shares brain mechanisms underlying cognition and the forms of memory required for focus, productivity, planning and achieving goals, and learning. He also shares insight about neurochemicals such as dopamine and acetylcholine and how they can be leveraged to improve cognitive functioning. After educating us with a base, Dr. Mark talks about concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease, and ways to restore or slow cognitive decline by using pharmacologic, lifestyle and behavioral protocols.

This episode provides a modern understanding of cognition and memory and actionable tools to optimize brain health and function.

To help improve focus and concentration, you may also want to try our audiobook full of hypnosis tracks Hypnosis for Focus, Concentration, Optimism, Productivity and Energy 

For strategies on increasing focus and improving concentration:

7 Strategies To Improve Focus, Increase Concentration, and Enhance Attention.

How PTSD Can Impact Women

How PTSD Can Impact Women

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental health condition that can have profound effects on individuals, particularly women. While PTSD is often associated with male combat veterans, the reality is that women are twice as likely to develop PTSD compared to men. This disparity in prevalence raises important questions about how PTSD manifests in women, the unique challenges they face in diagnosis and treatment, and the impact of gender differences on the course of the disorder.

Research indicates that women are more susceptible to developing PTSD due to a higher likelihood of experiencing certain types of trauma, such as sexual assault and abuse. These traumatic events can have lasting psychological effects and increase the risk of developing PTSD.

Furthermore, studies have shown that women with PTSD often face delays in diagnosis and treatment compared to men. On average, women wait four years before receiving a diagnosis, while men typically wait only one year. This delay in diagnosis can have significant consequences for women's mental health and well-being, underscoring the need for improved awareness and understanding of PTSD in women.

In addition to differences in prevalence and diagnosis, there are also unique challenges that women with PTSD may encounter in terms of co-occurring mental health conditions. Research suggests that women with PTSD are more likely to report co-occurring internalizing disorders such as anxiety and substance abuse. These comorbid conditions can complicate treatment approaches and highlight the importance of addressing the full spectrum of mental health needs in individuals with PTSD.

When it comes to treatment for PTSD in women, there are effective interventions available, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy.  The greatest beneficial results for women with PTSD is from a study on military women that had experienced PTSD from battle and military sexual trauma.

What worked for them is a non-drug intervention that is effective by using a mental training strategy that focuses on erasing the emotional content of the memory. The conclusion of that study had impressive results - 'RTM (Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories) eliminated intrusive symptoms and significantly decreased symptom scale ratings in 90%'. What is additionally impressive is that this RTM protocol is done in under 5 hours. To learn more, I have made a notion template that includes the step-by-step intervention along with additional studies indicating how it works.

In light of these complexities surrounding PTSD in women, it is clear that a comprehensive approach is needed to address the unique challenges they face. Creating a supportive environment that fosters open conversations about mental health, increasing awareness among healthcare providers about gender differences in PTSD presentation, and advocating for gender-sensitive treatment approaches are all critical steps towards improving outcomes for women with PTSD.

By shedding light on the impact of PTSD on women and exploring the multifaceted nature of this condition through a gender lens, we can work towards better understanding, diagnosing, and treating PTSD in women. Through continued research, education, and advocacy efforts, we can strive towards a future where all individuals affected by PTSD receive timely and effective care tailored to their specific needs and experiences.

7 Strategies To Improve Focus, Increase Concentration, and Enhance Attention.

7 Strategies To Improve Focus, Increase Concentration, and Enhance Attention.

Being able to maintain focus is a valuable skill but the challenge is that technology is extraordinarily powerful at getting our attention. With all the notifications and new interesting information constantly being fire-hosed into our consciousness, it can be a challenge to do work of any value. Fortunately, focus can be improved with these 7 strategies.

To improve focus, increase concentration, and enhance attention, consider implementing the following strategies:

1. Establish a Routine: Creating a consistent daily schedule can help train your brain to focus better. Set specific times for work, breaks, meals, and relaxation to optimize your productivity.

