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This audio home study program was developed by Robert Mantell, the founder and executive director of BrightLife Phobia And Anxiety Release Center. With this audio program, you'll get 3 full-length CDs and more than 180 minutes of revolutionary mental repatterning tools, strategies and techniques. You'll learn the basics about fear and anxiety, how to neutralize past fears and how to condition yourself for success and self-confidence. How to Free Yourself from Trauma, Phobias And Anxiety in 7 Days Or Less! introduces Imagination Creation Accelerated Personal Breakthrough Technology that will lead to quick and easy relief. Free yourself from anxiety, fears, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (Ptsd) with the help of How to Free Yourself from Trauma, Phobias And Anxiety in 7 Days Or Less!

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Neurobiology of PTSD Relevance to Memory Recall of Abuse

Hippocampal Volume Abandoned Children

PTSD is associated with long-term changes in the function and structure of brain regions and neurochemical systems involved in the stress response (Bremner, 2002 Bremner, 2005b Pitman, 2001 Vermetten & Bremner, 2002a, 2002b) (Fig. 1.1). Brain regions that are felt to play an important role in PTSD include hippocampus, amygdala, and medial prefrontal cortex. Cortisol and norepinephrine are two neurochemical systems that are critical in the stress response (Fig. 1.1). The neurobiology of PTSD is reviewed below as a background to the development of a model by which There is increasing interest in the relation between trauma and memory (Elzinga & Bremner, 2002). Patients with trauma-related disorders such as PTSD demonstrate a wide range of deficits in memory. Brain areas, including hippocampus, amygdala, and medial prefrontal cortex, may mediate these alterations in memory (Bremner, 2003a) (Fig. 1.2). The hippocampus, a brain area involved in verbal declarative memory, is very sensitive...

Why Traumatic Events Should Be Differentially Remembered

The question of whether there are differences in children's memories for traumatic and nontraumatic events is not easy to address. For obvious practical and ethical reasons, researchers cannot intentionally subject children to traumatic events in order to study their memories for them. Instead, we investigate the question by examining the retrospective reports of children who have experienced varying degrees of trauma during stressful medical procedures (e.g., Brown et al., 1999 Goodman, Hirschman, Hepps, & Rudy, 1991 Vandermaas, Hess, & Baker-Ward, 1993) or other negative events, such as hurricanes (e.g., Bahrick, Parker, Merritt, & Fivush, 1998). Most often, the comparisons are across studies or between groups of children. For example, Brown et al. (1999) investigated the influence of trauma on remembering by comparing the reports of children (3- to 5-year-olds) who experienced a painful and embarrassing catheterization procedure (a voiding cystourethrogram VCUG) to children who...

Do Children Report Different Types of Information About Traumatic and Nontraumatic Events

A good narrative includes several types of information, including the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the event. As we reported in Ackil et al. (2003), the breadth of the mother-children conversations differed as a function of whether they were talking about the tornado or the non-traumatic events. Specifically, tornado conversations were more likely to include contextual information (e.g., mention of being in a specific location during the event), information about the causes and consequences of elements of the event, and temporal connections within and between elements of the event. An example from one of the children in the study illustrates these features

Memory in Patients with Abuse Related PTSD

Empirical studies do show, however, that patients with early abuse and the diagnosis of PTSD or other stress-related mental disorders have a variety of memory problems (Buckley, Blanchard, & Neill, 2000 Elzinga & Bremner, 2002). Adults with early childhood abuse (Bremner et al., 1995) were found to have deficits in verbal declarative memory function based on neuropsychological testing (Wechsler Memory Scale and Selective Reminding Test) similar findings were found in traumatized children (Mo-radi, Doost, Taghavi, Yule, & Dalgleish, 1999). One study in adult women with a history of childhood sexual abuse-related PTSD (Bremner, Vermetten, Nafzal, & Vythilingam, 2004) showed that verbal declarative memories are specifically associated with PTSD and are not a nonspecific effect of trauma exposure. Another study of women with early childhood sexual abuse in which some, but not all, of the patients had PTSD showed no difference between abused and nonabused women (Stein, Hanna, Vaerum, &...

