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In this paper, we critically explore the discourse of change post brain injury and challenge the dominant discourse of negative change, which alone leaves little room for other perspectives to exist. These negative changes pose a considerable risk to the well-being of families who may benefit from engaging in richer accounts making room for a more coherent and connected sense of self and family post-injury. We explore how narrative approaches provide opportunities for all practitioners to expand their professional scripts and support families to move towards a future which is not dominated by a discourse of loss. While loss and negative change is an important and very real consequence, of brain injury, focusing purely on stories of loss is life limiting for family members and can cause psychological distress. The life thread model is offered as a visible tool for all practitioners to engage with and use while working with families, providing a concrete focus for reflection and discussion of narratives relating to change which otherwise can feel quite abstract in everyday practice. We argue that one way we can humanise our professional practice is to support all practitioners to engage in a narrative understanding of family change following ABI.
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a common but poorly understood phenomenon in adolescents. This study examined the Sustained Threat domain in female adolescents with a continuum of NSSI severity (N = 142). Across NSSI lifetime frequency and NSSI severity groups (No + Mild NSSI, Moderate NSSI, Severe NSSI), we examined physiological, self-reported and observed stress during the Trier Social Stress Test; amygdala volume; amygdala responses to threat stimuli; and resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Severe NSSI showed a blunted pattern of cortisol response, despite elevated reported and observed stress during TSST. Severe NSSI showed lower amygdala–mPFC RSFC; follow-up analyses suggested that this was more pronounced in those with a history of suicide attempt for both moderate and severe NSSI. Moderate NSSI showed elevated right amygdala activation to threat; multiple regressions showed that, when considered together with low amygdala–mPFC RSFC, higher right but lower left amygdala activation predicted NSSI severity. Patterns of interrelationships among Sustained Threat measures varied substantially across NSSI severity groups, and further by suicide attempt history. Study limitations include the cross-sectional design, missing data, and sampling biases. Our findings highlight the value of multilevel approaches in understanding the complexity of neurobiological mechanisms in adolescent NSSI.
Substance use disorders are highly prevalent, affecting millions of Americans directly (social, occupational, and health problems) and indirectly (billions of dollars in health care costs and lost revenues due to disability). This section briefly introduces the chemical classification and neurobehavioral properties of the most commonly misused substances.