2. Minimize Distractions: Identify and eliminate distractions in your environment. Turn off notifications, find a quiet workspace, and use tools like noise-canceling headphones to maintain focus.

3. Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation to improve concentration and reduce mental clutter.

4. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Proper hydration and a balanced diet rich in nutrients can support cognitive function and sustain focus throughout the day.

5. Utilize the Pomodoro Technique: Break your work into intervals using the Pomodoro Technique (25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break) to enhance productivity and maintain concentration.

6. Exercise Regularly: Physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function and focus. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine for optimal mental performance.

7. Get Sufficient Sleep: Adequate rest is crucial for cognitive function and concentration. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support optimal focus and attention.

8. Set Clear Goals: Define specific, achievable goals to provide direction and motivation for your tasks. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps can help maintain focus and increase productivity.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can enhance your ability to focus, increase concentration, and improve overall cognitive performance.

To begin improving your focus, you can also get a helping boost with self-hypnosis audios specially written to put you into a relaxing trance and allow your focus to expand with practice.

12 ways a Therapist can Benefit from a Notion Template

12 ways a therapist can benefit from a Notion template:

1. Improved organization: A Notion template can help a therapist stay organized and keep track of client information, session notes, and treatment plans in one place.
2. Streamlined workflow: A template can help a therapist streamline their workflow by providing a standardized process for conducting sessions, tracking progress, and managing client information.
3. Consistency: A template can help ensure consistency in the therapist's approach to treatment, ensuring that all clients receive the same high-quality care.
4. Time-saving: By using a template, a therapist can save time by not having to start from scratch for each new client or session.
5. Better communication: A template can help a therapist communicate more effectively with clients by providing a clear and consistent framework for sessions.
6. Improved client engagement: A template can help a therapist engage clients more effectively by providing a clear and structured process for treatment.
7. More efficient note-taking: A template can help a therapist take more efficient notes during sessions, ensuring that important information is captured and retained.
8. Better goal-setting: A template can help a therapist set and track goals for clients, ensuring that progress is being made towards desired outcomes.
9. Enhanced client accountability: A template can help a therapist hold clients accountable for their progress by setting clear goals and tracking progress towards them.
10. More effective treatment planning: A template can help a therapist develop more effective treatment plans by providing a structured framework for assessing client needs and developing strategies for addressing them.
11. Better data tracking: A template can help a therapist track client data more effectively, enabling them to identify trends and patterns in client progress.
12. More efficient billing and invoicing: A template can help a therapist streamline their billing and invoicing processes, ensuring that they get paid for their services in a timely manner.

They are free so give them a go and try one on!

How Can a Therapist Use Notion to Track Progress and Goals for Patients?

To track progress and goals for patients, therapists can effectively utilize Notion in the following ways:
1. Utilize Therapy Sessions Template: Therapists can use the Therapy Sessions Notion template to organize and plan therapy sessions efficiently[1].
2. Guided Goal Setting: Incorporate guided goal setting techniques in therapy sessions, as shown in a study where therapists engaged in collaborative goal setting with clients[2].
3. Goal Tracking: Create a customized "Goals" database in Notion to list goals, break them into actionable tasks, assign deadlines, and track progress using board or calendar views[3].
4. Therapist Notes Tracker: Use the Therapist Notes Tracker template in Notion to manage and track therapist notes effectively[4].
5. Personalized Goal Tracking: Implement the Goal Tracker template to empower individuals to monitor progress and maintain focus on objectives[5].
By leveraging these Notion templates and techniques, therapists can enhance their ability to track patient progress, set meaningful goals, and facilitate effective therapy sessions.
Citations:
[1] https://www.notion.so/templates/therapy-sessions
[2] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10879-021-09505-8
[3] https://www.notion.so/use-case/goal-tracking
[4] https://www.notion.so/templates/therapist-notes-tracker-s3rhotdesign
[5] https://www.notion.so/templates/goal-tracker-1

Here a video guiding the process of making a Notion template

What is the Cognitive Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) and Who Is Christopher Langan?

