Nearly 70 percent of the world’s population have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. And about 20 percent of these individuals go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This is about 44 million people…
That is one heartbreaking number!
PTSD can not only sprout from events such as combat and war but also from assault or abuse. Severe accidents or conditions, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or emotional damage can also cause trauma.
It may even come as a surprise, but PTSD most commonly affects women as well. Nearly one out of every nine women develop PTSD, making them about twice as likely as men.
So what can you look for if you or a loved one might be suffering from PTSD and trauma?
What Is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe anxiety disorder that typically develops after a deeply threatening or scary event occurs in an individual’s life.
The shock of a specific event can rattle a person’s life forever.
PTSD develops most commonly in victims of war, combat, physical abuse, sexual abuse, natural disasters, etc..
Even those who were not directly involved in the traumatic event can be affected by it and develop PTSD.
PTSD can and will affect a person for the rest of their lives when not treated and coped with properly. Here are some symptoms of PTSD.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD can affect each individual person in different ways. Here are a few of the most common symptoms involved:
- Insomnia and difficulty sleeping
- Recurrent flashbacks and/or nightmares
- Recurrent involuntary memories of the traumatic event
- Easily irritated or angered
- Emotional numbness
- Avoidance of certain places, people, or activities that may remind you of a particular traumatic event
These are just a few, and more common symptoms that occur in PTSD sufferers. These can affect a person all at once, or they may have only a few.
Regardless, it is important to recognize these symptoms, and the triggers involved with them.
If you or someone you love is suffering from severe PTSD and trauma, don’t wait- seek a professional immediately!
There are several efficient ways to treat PTSD efficiently, and with the proper professionals and guidance, you will have the ability to conquer your past and triggers.
Common Approaches To Treat PTSD
There are several approaches to treating PTSD.
You have a choice and an option to try different treatments, in order to find what works best for you.
Here are a couple of the most common ways of treating trauma:
Of course, number one approach is of course- therapy. There are different types of therapy, so keep an eye out for which one you think might work best for you.
However, generally, the idea of therapy is to treat the mind, which of course, is where all the trauma lies. Typically referred to as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
The idea of therapy is to help you accept and cope with your trauma, and learn how to change the patterns disrupting your life,
Therapy is meant to restore your self-esteem, create an open environment to talk about your trauma, teach you skills to deal with it, and improve your symptoms.
You may also consider Prolonged Exposure Therapy. In this type of treatment, your therapist will teach you breathing techniques to ease your anxiety when thoughts of your trauma come up.
Therapy typically includes making a list of your trauma, triggers, and the things you’ve been avoiding, and slowly facing them one by one in therapy.
Typically medications go hand in hand with any type of therapy you chose. Ultimately, it is your choice.
The purpose of medications is to treat the chemical imbalances that are present in the brain. Typically these are the neurotransmitters in the brain, which can easily cause “fight or flight” responses when triggered.
Medications can help you stop thinking and reacting to triggers, nightmares, and flashbacks. They have the ability to provide a positive outlook.
The most common types of medications include but are not limited to:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
Everyone experiences and feels their PTSD and trauma in different ways.
So as it may go without saying, consulting your primary care provider is about which medication might be best for you and your condition is important.
And if you feel a particular medication is not working effectively, communicate with your doctor to find another one that will.
Perhaps traditional therapy, doctors, and medications are not exactly what you are into, or are looking for. Trying natural nontraditional ways of healing can be greatly beneficial.
PTSD sufferers can find great benefits to breath work!
Also known as Rebirthing, is a general idea of utilizing breathing exercises to improve mental, physical, and spiritual health.
The overall purpose is to achieve a greater sense of self-awareness and self-healing.
There are many forms of breathwork therapy available today! It can include elements from breathing exercises, to talk therapy, bodywork, art, and music.
You can involve yourself in breathwork in multiple ways.
You can choose to do it on your way, via Google and Youtube. Or you can choose to work with a professional who specializes in breath work.
This type of treatment comes in many forms. This can include herbal home remedies as an alternative to medications. Here are a couple of herbal remedies for you to try:
Hops have tonic, nervine, diuretic and anodyne properties.
Their volatile oil produces sedative and soporific effects, and the Lupamaric acid or bitter principle is stomachic and tonic.
For this reason Hops improve the appetite and promote sleep!
It eases stress, nervousness and restlessness.
It’s useful for the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia and pain. Hops is anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and has sedative properties, making it an excellent herb for muscle spasms.
This herb is known for uplighting the mind! And with battling PTSD, who doesn’t need a good positive uplifter?
It is said to improve intellect, consciousness, and mental activity, and enhances brain capabilities. Now isn’t that worth a shot?!
Perhaps you are one who suffers from night terrors and nightmare-induced insomnia, more than any other symptoms. And these night terrors wake you up nightly accompanied by panic attacks or paralysis.
Valerian might just be your guy.
Forget sleeping pills and melatonin- Valerian is nature’s most effective sedative.
These compounds have sedative effects because they interact with the neurotransmitter GABA.
As mentioned previously, GABA seems to produce an upbeat mood, positive self-image, sense of calm/contentment, and sound sleep. Valerian allows GABA to exert its effects on the nervous system for a longer period of time before being broken down.
Service dogs are an amazing way to help cope with PTSD.
PTSD service dogs are trained to assist in any medication crisis, provide their own source of treatment, help you to cope with emotional overloads, and so much more!
“A Specially Trained PTSD Dog can provide a sense of security, calming effects, and physical exercise that can make a positive difference in the life of those that suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
PTSD service dogs can:
- Prevent people from overcrowding you or rushing up to you
- Calm their handler
- Help lower blood pressure
- Provide companionship
- Help with episodes from triggers or nightmares
- Help adjust serotonin levels to achieve a happier you!
To learn more about training your dog for service, or getting your first service dog, check out Canines 4 Hope.
PTSD Treatment Center In Utah
If those types of treatments did not quite tickle your fancy, perhaps another route should be considered.
New Roads Behavioral Health is the preferred PTSD Treatment in Utah for both adults and adolescents.
Clinicians at New Roads are trained in EMDR and DBT PE (prolonged exposure from a DBT framework).
Both of these treatments are supported by evidence that has shown clients having a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms.
Treating PTSD at New Roads isn’t just about reducing PTSD symptoms, it’s also about helping clients pursue meaningful lives.
At our residential setting, we work with clients to stabilize any destructive or mal-adaptive behavior before they begin treatment specific for PTSD.
For some clients this may be a week or less of preparation and for others it may be a month or more. Building a strong foundation of healthy coping skills before starting PTSD treatment is essential as the treatment often will raise anxiety, distress, and urges to engage in unhealthy coping skills for the client.
Process groups and Seeking Safety groups supplement the trauma work that clients are doing in individual therapy. Phone coaching for our more distressed clients also plays an important role in supporting clients maintain and build on healthy coping skills while going through trauma treatment.
We have seen many clients improve significantly through this treatment process.
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Written by: Leah Roberts