Tag Archives: PTSD

Fired Arizona Professor Aims to Resume Research on Pot, PTSD

Click here for original article (Courtesy of The Daily Courier)

7/20/2014 6:00:00 AM

 Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press Small marijuana plants are kept in a continuous water bath until their roots develop.TUCSON (AP) – Veterans, medical marijuana activists and scientists welcomed the first federally approved research into pot as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

But their hopes for the research were dashed when the University of Arizona fired researcher Suzanne Sisley, who undertook the study after clearing four years of bureaucratic hurdles.

Sisley, a medical doctor who also taught and researched at the university, sought the project after years of treating military vets who told her that marijuana was the only drug that helped them improve symptoms of the disorder that affects up to 20 percent of those who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The university said it let Sisley go on June 27. In a letter to Sisley, released Friday to The Associated Press, the university says she was fired because funding for part of the work she did with the medical school was running out and because the telemedicine program she worked with is shifting direction.

Chris Sigurdson, a spokesman for the university, said the school is committed to continuing the project and is looking to replace Sisley with another researcher who can raise more money.

Sisley says she lost the job because state legislators who opposed her work had put pressure on the university – a claim the school denies.

Her study would have measured the effects of five different potencies of smoked or vaporized marijuana in treating symptoms of PTSD in 50 veterans.

“Basically ours would have been the first and only controlled study looking at marijuana effects on PTSD. There are very few randomized control studies,” Sisley said.

Sisley says the battle is not over. She is asking the university to reinstate her. If she fails, she intends to try to get another university to take on the project.

Ricardo Pereyda, an Army veteran of the Iraq war, said the end of the study is a tremendous disservice to military vets.

Pereyda, of Tucson, said his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder – anxiety, insomnia, depression – were eased when he smoked marijuana.

“It allowed me to get some much needed rest and sleep because I was suffering from insomnia,” Pereyda said. “It reduced my anxiety attacks. It just allowed me to regain something that I had lost overseas during my deployment and allowed to me reconnect with those around me.”

Getting federal approval to research marijuana is a laborious and long process. While the federal government approves and funds many studies that look into the negative effects of cannabis, it has been reluctant to approve those that consider its positive ones.

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance under the federal government’s Controlled Substance Act, meaning it is too high-risk for abuse and has no accepted medical applications.

“In regards to medical marijuana, the DEA of course recognizes the pain and suffering of individuals with serious illness and their need for medication,” DEA spokesman Matt Barden said. “However, the FDA has repeatedly concluded that marijuana has a high potential for addiction and has no acceptable level of medical use.”

Marijuana research advocates argue that if the federal government were to allow and fund medical marijuana research on a large scale, it would have the evidence it needs to reclassify the drug.

“It is unequivocally a situation you would describe as Catch-22,” said Malik Burnett of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Basically the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute of Drug Abuse tandem to put tremendous amounts of barriers to conducting cannabis research.”


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Germany Allows Chronic Pain Sufferers to Grow Their Own Cannabis

This seems like a phenomenal idea. This allows the patient to put their care into their own hands. I wish America would follow suit on this. Cultivating your own medicine and regulating your dosage allows for a sense of control usually lost on patients who use medical marijuana for legitimate purposes.

Article courtesy of Fox News. Please click here for original article.

Published July 22, 2014

(REUTERS/Andres Stapff)

A German court ruled on Tuesday that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis “for therapeutic purposes”.

Five people suffering from chronic pain brought the complaint to a court in Cologne after Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) refused them permission to grow the plant at home.

The court said the BfArM had to reconsider three of the requests that it had rejected.

While the plaintiffs all had permits to buy and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes, they wanted to cultivate their own because they could not afford to purchase the drug and their health insurance did not cover it.

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15 Things Not to Say to Someone with RA

For many of us with different issues we know that there are just some things that we would rather not hear from someone. Not everyone comes with the full knowledge of whatever illness we are experiencing and though they intend well, they inevitably say the wrong thing. The following article was posted a few weeks back called, 15 Things Not to Say to Someone with RA. I think that these 15 things extend past arthritis and can be used in some circumstances such as Lupus or other major illnesses. I’d like to use the 15 topics from the original post and elaborate on them with my own thoughts and not in any particular order. These are just my responses to the statements. They might not be the same answers you would pick so please let me know in the comments what you would say!

1. Those drugs are too dangerous…

Really? I know that most of us have read our labels and have been told countless times how dangerous the drugs are. In some cases, the side affects are almost worse than the illness itself. So, I don’t need your uninformed opinion or your judgment. You can converse with me on what I take (if I have told you in the past), but please: do not make judgmental comments.