Is there Evidence of Differential Socialization of Narratives About Traumatic and Nontraumatic Events

As just reviewed, there are some indications that children report more information about traumatic relative to nontraumatic events. The findings must be interpreted with caution, however, given other variables that vary across these event types (e.g., duration and impact of the event) and the basis for selection into some studies that afford direct comparison of the types of events. Indeed, with the length of the conversation controlled statistically, there is little evidence of differences in the level of detail children provide about traumatic and nontraumatic events. The one exception is the category of internal-states language, at least for older children. On the other hand, the mother-child conversations about the traumatic events featured greater narrative breadth relative to their conversations about the nontraumatic events. Learning to provide one's own perspective on an event and to tell the listener the whole story are major achievements in narrative development. They are...

Long Term Recall of Childhood Abuse

Alexander and colleagues (Alexander et al., 2005) studied 103 children involved in legal cases related to childhood abuse 10 to 16 years later. The authors found a 72 accuracy of remembering abuse. However, this was only in 94 of the subjects. Of the original 103, 3 said that they had never been abused even though they originally divulged abuse, and 2 said that the charges were false. Severity of PTSD was correlated with accuracy, and individuals who rated the abuse as their most traumatic life event had accurate memories of abuse regardless of PTSD severity. The authors concluded that memories of abuse were in general accurate.

Bremner J.d. 2001 . Gender Differences In Cognitive And Neural Correlates Of Remembrance Of Emotional Words.

The neurobiology of childhood sexual abuse in women with posttraumatic stress disorder. In K. A. Kendall-Tackett (Ed.), Handbook of women, stress and trauma (pp. 181-206). New York Brunner-Routledge. Bremner, J. D., Narayan, M., Staib, L. H., Southwick, S. M., McGlashan, T., & Charney, D. S. (1999a). Neural correlates of memories of childhood sexual abuse in women with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 1787-1795. Bremner, J. D., Randall, P R., Vermetten, E., Staib, L., Bronen, R. A., Mazure, C. M., et al. (1997). MRI-based measurement of hippocampal volume in posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood physical and sexual abuse A preliminary report. Biological Psychiatry, 41, 23-32. Bremner, J. D., Southwick, S. M., Darnell, A., & Charney, D. S. (1996d). Chronic PTSD in Vietnam combat veterans Course of illness and substance abuse. American Journal of Psychiatry, 153, 369 375. Bremner, J. D., Staib, L.,...

ERP Waveforms and Memory

Study of the P300 in the context of maltreatment and memory would allow direct neurofunctional examination of possible memory deficits associated with the experience of maltreatment. Neurobehavioral studies of children who have been maltreated and manifest symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report memory deficits in this population (DeBellis, 2001). Thus relevant questions would be whether behavioral evidence of memory deficits in children who have experienced maltreatment is associated with anomalies in the P300 and, more specifically, whether the experience of maltreatment delays the emergence of the P300 waveform. Such research would elucidate the neurofunctional process by which maltreatment may lead to deficits in memory functioning.

Autobiographical and Overgeneral Memory in Adolescents and Adults

Self, lack of integration into autobiographical memory stores is possible. Moreover, overgeneral memory may be accounted for in the Conway and Pleydell-Pearce model as a truncated retrieval search ( dysfacilitation of the retrieval process) that results from functional avoidance, whereas intrusive memories associated with PTSD are accounted for by a direct retrieval process that is involuntary.

