Why Do You Have PTSD?

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. In this episode, renowned PTSD expert Yuval Neria explains why some people get PTSD and others do not.

Yuval Neria is Professor of Clinical Medical Psychology at Columbia University, Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology, and Director of Trauma and PTSD at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Neria’s body of work was deeply influenced by his extensive war experiences. He was injured in the Yom Kippur 1973 War and at the age of 22 was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest decoration for combat bravery in Israel, comparable to the US Medal of Honor.

Dr. Neria joined Columbia University Medical Center in 2002, and since then has led and
collaborated on numerous studies in trauma and PTSD. He studied prisoners of war and war veterans, victims of terrorism and disasters, and people affected by large scale pandemics. In addition to his epidemiological and treatment studies, Neria’s lab is focused on translational studies aiming to identify brain markers for trauma, PTSD, and resilience. By using advanced brain imaging approaches, his lab has been a leader in characterizing brain markers of PTSD, specific PTSD biotypes, and the pursuit for reliable biomarkers of clinical improvement in patients responding to a range of therapeutic approaches.

Dr. Neria is highly committed to the mental health care for veterans and their family members. In an effort to address key gaps in availability and expertise of mental health care for large number of US service members who are not eligible, or interested in services provided in VA Centers, he founded the Columbia-NYP Military Family Wellness Center in 2016, where both veterans and family members can receive free evidence-based care to address their PTSD, depression and anxiety problems.

Neria’s research is supported by NIMH, philanthropy, and private foundations since 2004. He has authored more than 250 articles and book chapters, and edited four textbooks focusing on the nature and treatment of the mental health consequences of trauma.

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