2. My grandmother has it…

This statement does not bring understanding in any way. Just because you know someone that has our illness does not make you more qualified to speak about it. She is qualified to speak about it but not you.

3. You need to exercise more…

Some don’t realize the pain or difficulties that we go through. Not everyone has the same illness or experiences it in the same way. Some of us can get to the gym and get in a quick workout, but some of us can’t. For example: some days my knees want to give out. For no reason they just don’t want to work. In this case, I just cannot work out and don’t need to be reminded of it. Also, every activity that I do means that they’re others I cannot. I live on a bank of energy that steadily goes down through the day. This means I have to carefully choose what I want to do vs what I need to do. Exercise might just be on the lists of want that day.

4. Aren’t you feeling better yet…

With a lifelong illness I may never feel better. I have good days and I have bad ones. You might think that this is like any other illness where you can get ‘better’ and with new technologies I still might one day. I don’t need to be reminded though that I am not feeling better on a constant basis.

5. Have you tried glucosamine?

You are not a doctor. Enough said.

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It’s hard to write when your wrists give out.

I wanted to take a moment to apologize for not writing lately. No, I haven’t forgotten. It’s been difficult between the pain, exams, end of the semester, close to graduation, and the inclusion of in-laws from another country. Nothing in this previous list is necessarily bad. However, I have noticed that stress is one of the biggest triggers of flare-ups. I never noticed this until I started keeping better track of my pain vs. mood. Since my mood is highly affected by stress and my pain affects the same, I graphed the two against each other. In any event, I am done with finals tomorrow and look forward to writing more. I have some great topics lined up that I think might help us all to better understand who we are, why we suffer, and how to tolerate our different conditions better. For now, take care and keep reading! The best thing we can do for each other is to educate ourselves!


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PTSD and Chronic Pain – More Similarities?

The more that I research, the more that I find that there might actually be strong correlations between chronic pain and PTSD. This of course makes sense if your chronic pain is caused by the same thing at the root of your PTSD. This is exactly what the article below looks at. I am a strong believer in the correlation and that one condition can be overlooked because of the other. However, I wonder what if the two were mutually exclusive? For example, I have a history that caused my PTSD but might not be directly linked to my current chronic pain. Does the article below still apply? I leave that to you to decide (or until I find the research!)!

PTSD and Chronic Pain

By: Cynthia Townsend, PhD

Relationship Between Chronic Pain and PTSD

While chronic pain and PTSD are conditions that may occur together, their relationship to one another is not always obvious and is often overlooked. PTSD can be overlooked because the health care provider, the patient and the family may be focusing on the pain disorder. At times, the patient’s level of disability may be attributed solely to pain. Because there is such a close relationship between PTSD and chronic pain, they have been referred to as “mutually maintaining” conditions.9,10 This is because the presence of both PTSD and chronic pain can increase the symptom severity of either condition.11 

For example, people with chronic pain may avoid activity because they fear the pain – avoiding activity can lead to physical de-conditioning and greater disability and pain over time. Similarly, people with PTSD may avoid reminders of the trauma. This avoidance of activity can lead to the continuation of PTSD symptoms while also contributing to greater physical disability. People with chronic pain may also focus their attention toward their pain while individuals with PTSD may unknowingly focus on things that remind them of the trauma. Consequently, people with both PTSD and chronic pain may have less time and energy to focus on more adaptive ways of coping with both their pain and fear. Furthermore, people with PTSD often experience symptoms of arousal and tension, which may decrease their tolerance for handling pain and increase their perception of pain.



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PTSD – Chronic Pain Correlation?

Research suggests a correlation between those that suffer from PTSD and chronic pain. You mean it can all be related? Below is the abstract and link to the article. It is somewhat of a dry read but in a nutshell suggests a strong correlation between the two.

Full Theoretical Model


Cho SK, Heiby EM, McCracken LM, Moon DE, Lee JH.   Daily Functioning in Chronic Pain: Study of Structural Relations with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, Pain Intensity, and Pain Avoidance. Korean J Pain. 2011 Mar;24(1):13-21.   doi: 10.3344/kjp.2011.24.1.13


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Dr. Deb: How to Cope with Disaster

A woman salvages possessions from the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami struck the area, March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Here is an interesting article published in light of the Japan earthquake and it’s aftermath. It details some of the signs (psychological reactions) experienced by some in disaster situations. It is a good and fast read.

Dr. Deb: How to Cope with Disaster.

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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Emotional, Pain - Psychological


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