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When Healers Feel the Wounds

Episode 009: Surviving Life as Level-III Empath. In coming episodes you’ll hear more about the physical components of how a body with PTSD eventually burns our early causing some predictable clinical syndromes. For now, we will focus on what an “empath” is. Even if you are not an empath or a “sensitive person”, there are many in our world and you won’t fully grasp what PTSD is until you understand how a group of people different than you experience the world. What is a Level-III Empath?...


“New Age” Healings for PTSD: A Sign of the Times

Episode 008. Ten or 20 years ago, you never could have convinced my undergraduate Biology professors, my allopathic medical school faculty, or my Emergency Medicine or Psychiatry attending physicians that I’d be writing about energy healing and metaphysical topics on a blog. To this observation I say, Welcome to Episode 8". Mainstream Western Medicine Leaves Out 'Healing' My academic life had been unusual only because it began while I was in the Army stationed in Germany in the late...


The Ugly Truth about Prolonged Exposure: A Case Study in Medical Ethics

Episode 007: Assuming you don't believe that that past 100 years of psychotherapists were actually trying to cause harm to patients, you'll soon better understand how mental health interventions are a double-edged sword. History demonstrates that the Law of Unintended Consequences applies here. Before we get into the weeds in prolonged exposure, let's first start off by discussing unintended consequences of a psychotherapy for PTSD that I actually do like and agree with - Cognitive...


Moral Injury and Healing the Whole Self

Episode 006: Learn how to balance growth in the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional parts of ourselves. Going forward, each dimension will be pointed out during podcasts interviews and such. You will be able to search for future podcasts by the Wordpress tags on Now let’s get started… Annihilation Threat Injury Annihilation Threat Injury occurs when people survive an existential threat. Not only was their body threatened with death, but death would mean their...


Self-Sabotage: A Harbinger of All Things Bad

Episode 005: The Bottom Line Up Front is this: If you believe you deserve to succeed you will not self-sabotage. Shame is Self-Induced While that sounds simple on face value, the reasons behind low self-esteem come in infinite combinations. While helping a friend write a grant proposal for a non-profit, I developed a tool that has helped me solve complex problems in a simple way. Though my discovery here is in the realm of PTSD, it has ramifications elsewhere. The Coulda Woulda Shouda Table:...


Trauma Secrets are the Enemy of Freedom

Episode 004: At the moment of a trauma, the victim’s voice is squashed. Their will and choice is taken. Recovery involves finding your voice, but PTSD likes to keep people living in fear and suffering from their secrets. My challenge here in Episode 004 is to demonstrate a degree of my own authenticity so as to increase your appreciation for the power that secrets can hold over us. This means that I’ll be telling you about myself. (oh boy) I have to tell the truth. Writing about the broad...


What is PTSD? (part 3/3) Hypervigilance and Fear-Based Living

Episode 003: Welcome to the third part of our three part series on “What is PTSD?” You may have run across websites that list the symptoms don’t begin to touch on what it’s really like to have PTSD. We’ll continue this exploratory series on different traits that people wind up with that predict response to treatment quite reliably. As always, I’m trying to talk about PTSD in such a way that you understand how I think and approach it in my clinic. Fight, flight, or freeze vs. rest and digest....


What is PTSD? (part 2/3) Insomnia and the Effects of Stress

Episode 002: Previously, we discussed the negative impact of stress on the brain. Specifically, we looked at how chronic increases in adrenaline and cortisol shrink the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex areas of the brain. This negatively affects stress tolerance and the formation of new memories. In today’s episode, we’ll examine the components of success or failure in any endeavor: capacity, opportunity and motivation. We’ll use this construct to dive in to the effects of adrenaline and...


What is PTSD (part 1/3) PTSD Symptoms and Intimate Relationships

Episode 001: Hello world! My name is Elias Diam, MD, but folks know me as Doctor Dan. Welcome to the PTSD Academy Podcast!! In today’s episode, we will cover the DSM-V criteria, trust, what I call “the Big Three” (PTSD, Major Depression, and Insomnia), and the importance of a safe partner during trauma recovery. A complete and up-to-date research definition of the term “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” can be found at There is an...