What is PTSD?

Fear…Helplessness…Horror.

Soldier over GrenadeP.T.S.D. or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is primarily and anxiety disorder but can involve depression, emotional numbness and flashbacks in which the patient feels like he or she is reliving the trauma. It can develop when people are severely harmed, or experience something extremely upsetting.  PTSD is also historically known by other names such as shell shock, traumatic war neurosis, battlefield fatigue, or post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). Other less specific symptoms may also be present, such as increased arousal and startle response, difficulty sleeping, irritability and poor concentration. Many times there is guilt, coexisting depression and panic disorder.

Between 50% and 90% of people in the United States will experience a trauma at least once in their life. However, not everyone who experiences a trauma will develop PTSD.  In the US, the prevalence of PTSD – the percentage of people who have the condition – is about 8%. That’s actually quite high if you think that  almost 1 in 10 people around you have it.

Standard treatments today

  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy where the patient relieves those horrible moments in a “safe” environment to reduce their emotional impact, also called “flooding”.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing wherein the therapist moves their finger in front of the patient during a vivid recall “scrambling’ the memory.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy, or simply known as Journaling.
  • Nightmare Therapy
  • Trauma Group Therapy for patients to talk about their issues in a moderated group session
  • Drug therapy, considered less time consuming and easier to continue than psychotherapy (talk therapy). In particular, antidepressants are highly used like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), all with bad side effects

See Wikipedia’s discussion of PTSD for more information here.

A New Age of treatment is becoming a reality at PTSD Clinics

There is a new surge in the redevelopment of how to treat PTSD.  It has become obvious to patients, friends and family that the existing techniques simply don’t work and can cause more long-term damage than having no “assistance” at all.

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