Discrete Emotions and Memory

In contrast, people in a sad or depressed mood asked to recall autobiographical events tend to focus not on sources of threat but on negative outcomes such as personal losses and defeats. For example, Lyubomirsky, Caldwell, and Nolen-Hoeksema (1998) found that moderately sad or depressed people recalled more negative autobiographical events associated with loss (e.g., failing a test, losing a girlfriend, their parents' divorce) than did nondepressed people. Moreover, although depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are both characterized by the presence of intrusive memories, the content of the intrusive information for these two disorders differs. Consistent with the differing motivations associated with sadness and fear, depression is characterized by rumination on past negative outcomes and their consequences for the self, whereas PTSD is characterized by intrusive memories related to past threats to safety (e.g., Lyubomirsky et al., 1998 Reynolds & Brewin, 1999 Watkins...

Attention to Trauma Related Information in Maltreated Populations

Thus, the overattention to threat cues in children as described by Pol-lak appears to carry forward into adulthood. This persistence into adulthood seems to be particularly apparent if the individual develops PTSD. In modified Stroop tasks, it has been consistently found that adults with a diagnosis of PTSD (including if the PTSD symptoms are associated with past child sexual abuse) exhibit more interference for trauma-related than non-trauma-related words. Adults with PTSD take longer to color-name trauma-related words (versus neutral, positive, or negative words), demonstrating an attentional bias in favor of such words (McNally, Kaspi, Riemann, & Zeitlin, 1990). Further, McNally, Clancy, Schacter, and Pitman (2000) found that PTSD severity was the strongest predictor of modified Stroop interference for adults with self-reported child sexual abuse histories. Similar attentional bias effects have also been found for individuals with PTSD subsequent to war combat (e.g., McNally,...

Specificity of Autobiographical Memory

The growing body of literature on the specificity of autobiographical recall is important to the study of trauma and autobiographical memory functioning. As mentioned earlier, overgeneral autobiographical memory, first reported by Williams and Broadbent (1986), refers to autobiographical memory reports that are categorical in nature and lacking in detail and vividness. Such overgeneral autobiographical memory has been found in individuals with a wide range of psychological disorders (e.g., major depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, acute stress disorder Rubin, Feldman, & Beckham, 2004 Wessel, Merckelbach, & Dekkers, 2002). The opposite of overgeneral memory is memory specificity. These studies suggest that mere exposure to trauma is not a sufficient or consistent predictor of overgeneral memory. It is possible, however, that levels of trauma in the key groups of some of these studies were insufficient in strength to detect a trauma influence on autobiographical memory or...

Trauma and Hippocampal Function

Consistent with these claims, manipulations that involve both direct application of cortisol to the brain and inductions of highly stressful events have been shown to result in hippocampal atrophy and learning impairments in nonhuman animals (Gould et al., 1998 Sapolsky & McEwen, 1986). However, empirical support for the argument that trauma itself impairs hippocampal functioning in humans is less conclusive. On the one hand, there is some evidence that exposure to child physical or sexual abuse is related to reduced hippocampal volume in adults (Bremner et al., 1997 Stein, Koverola, Hanna, Torchia, et al., 1997 Vythilingam et al., 2002). For instance, Vythilingam et al. (2002) found bilateral decreases in hippocampal volume in depressed women who reported childhood abuse histories, relative to both depressed nonabused women and healthy, nonabused controls. On the other hand, there is also evidence to suggest that hippocampal atrophy in adults with a history of trauma is more...

Carryl p navalta akemi tomoda and martin h teicher

Over the past 20 years, our research has focused on elucidating the developmental effects of child abuse (CA) at the behavioral and neurobiologi-cal levels. In parallel, a cadre of behavioral scientists and neuroscientists has collectively established a substantial body of work on the etiology, course, and outcome of CA (for reviews, see Glaser, 2000 Heim & Nemeroff, 2002 Kaufman & Charney, 2001 Putnam, 2003 Tarullo & Gunnar, 2006 Teicher et al., 2003 Teicher, Tomoda, & Andersen, 2006). From a nosological perspective, CA is considered a traumatic stressor and precursor to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.) (DSM-IV-TR) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). In addition, several other psychiatric conditions are associated with CA most notably depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, dissociation, and substance use disorders. The central tenet to our work...

