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Welcome. Traumatic accidents seriously impact one’s life. However, with the proper information and support you—or someone you care about—can recover the life you were meant to have. In this blog, you will find tools, tips and ideas to facilitate the recovery process —tools that help patients cope with physical and psychological injuries and conditions.

A note to insurance companies: you, too, will find valuable information here that will help you better serve your insured customers. In fact, when patients get the proper support and needed care and treatment up front, they need far fewer resources in the long run than they would if support is withheld. That translates into a big win-win for the insurance carrier and a boost to the bottom line.

Here, accident survivors will learn to do more than survive—they will learn to thrive.

Near Death Experiences: Is There Life After Death?

January 17, 2019

A reader of one of my recent blog posts posted a comment that is the stimulus for this writing.  He commented that there is an unrecognized problem: being misdiagnosed by mental health professionals.  The gentleman, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, directed me to videos by a retired PhD Army nurse, Colonel Diane Corcoran.

Corcoran talks about near death experiences (NDEs) and the transformative lessons learned from them.  She studies NDEs and offers legitimate criticism that mental health professionals are mostly ignorant of this body of work.

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Omega-3s in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Brain Injury

January 15, 2019

Recently I had the pleasure of having a long telephone conversation with Dr. Michael Lewis, the author of When Brains Collide: What Every Athlete and Parent Should Know About Concussions and Head Injuries.  Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Tulane University School of Medicine, and completed post-graduate training at Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins.

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Understanding and Managing Flashbacks

January 8, 2019

There is relatively little empirical research into the flashback phenomenon.  Nevertheless, flashbacks are a common distressing symptom people experience in the aftermath of surviving a traumatic event.  Traumatic events emotionally overwhelmed the survivor and involve danger of loss of life or limb or witnessing others being harmed.  Indeed, flashbacks, nightmares and sleep disturbance might be considered the trifecta of post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

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New Hope for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors: The Age of Endocrinology.

December 14, 2018

Since the time of Galen, one of the greatest physicians of first-century Rome, the endocrine system—which produces and sends hormones through your body and organs—has been acknowledged as vital to the functioning of your body.  But only recently has the role of endocrine glands and hormonal imbalances been highlighted as central in the neurobehavioral and neurocognitive dysfunction following head injuries

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Transforming the Trauma Paradigm: Treating Inflammation

December 11, 2018

Most mental health professionals receive no training in the role inflammation and hormonal imbalance plays in disturbed emotion, behavior, and cognition.  This is partly due to the continued split between mind and body that was crystallized in the 17th century by the French philosopher René Descartes.

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Omega-3s and Beyond: Could they be trauma miracles?

November 27, 2018

In my last blog post, I wrote about advances in our understanding of how neurosteroids, those hormones that are produced in the brain by glial cells, are impacted by traumatic injuries.

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Is It Post-traumatic Stress or Traumatic Brain Injury?

November 20, 2018

Many of the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and TraumaticBrain Injury overlap. I believe the original developers of the diagnosis of PTSD were not well informed about TBI, and that many patients diagnosed with PTSD may, in fact, be exhibiting symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

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Chronic Pain and Trauma – Understanding the Opioid Epidemic in America.

October 1, 2018

The role of psychology in the treatment of pain became center stage with psychologist Ronald Melzack’s conceptual model of pain, which he termed the Gate-Control Theory, first introduced in 1965 (Melzack and Wall, 1965).

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Trauma as Disconnection with Self

July 3, 2018

While I have specialized in the psychological care of people who have been deeply traumatized by overwhelming life experiences, it has been difficult to grasp an operational definition of exactly what the trauma means. The problem is often focusing on the event, what we refer to as the traumatic stressor.

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Tips for Coping with Sleep Disturbance

April 30, 2018

In my work with patients recovering from auto accident trauma, a frequent problem patients report is sleep disturbance due to racing thoughts that play over and over in their minds.

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Healing Trauma with Psychodrama

April 11, 2018

The symbolism of the Firebird has always held great meaning for me personally dealing with injuries, losses and transitions, and as a psychotraumatologist working with severely traumatized people who often feel destroyed by crushing life experiences.

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Should We Ban Autonomous Vehicles?

March 30, 2018

For many years during the brief drive to my office in downtown Mt. Clemens, I would daily pass an elementary school near the train tracks on Cass Avenue.  The school sits within eyeshot of the old train station where Thomas Edison once learned to operate the telegraph.  The legend goes that Edison one day saved the station master’s child from being run over by a train, and in appreciation he taught the young Edison how to work the telegraph.

 

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On Keeping Faith Following Severe Car Crashes

February 27, 2018

Now that you have survived a horrible car crash that has turned your life upside down, you may find yourself thinking frequently about how you could have died or suffered even more serious injuries.  The fact of the matter is you were a victim and now you are a survivor.

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Mental Health and the Holidays: Focus on Self Care

December 15, 2017

From the highly evidenced-based field of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, we have known for decades that the holidays in America are traditionally a time ripe for off-the-chart stressors and wide-spread emotional regression.

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How We Carry Trauma in the Body

December 5, 2017

A powerful adjunct to post-trauma psychotherapy is body-oriented therapies and methods. Yoga, massage therapy, and Pilates are powerful tools that should be considered and included in the comprehensive treatment plan. In my work with auto accident trauma survivors I daily see the value of combining massage therapy and methods such as Pilates with the verbal working through of trauma in psychotherapy. I believe auto insurance carriers would earn big returns on their investments by paying for personal trainers to work with survivors in regular Pilates sessions which somatically supports the psycho-therapeutic work. When combined with regular massage therapy, the synergy of the combined approaches is the perfect combination for many people attempting to gain improved emotional regulation, physical health, and mobility.

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King of Sparta Injured in Motorcycle Accident

October 23, 2017

Gerard Butler, as King Leonidas, famed Spartan King in the movie 300, was able to hold off a Persian army of 150,000 soldiers, but he was recently dethroned from his motorcycle when a lady allegedly made an illegal U-turn in front of him on the streets of LA. According to Butler, he crashed into the car and went flying through the air, somersaulted and landed. In interviews, Butler talked about how the accident made him aware of how fragile life is because the accident could have ended his. His list of reported injuries included five fractures in his right foot, a torn meniscus, and various cuts and bruises. He minimized his injuries while admitting it was painful.

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Montel Williams, PTSD and TBI From Auto Accidents

September 25, 2017

I just returned from the fall conference of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan which was truly an amazing conference. I made many wonderful connections and learned a lot of new things about brain injuries and our health care delivery system from some of Michigan’s top neurologists, psychologists and case managers, and most of all, from the people who have sustained brain injuries.

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Preserving Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance System – Prevention is Cheaper than the Cure

August 10, 2017

Our Michigan system is currently under attack by some politicians, insurance companies and newspapers.  They say our system is too expensive and needs to be limited.  They want to limit how much and the quality of care you receive, and how much doctors can be paid to provide that care.

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Obstacles to Mental Health Care in Auto Accident Cases

August 4, 2017

Most adults in the United States of America drive vehicles of one kind or another on public roadways and are at risk of being involved in an auto accident which may result in serious injuries or death. According to the National Safety council’s data in 2016, over 40,000 people died from auto accident related injuries and 4.6 million required medical treatment in the USA.

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National PTSD Awareness Month

June 19, 2017

Human history has been written in blood and suffering. It is only by small victories of the heart and spirit that we have endured, and through which we can but hope to prevail. If we as a species are to survive and evolve, it is necessary to find new ink, one composed of love, compassion, and understanding, and held in a crucible of forgiveness.

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