Monday, March 30, 2009

Update: It's All In The Mind

If you didn't catch my interview on post-traumatic stress disorder last week, I urge you to give it a read. Long story short, the brain works in mysterious and sometimes nightmarish ways as a result of traumatic experiences.

This is abundantly obvious in two disparate but deeply heartbreaking cases:

* Tibetans call it srog-rlung, an imbalance of the "life-wind," but to Western doctors treating monks whose training in meditation could not block the flashbacks from when they were tortured by the Chinese as political prisoners, it had a more familiar name -- PTSD.

* Some Holocaust survivors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease are found to be reliving their concentration camp experiences as though they're happening for the first time.

Photograph by Mark Wilson/Boston Globe

No comments: