Refugee Children & Adolescents and PTSD

Research Paper Title

Traumatic experiences of conditional refugee children and adolescents and predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder: data from Turkey.

Background

The researchers aimed to determine traumatic events, mental health problems and predictors of PTSD in a sample of conditional refugee children.

Methods

The sociodemographic features, chief complaints, traumatic experiences and psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM-5 were evaluated retrospectively.

Results

20.7% (n = 70) of children experienced the armed conflict or exposed to firefights at their country of origin. Most common diagnoses were anxiety disorders (n = 82, 24.3%), major depressive disorder (n = 52, 15.4%) and PTSD (n = 43, 12.7%). Age, number of traumatic experiences, explosion and sexual violence are the most important predictors for PTSD.

Conclusions

The results suggest that the number of traumas exposed as well as their nature predicted PTSD diagnosis. Refugee children have increased risk for psychiatric problems after migration and resettlement underlining the importance of an adequate follow-up for mental health and ensuring social support networks.

Reference

Yektas, C., Erman, H. & Tufan, A.E. (2021) Traumatic experiences of conditional refugee children and adolescents and predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder: data from Turkey. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2021.1880634. Online ahead of print.

Book: The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook

Book Title:

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, Revised and Expanded Second Edition: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth.

Author(s): Glenn R. Schiraldi (PhD).

Year: 2016.

Edition: Second (2nd).

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, Revised and Expanded Second Edition introduces survivors, loved ones, and helpers to the remarkable range of treatment alternatives and self-management techniques available today to break through the pain and realise recovery and growth.

This updated edition incorporates all-new diagnostics from the DSM-5 and covers the latest treatment techniques and research findings surrounding the optimisation of brain health and function, sleep disturbance, new USDA dietary guidelines and the importance of antioxidants, early childhood trauma, treating PTSD and alcoholism, the relationship between PTSD and brain injury, suicide and PTSD, somatic complaints associated with PTSD, and more.

Book: Neurobiologically Informed Trauma Therapy with Children & Adolescent

Book Title:

Neurobiologically Informed Trauma Therapy with Children and Adolescents: Understanding Mechanisms of Change (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology).

Author(s): Linda Chapman.

Year: 2014.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

The model of treatment developed here is grounded in the physical, psychological, and cognitive reactions children have to traumatic experiences and the consequences of those experiences. The approach to treatment utilises the integrative capacity of the brain to create a self, foster insight, and produce change. Treatment strategies are based on cutting-edge understanding of neurobiology, the development of the brain, and the storage and retrieval of traumatic memory. Case vignettes illustrate specific examples of the reactions of children, families, and teens to acute and repeated exposure to traumatic events.

Also presented is the most recent knowledge of the role of the right hemisphere (RH) in development and therapy. Right brain communication, and how to recognise the non-verbal symbolic and unconscious, affective processes will be explained, along with examples of how the therapist can utilise art making, media, tools, and self to engage in a two-person biology. 30 illustrations; 8 pages of colour.

Major Depressive Disorder & Childhood Trauma

Research Paper Title

Major depressive disorder with childhood trauma: Clinical characteristics, biological mechanism, and therapeutic implications.

Background

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a main type of mood disorder, characterised by significant and lasting depressed mood.

Until now, the pathogenesis of MDD is not clear, but it is certain that biological, psychological, and social factors are involved.

Childhood trauma is considered to be an important factor in the development of this disease.

Previous studies have found that nearly half of the patients with MDD have experienced childhood trauma, and different types of childhood trauma, gender, and age show different effects on this disease.

In addition, the clinical characteristics of MDD patients with childhood trauma are also different, which often have more severe depressive symptoms, higher risk of suicide, and more severe cognitive impairment.

The response to antidepressants is also worse.

In terms of biological mechanisms and marker characteristics, the serotonin transporter gene and the FKBP prolyl isomerase 5 have been shown to play an important role in MDD and childhood trauma.

Moreover, some brain imaging and biomarkers showed specific features, such as changes in gray matter in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, and abnormal changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.

Reference

Guo, W., Liu, J. & Li, L. (2020) Major depressive disorder with childhood trauma: Clinical characteristics, biological mechanism, and therapeutic implications. Journal of South Central University. 45(4), pp.462-468. doi: 10.11817/j.issn.1672-7347.2020.190699.

Major Depressive Disorder: Childhood Trauma

Research Paper Title

Major depressive disorder with childhood trauma: Clinical characteristics, biological mechanism, and therapeutic implications.

Background

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a main type of mood disorder, characterised by significant and lasting depressed mood.

Until now, the pathogenesis of MDD is not clear, but it is certain that biological, psychological, and social factors are involved.

Childhood trauma is considered to be an important factor in the development of this disease.

Previous studies have found that nearly half of the patients with MDD have experienced childhood trauma, and different types of childhood trauma, gender, and age show different effects on this disease.

In addition, the clinical characteristics of MDD patients with childhood trauma are also different, which often have more severe depressive symptoms, higher risk of suicide, and more severe cognitive impairment.

The response to antidepressants is also worse.

In terms of biological mechanisms and marker characteristics, the serotonin transporter gene and the FKBP prolyl isomerase 5 have been shown to play an important role in MDD and childhood trauma.

Moreover, some brain imaging and biomarkers showed specific features, such as changes in gray matter in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, and abnormal changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.

Reference

Guo, W., Liu, J. & Li, L. (2020) Major depressive disorder with childhood trauma:Clinical characteristics, biological mechanism, and therapeutic implications. Zhong nan da xue xue bao. Journal of Central South University. 45(4), pp.462-468. doi: 10.11817/j.issn.1672-7347.2020.190699.