How Mothers and Children Converse About a Devastating Tornado

A deeply rooted assumption is that highly stressful and even traumatic events are differentially remembered relative to events that are more affectively neutral or positive. In the present chapter, we evaluate this assumption using data from a study of children's reports of the experience of a tornado that devastated the town of St. Peter, Minnesota, in March of 1998. The evaluation is multifaceted, featuring analyses of how much the children reported, the type of information they included, and the extent to which their reports were affected by the narrative style of their conversational partners, namely their mothers. We turn to the evaluation after a brief review of the basis for expectation of differential memory for traumatic events and a description of the St. Peter, Minnesota, tornado and its aftermath.

Memory for Nontrauma Related Information in Traumatized Populations

The research reviewed so far would lead one to suspect that individuals with maltreatment histories and or PTSD might be particularly accurate at remembering trauma-related information. After all, such individuals appear to pay particular attention to trauma-related cues. However, other research points to deficits in memory function in child sexual abuse victims, especially those who have developed PTSD. Most of the latter research has concerned memory for information that is not trauma-related. For example, Bremner, Vermetten, Afzal, and Vythilingam (2004) investigated differences in verbal declarative memory among women with self-reported child sexual abuse experiences, both with and without PTSD, and a nonmaltreated control group. These authors found that verbal declarative memory deficits were specifically related to PTSD adults with child sexual abuse histories who had child sexual abuse-related PTSD had worse verbal declarative memory compared to women with child sexual abuse...

Summary and Interpretation of Major Findings

The results from the first session of the tornado study are a replication of the findings obtained by Sales et al. (2003). Specifically, Sales and her colleagues examined patterns of correlation between parental (mostly maternal) and child contributions to conversations about traumatic and non-traumatic events at a single point in time. They found that parents who adopted more elaborative (as opposed to repetitive) questioning styles had children who made more contributions to the conversations about both event types. Together, the two studies indicate that the findings of relations between maternal narrative style and children's contributions to conversations about past events extend beyond positive or neutral event contexts to discussions about traumatic events. Across the two studies, the findings can be said to obtain for children as young as 3 and as old as 11 years of age. We suggest that it is not necessary to appeal to special features of memory representations of traumatic...

Stress and Memory in Children

In summary, the empirical literature suggests that children can have accurate recall of stressful events. These studies, however, have primarily been conducted in normal children. We cannot assume that studies in normal children can be generalized to all children, including abused children. The few studies that were conducted on abused children did not specifically look at those with PTSD or other stress-related mental disorders. Since, as reviewed below, memory and stress responsive systems are altered in patients with stress-related mental disorders, extrapolation of findings from healthy subjects to abuse victims with mental disorders, which is the group of primary interest in the debate about delayed recall of childhood abuse, has limitations.

Method and Participants

Four subjects with CSA had current major depressive disorder (MDD), 4 had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 1 had depersonalization disorder. Abuse and control subjects were predominantly middle class or higher (96 ) both groups had similar measures of parental socioeconomic status (SES Hollingshead, 1975 F 1, 35 0.35, p .26), and cognitive abilities as evaluated using the Memory Assessment Scale (MAS Williams, 1991 global memory 117 10.1 versus 114 14.2 F 1, 35 0.36, p .46), and subjects' reports of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores (scores 1246 145 versus 1299 103 F 1, 29 2.1, p .26). Psychometric evaluation included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (First, Spitzer, Gibbon, & Williams, 1997) for diagnoses of MDD, PTSD, and other psychiatric disorders. We also administered the MAS (Williams, 1991), which comprises 12 subtests based on the following seven memory tasks verbal span, verbal list learning, verbal prose memory, visual span, visual recognition,...