The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) is a philosophical theory of the relationship between mind and reality. It is the first "self-simulation" theory of reality, described as a reflexive, tautological, and profoundly self-contained intrinsic language through which reality is constructed. The CTMU was created by Christopher Michael Langan, who has been described as "the smartest man in America" with an IQ reported to be around 195. Langan developed the CTMU in the mid-1980s and has made claims that it constitutes absolute truth, provides the logical framework of a Theory of Everything, and proves the existence of God. The theory is intended to correspond with reality necessarily and is based on a logical, algebraic structure called a "Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language" (SCSPL). The CTMU has been the subject of both academic and popular media attention, and CTMU has its own dedicated wiki and online community for discussing and analyzing its implications.

Criticisms of the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) include:
1. Use of complex and abstract terminology: The theory has been criticized for its use of complex and abstract terminology, which makes it difficult for many people to understand and engage with.
2. Reliance on subjective interpretations: The CTMU has been criticized for relying on subjective interpretations, which can undermine its objectivity and verifiability.
3. Unsubstantiated claims: Some critics have raised concerns about the unsubstantiated claims made by the author of the CTMU, including the assertion that it constitutes absolute truth, provides the logical framework of a Theory of Everything, and proves the existence of God.
These criticisms reflect the ongoing debate and skepticism surrounding the CTMU within the scientific and philosophical communities.

What is the Difference Between the CTMU theory and other Theories of Reality?

The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) differs from other theories of reality in several ways. Unlike traditional scientific theories, the CTMU is a metaphysical theory that incorporates concepts from mathematics, physics, philosophy, and linguistics to create a comprehensive and self-referential model of the universe. It is described as a self-communicating language of reality that evolves and can be modeled through various algebraic structures. The CTMU views reality as a language with syntax and semantics, seeking to understand intelligence and intelligibility in relation to ontology and epistemology. It suggests that God is the universe, but also exists outside of the circle of reality that we experience. The theory is based on a logical, algebraic structure called a "Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language" (SCSPL), and it aims to provide a unified understanding of reality, consciousness, and the relationship between concepts and reality. The CTMU has been the subject of both academic and popular media attention, and it has its own dedicated wiki and online community for discussing and analyzing its implications.

How Does the CTMU Theory Explain the Relationship Between Mind and Reality?

The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) explains the relationship between mind and reality by proposing that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. It suggests that just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. The CTMU contends that mind and reality are linked in mutual dependence at the most basic level of understanding, and it is essentially a theory of this relationship. The theory introduces the concept that reality is a self-configuring, self-processing language, and it implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", with our individual minds being parts of God's Mind.
The CTMU's "Mind Equals Reality Principle" (M=R) is one of its fundamental axioms, which asserts that reality possesses a complex, self-referential structure that can be identified with the attributes of a mind. This principle is associated with the idea that reality is consistent by virtue of the mutually inclusive relationship between itself (unity) and its contents. The CTMU's unique perspective on the relationship between mind and reality sets it apart from other theories, as it presents a highly abstract and self-referential framework for understanding the fundamental nature of existence and consciousness.

How Does CTMU Theory Explain the Concept of Self-awareness?

The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) explains the concept of self-awareness by proposing that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. It suggests that just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. The CTMU's "Mind Equals Reality Principle" (M=R) asserts that reality possesses a complex, self-referential structure that can be identified with the attributes of a mind. This principle is associated with the idea that reality is consistent by virtue of the mutually inclusive relationship between itself (unity) and its contents. The theory introduces the concept that reality is a self-configuring, self-processing language, and it implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", with our individual minds being parts of God's Mind. The CTMU's unique perspective on the relationship between mind and reality sets it apart from other theories, as it presents a highly abstract and self-referential framework for understanding the fundamental nature of existence and consciousness.
What is the Best Career for Ennegram 9?

What is the Best Career for Ennegram 9?