Book: The ACOA Trauma Syndrome

300300

Book Title:

The ACOA Trauma Syndrome: The The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships.

Author(s): Tian Dayton.

Year: 2012.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Health Communications.

Type(s): Paperback and Audiobook.

Synopsis:

The ACoA syndrome is a post-traumatic stress reaction in which pain from the stress of growing up with parental addiction emerges years even decades later in adult relationships.

Adult Children of Alcoholics suffer from a post-traumatic stress created by their dysfunctional family situations.

Through insightful analysis and thoughtful examination, bestselling author and renowned psychologist Tian Dayton shows ACoAs how and why this family trauma has such a profound effect on adult relationships and provides the tools for marshalling resilience and restoring health and happiness.

Dr. Dayton explores how our brains and bodies process childhood trauma and how those traumas can become the catalyst for unhealthy, self-medicating behaviours including drug and alcohol abuse, food issues, and sex, gambling, and shopping addictions.

Readers who have experienced previous trauma will learn how they developed PTSD and how they can heal both personally and interpersonally.

Book: Child Psychology & Development for Dummies

Book Title: Child Psychology & Development for Dummies

Author(s): Laura L. Smith, PhD and Charles H. Elliott, PhD.

Year: 2011.

Edition: First.

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Synopsis:

Grasp a child’s cognitive development, detect abnormalities, and learn what to do next.

An essential guide for parents, teachers, and caregivers, Child Psychology & Development For Dummies provides an informational guide to cognitive development at every stage of a child’s life, as well as expert tips and guidance on how to diagnose, treat, and overcome the cognitive barriers that impede learning and development.

  • The nuts and bolts – delve into the soup of kids’ development, including biology, psychology, learning, environment, and culture.
  • What makes kids tick? – discover how heredity, environment, experience, and culture interact to determine a child’s physical and emotional development.
  • Watch them grow – get an understanding of what a “normal” childhood should look like from conception through adolescence, and the types of behaviours to anticipate throughout.
  • Learn to spot trouble – find out what can go wrong during a child’s development, from physical problems like chronic illness to psychological problems like autism.
  • Ask for help – get expert guidance on the therapies and interventions that work, and how you can collaborate with professionals for an even better outcome.

Childhood Trauma: Time, Trust, and Opportunities

Research Paper Title

Repairing the effects of childhood trauma: The long and winding road.

Background

  • What is known on this subject:
    • Domestic and family violence contributes to mental distress and the development of mental illness and can reverberate throughout a person’s life.
  • What this paper adds to existing knowledge.
    • Therapeutic work with people who experience domestic and family violence needs to take considerable time to allow the process to unfold.
    • Understanding the triggers that cause past traumas to be re-experienced helps people to recognise and change their conditioned emotional responses.
  • What are the implications for practice?
    • Time needs to be invested to develop a secure and trusting relationship to enable a person to work through childhood experiences that have the potential to overwhelm.
    • It is important for adults who have experienced childhood trauma to have an opportunity to process the abuse to help minimise its intrusion in their lives.

Reference

Palmer, C., Williams, Y. & Harrington, A. (2019) Repairing the effects of childhood trauma: The long and winding road. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12581. [Epub ahead of print].

The Effects of Childhood Trauma on Increased Cortisol Levels in Patients with Glucocorticoid Resistance

Research Paper Title

Childhood Trauma, HPA Axis Activity and Antidepressant Response in Patients with Depression.

Background

Childhood trauma is among the most potent contributing risk factors for depression and is associated with poor treatment response.

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis abnormalities have been linked to both childhood trauma and depression, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.

The present study aimed to investigate the link between childhood trauma, HPA axis activity and antidepressant response in patients with depression.

Methods

As part of the Wellcome Trust NIMA consortium, 163 depressed patients and 55 healthy volunteers were included in this study.

Adult patients meeting Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version-5 criteria for major depression were categorised into subgroups of treatment responder (n=42), treatment non-responder (n=80) and untreated depressed (n=41) based on current depressive symptom severity measured by the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and exposure to antidepressant medications established by Antidepressant Treatment Response Questionnaire. Childhood Trauma Questionnaire was obtained.

Baseline serum C-reactive protein was measured using turbidimetric detection. Salivary cortisol was analysed at multiple time points during the day using the ELISA technique. Glucocorticoid resistance was defined as the coexistence of hypercortisolemia and inflammation.

Results

The results show that treatment non-responder patients had higher exposure to childhood trauma than responders.

No specific HPA axis abnormalities were found in treatment non-responder depressed patients.

Untreated depressed showed increased diurnal cortisol levels compared with patients on antidepressant medication, and higher prevalence of glucocorticoid resistance than medicated patients and controls.

The severity of childhood trauma was associated with increased diurnal cortisol levels only in individuals with glucocorticoid resistance.

Conclusions

The researchers argue their findings suggest that the severity of childhood trauma experience contributes to a lack of response to antidepressant treatment.

The effects of childhood trauma on increased cortisol levels are specifically evident in patients with glucocorticoid resistance and suggest glucocorticoid resistance as a target for the development of personalised treatment for a subgroup of depressed patients with a history of childhood trauma rather than for all patients with resistance to antidepressant treatment.

Reference

Nikkheslat, N., McLaughlin, A.P., Hastings, C., Zajkowska, Z., Nettis, M.A., Mariani, N., Enache, D., Lombardo, G., Pointon, L., Cowen, P.J., Cavanagh, J., Harrison, N.A., Bullmore, E.T., Pariante, C.M., Mondelli, V. & NIMA Consortium. (2019) Childhood Trauma, HPA Axis Activity and Antidepressant Response in Patients with Depression. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. pii: S0889-1591(19)30702-0. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.11.024. [Epub ahead of print].