Neurohormonal Modulation of Memory

Administration of epinephrine (which is released from the adrenal) affects memory retention with an inverted U-shaped curve. Memory improves up to a point and decreases with high doses (Gold & van Buskirk, 1975 Liang, Juler, & McGaugh, 1986). Lower doses of norepinephrine injected into the amygdala promote memory for an inhibitory-avoidance task, while higher doses inhibit memory (Liang, McGaugh, & Yao, 1990). In humans, noradrenergic beta-blocker medications blocked the formation of emotional memories (Cahill, Prins, Weber, & McGaugh, 1994), while enhanced norepinephrine release was associated with enhanced encoding of emotional memories (Southwick et al., 2002). Vasopressin and oxy-tocin have been shown to modulate memory formation in both animals (McGaugh, 2000) and human subjects (including those with PTSD) (Pitman, Orr, & Lasko, 1993). Glucocorticoids also affect learning and memory. Elevations of glu-cocorticoids within the physiological range result in reversible deficits in...

Explanations for Abuse Related Autobiographical Memory Patterns Trauma and Cognitive Resources

Consistent with this argument, frequent intrusive thoughts seem to be associated with poor autobiographical memory specificity. For instance, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by intrusive memories of negative events, is related to problems retrieving specific personal memories (McNally, Lasko, Macklin, & Pitman, 1995). Moreover, several studies using the Impact of Events Scale (IES) to measure the frequency of intrusive thoughts (as measured by the IES intrusion subscale) and conscious attempts to avoid trauma-related memories (as measured

Cognitive Perspectives

Chapter 5, by Ogle, Block, Harris, Culver, Augusti, Timmer, Urquiza, and Goodman, examines the claim that childhood trauma leads to a specific type of autobiographical memory functioning, namely overgeneral memory. The authors provide a comprehensive review of scientific theory and research on autobiographical memory development, memory for trauma-related and nontrauma-related information in traumatized individuals, and autobiographical memory in nontraumatized and traumatized adolescents and adults. Finally, they present preliminary findings from an ongoing study that examines autobiographical memory development in documented child sexual abuse victims versus matched comparisons with participants who have no known history of child sexual abuse. Contrary to the overgeneral memory hypothesis, the authors conclude that individuals with child maltreatment histories, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may overfocus on trauma in their lives and in their pasts, and...

Autobiographical Memory in Child Sexual Abuse Victims Preliminary Findings

To examine issues of autobiographical memory for childhood events in adolescent and adult victims of child sexual abuse, we are currently conducting a study in which both autobiographical memory accuracy and specificity are examined (see Augusti et al., 2006 Block et al., 2006 Ogle et al., 2007). Among other questions, we are exploring whether child sexual abuse and PTSD are associated with more or less accurate autobiographical memory, and with more specific or more overgeneral autobiographical memory. For the adolescents, parents' answers to the SAMT autobiographical memory test are obtained this permits us to examine the accuracy of adolescents' autobiographical memory by comparing their reports with those of their parents. Results thus far reveal that adolescents with a history of child sexual abuse and who have more reexperiencing symptoms associated with PTSD have more accurate autobiographical memory than do adolescents with fewer reexperiencing symptoms (Ogle et al., 2007)....

Memory for Trauma Related Information in Traumatized Populations

Given attentional biases in favor of trauma-related information in child maltreatment victims and or individuals with PTSD, one might expect particularly good memory for such information. Indeed there is support for such findings in the adult literature. For instance, Vrana et al. (1995) examined modified Stroop interference for trauma-related (i.e., Vietnam-specific, Vietnam-general), negative, and neutral words in relation to general free recall and recognition memory for these three word types in combat veterans with and without PTSD. Although veterans in general showed greater Stroop interference for trauma-related than for neutral words, veterans with PTSD evinced more interference across all word categories than veterans without PTSD. Of importance, veterans with PTSD also demonstrated better recall and more accurate recognition memory both overall and of emotional words than veterans without PTSD. In a similar study, Golier, Yehuda, Lupien, and Harvey (2003) tested elderly...

