5 stages of psychogenic death or 'give-up-itis'

You can die simply by giving up the will to live, suggests new research.

"Ophelia" by Sir John Everett Millais, 1851–1852
  • Give-up-itis or psychogenic death is a real and terrible condition, finds new research.
  • People can die in as few as three days after a major trauma causes them to give up on life.
  • There are 5 stages of give-up-itis.
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What I learned about resiliency after being shot by a disgruntled employee

As one of the world's leading experts in neurobiology, Dennis Charney had been studying trauma victims for years before becoming one himself.

As one of the world's leading experts in neurobiology, Dennis Charney had been studying trauma victims for years before becoming one himself. He was shot at a relatively close range outside a deli by a disgruntled former employee, who was eventually apprehended. But Dennis reckons that he learned more about resiliency in that experience than he ever did on the job, as he was able to see at people at the deli turn from strangers into a fully fledged support unit, willing to fight for the forces of good and right his wrong. It's a powerful story. Dennis's latest book is the masterfully written Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges.

Stop Negative Emotions from Defining You: Welcome to The Actors' Gang

The Actors' Gang Prison Project has spent ten years proving that teaching prisoners self-worth and emotional intelligence pays off.

Ten years ago, actor Sabra Williams had an experimental idea: she wanted to bring The Actors' Gang Theatre Company into prisons to work with non-actors, and offer them emotional training to recover from the trauma of incarceration, and the events of their lives that landed them there in the first place. With an incredibly low recidivism rate of just 10% among her students, Williams' experimental idea has proven its worth and now operates in ten prisons across California, which is where Sabra Williams met former inmate and Actors' Gang student Wendy Stag. Wendy recently shared her personal story of learning to cope with trauma and negative emotion at the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope & Optimism. The Actors’ Gang conducts weekly and seven-day intensive programs inside the California prison system, a weekly re-entry program in the community, as well as a program in juvenile facilities, and soon to be a program designed for correctional officers. Head here for more information on The Actors' Gang Prison Project.

New Research Suggests an Unlikely Treatment for PTSD: Antibiotics

There is a new era of PTSD science just around the corner.

 

US Army soldiers carry a wounded comrade injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast during a patrol near Baraki Barak base in Logar Province, Afghanistan in 2012. (Photo Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images)

With each passing day, the world provides us with grim reminders of a growing public health crisis. Society used to brush it off as a "case of the nerves", before labeling it as "shell shock", but today we know it as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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The Bad News: Trauma Can Be Inherited. The Good News — So Can Resilience

This discovery could lead to a whole new class of drugs for psychiatric disorders. 

Grandmother holds hands with her newborn grandchild.

We tend to understand where our physical traits come from. We may have our mother’s eyes or our father’s chin. But when it comes to personality traits, we tend to think of them as our own. Psychologists go one step farther. They see things like anxiety or depression stemming from personal experiences which shaped us. Some studies however reach back even farther, are in fact passed down from parents or even grandparents.

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