Enneagram Type 9, the "Peacemaker" or "Mediator." Type 9s are known for their empathy, diplomacy, and desire for harmony. In the workplace, Type 9s tend to thrive in careers that allow them to utilize their interpersonal skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
Here are some career paths that may be well-suited for Enneagram Type 9s:
1. Counselor or therapist: Type 9s may enjoy careers in counseling or therapy, where they can use their empathy, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities to support clients and help them navigate life's challenges.
2. Mediator or negotiator: Type 9s may be well-suited for careers in mediation or negotiation, where they can use their diplomacy, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities to facilitate positive outcomes.
3. Teacher or professor: Type 9s may enjoy careers in education, where they can use their empathy, interpersonal skills, and creativity to support students and help them learn.
4. Social worker or case manager: Type 9s may be drawn to careers in social work or case management, where they can use their empathy, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities to support individuals and families in need.
5. Artist or designer: Type 9s may enjoy careers in the arts, where they can use their creativity, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities to create original works of art or design.
6. Environmental scientist or conservationist: Type 9s may be well-suited for careers in environmental science or conservation, where they can use their empathy, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities to protect and preserve the natural world.
7. Human resources professional: Type 9s may enjoy careers in human resources, where they can use their interpersonal skills, diplomacy, and problem-solving abilities to support employees and build positive workplace cultures.
8. Nonprofit professional: Type 9s may find fulfillment in careers in the nonprofit sector, where they can use their empathy, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities to support a cause they care about.
Ultimately, the best career for an Enneagram Type 9 will depend on their individual strengths, interests, and values. However, by choosing a career that allows them to utilize their interpersonal skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, Type 9s can find fulfillment and success in their work. It's important for Type 9s to be mindful of their tendency to avoid conflict or prioritize harmony over their own needs, as this tendency can sometimes lead to difficulty setting boundaries or advocating for themselves. By being aware of this tendency and taking steps to manage it, Type 9s can set themselves up for long-term success in their careers.
What is the Best Career for Ennegram 8?

What is the Best Career for Ennegram 8?

Enneagram Type 8, the "Challenger" or "Protector." Type 8s are recognized for their strong sense of confidence, assertiveness, and desire for control. In a professional setting, Type 8s tend to thrive in careers that allow them to utilize their leadership skills, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities.
The following career paths may be well-suited for Enneagram Type 8s:
1. Executive or manager: Type 8s may find fulfillment in careers in management or leadership, where they can utilize their strategic thinking, problem-solving abilities, and assertiveness to lead teams and drive results.
2. Lawyer or legal professional: Type 8s may be drawn to careers in law, where they can use their assertiveness, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities to advocate for clients and navigate complex legal issues.
3. Entrepreneur or business owner: Type 8s may be well-suited for the autonomy and potential for growth that comes with starting their own business or becoming a business owner.
4. Political leader or activist: Type 8s may find fulfillment in careers in politics or activism, where they can use their assertiveness, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities to drive change and make a positive impact.
5. Police officer or detective: Type 8s may be well-suited for careers in law enforcement, where they can use their assertiveness, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities to keep communities safe.
6. Financial advisor or investment banker: Type 8s may be drawn to careers in finance, where they can utilize their strategic thinking, problem-solving abilities, and assertiveness to help individuals and organizations make informed financial decisions.
7. Engineer or technical professional: Type 8s may be well-suited for careers in engineering or technical fields, where they can utilize their strategic thinking, problem-solving abilities, and assertiveness to design and implement solutions.
8. Athletic coach or trainer: Type 8s may find fulfillment in careers in athletics, where they can use their assertiveness, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities to help athletes achieve their goals.
Ultimately, the best career for an Enneagram Type 8 will depend on their individual strengths, interests, and values. However, by choosing a career that allows them to utilize their leadership skills, strategic thinking, and problem-solving abilities, Type 8s can find fulfillment and success in their work. It is important for Type 8s to be mindful of their tendency to dominate or control situations, as this tendency can sometimes lead to conflict or difficulty building relationships. By being aware of this tendency and taking steps to manage it, Type 8s can set themselves up for long-term success in their careers.
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