Other Studies

Emerging evidence about the effects of stress on the hippocampus suggests that a unique developmental trajectory exists. For example, two initial, separate studies conducted by De Bellis and colleagues (1999, 2002) using independent samples of children with PTSD secondary to CA indicate that the hippocampus is unaltered, at least in terms of volumetric size. More recent work has demonstrated that the hippocampus may actually be larger in children who have been abused (Tupler & De Bellis, 2006). However, studies with adults have painted a different picture, methodological limitations notwithstanding (Jelicic & Merckelbach, 2004). A decade ago, reports of reduced left hippocampal volume in adults with childhood trauma and a current diagnosis of PTSD or dissociative identity disorder first appeared in the literature (Bremner et al., 1997 Stein, 1997). Subsequently, significant reductions in hippocampal volume were observed in women with borderline personality disorder and a history of...

Left Amygdala

Increased amygdala function during acquisition of conditioned fear responses in women with early childhood abuse and PTSD. Lighter areas represent bilateral amygdala activation. There was greater amygdala activation with acquisition of fear responses (pairing of conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus) in women with PTSD compared to controls z 3.09, p 0.001. Source Bremner et al., 2005. Fewer brain-imaging studies have been performed in children with PTSD. Several studies have shown alterations in electroencephalogram (EEG) measures of brain activity in children with a variety of traumas who were not selected for diagnosis compared to healthy children. About half of the children in these studies had a psychiatric diagnosis. Abnormalities were located in the anterior frontal cortex and temporal lobe and were localized to the left hemisphere (Ito et al., 1993 Schiffer, Teicher, & Papanicolaou, 1995). Two studies have found reductions in brain volume in children with...

Authors notes

Page 53 The body responds to extreme stress by releasing a cascade of cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones that can damage brain cells, impair memory and set in motion a long-lasting and worsening disregulation of the body's complex biochemistry .' Butler, Kay, 'The biology of fear', The Family Therapy Networker, July August 1996. Professor Rachel Yehuda, Mt Sinai School of Medicine, New York, has also written extensively on the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. They include decreased levels of cortisol, increased glucocortid receptor sensitivity, stronger negative feedback inhibition and hyper-sensitivity. Basically, this means that reduced levels of cortisol prevent adrenaline from flowing, causing the victim to remain in a powerless state. Page 54 Post-traumatic stress disorder This is a simplified version of the diagnostic category for PTSD as described by the American Psychiatric Association in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV),...


Memories, making it less likely that individuals can have memories of traumatic memories implanted. On the other hand, abuse-related patients with mental disorders have greater memory impairment, making it more likely that they may have source memory errors. Consistent with this are studies showing that abused PTSD patients are more susceptible to suggestion on the Deese Roediger-McDermott paradigm. For these reasons, therapists should proceed with caution in discussions of early abuse and not provide suggestions about abuse that the patient is not aware of. Abuse-related PTSD is also associated with increased amygdala function and decreased function of the medial prefrontal cortex anterior cingulate. Increased amygdala function is associated with enhanced fear responses, while a failure of medial prefrontal function is associated with a failure of extinction, or inability to turn off the fear response. Deficits in medial pre-frontal function are also seen in women with early abuse...

Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is an important public health problem in America affecting as many as one out of five children (MacMillan et al., 1997 Mc-Cauley et al., 1997). Childhood trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects about 8 of Americans at some time in their lives (Kessler, Sonnega, Bromet, Hughes, & Nelson, 1995), as well as depression (Franklin & Zimmerman, 2001 Prigerson, Maciejewski, & Rosenheck, 2001), substance abuse (Bremner, Southwick, Darnell, & Charney, 1996d Kessler et al., 1995), dissociation (Putnam, Guroff, Sil-berman, Barban, & Post, 1986), personality disorders (Battle et al., 2004 Yen et al., 2002), and health problems (Dube, Felitti, Dong, Giles, & Anda, 2003). For many abuse victims, PTSD can be a lifelong problem (Kendall-Tackett, 2005 Saigh & Bremner, 1999). This chapter reviews the relation between trauma and memory in children in the context of the neurobiology of trauma, brain development, and memory. The thesis of this chapter is...