Gratitude to Prince Harry

The recent season of the smash hit The Crown on Netflix shows various members of the Royal Family struggling with mental health issues and depicts the years leading up to the tragic death of Diana, The Princess of Wales, in a car crash in Paris. Prince Harry was only 12 years old when he lost his mother. As I touch on in my book on car accident recovery, children who are involved in auto crashes, directly or indirectly, are often neglected psychologically. …


Coping with Compassion Fatigue

For the past year, the world has been steeped in uncertainty, stress and loss as we all struggle to maintain balance and good health. For many of us, dealing with a sense of isolation and separation from others are new stressors. For professional caregivers and those in helping professions, providing care to others during the pandemic has resulted in exceedingly higher than normal levels of stress and presented heightened risks of burnout. These times are particularly challenging because many of the pre-Covid-19 ways that we used to cope with stress and maintain balance are now restricted…


Virus Versus Car Crash

We know that just over 100 years ago the 1918 pandemic took over 50 million lives around the world. Last year, car crashes resulted in over 50 million causalities and an estimated 1.25 million deaths worldwide. Being injured in a car accident is one of the leading causes of disability, and in some age groups, the leading cause of death.

From my practice treating survivors of severe auto accidents over the past two decades, I have seen up close the blink of an eye devastation that forever changes the life trajectories of those injured and their…


Overcoming the Freeze Response

A number of years ago I read two fascinating books written by a Russian psychiatrist, Dr. Olga Kharitidi, who was born in Siberia and worked in a Soviet era State mental hospital. She was moved to study ancient indigenous shamanic traditions. Kharitidi wrote about the “spirit of trauma,” and how it can overtake one’s self, and detailed things she learned from ancient tools that had been passed down to native healers.

It seems with the current Covid-19 pandemic, the world is immersed in a spirit of trauma. Many people have fallen ill and once recovered continue…


An Interview with Jerri Sher

By way of background, last November I had the opportunity to preview a new documentary film that will soon be released (in early November of this year) that deals with the silent killer of traumatic brain injury and the hope for healing and recovery. Almost a year ago now, I was able to talk with Jerri Sher, the director, writer and producer of Quiet Explosions and last night I was able to do a follow-up interview with the two-time, Emmy award winning documentarian.

The movie is based on a book by Adam and Andrew Marr…


Preventing Suicide

As mental health professionals, we are always concerned with risk of suicide with depression. As a nation, we acknowledge this week as National Suicide Prevention Week to spotlight the importance of prevention. Given the stressors modern life presents to all of us, awareness of this vital mental health issue is now, more than ever, important for us to discuss.

Depression is a ubiquitous condition of life. As we move through life, we constantly encounter loss or the threat of the loss of important people, dreams and activities. Depression is a natural response to these losses. …


Learning from Life’s Most Painful Lessons

While writing my book on recovering from auto accident trauma, I found myself revisiting how I came to follow my path into clinical work which has now spanned over 40 years. Many major life decisions begin with painful emotional events, and traumas that break the human heart. A journey then begins to heal the shattered self.

In the preface to my book I talk about my mother’s death last year and the painful dynamics that were set in place over ninety years ago when she nearly died in an accident with fire she experienced…


“When Is It All Going to End?”

Uncharted Waters

Starting in March of this year the world began an uncharted journey into a global pandemic related to a new virus called Covid-19. The pandemic abruptly changed the way we live, relate to others, and function on a day-to-basis. For many people, anxiety and depression are experienced to some degree as a response to this crisis. Fear, confusion, irritability, and sleep disturbance are all common reactions to trauma.

The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the global human population may have lasting, and profound reverberations for the distant…


Understanding Concussions

Note: Much of the content for this blog was covered in an interview with Jamie King August 31, 2020 on CBS Sports Radio

While football season is going to be missed by many, especially parents who long to watch their children play, what remains is a serious topic — TBI related to sports injuries.

How I Became Interested

For over 15 years my work has focused in a sub-specialization of trauma psychology dealing with car accident trauma. Increasingly, I saw how the forces involved in a car accident caused injuries to the brain which impacted every area of…


For over fifteen years I have subspecialized in an area of trauma psychology dealing with surviving car accidents. No one wants to think about what is involved for the hundreds of thousands of people who each year survive car accidents in the United States, and indeed many millions worldwide. In doing research for my forthcoming book, “Recovering from Your Car Accident: The Complete Guide to Reclaiming Your Life” I discovered we are talking about the 40,000-death range year after year and survivors in the estimated fifty million range. …

Dr. James Zender

Dr. James Zender is the author of “Recovering From Your Car Accident” now available on Amazon.

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