Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur when someone has been through a traumatic event or series of traumatic events. It is a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme psychological trauma, an understandable reaction to an abnormal event. The long term effects of trauma should not be under-estimated. It damages self-esteem and reduces confidence. It can destroy careers and cause family breakdown and has been linked to drug dependency, alcoholism and suicide.

Lives and indeed whole families can be completely destroyed by post traumatic stress disorder. For some it can be a struggle just getting out of bed in the morning. For others, daily routines have to be altered to avoid anything that might trigger memories of a traumatic event they've suffered in the past. Relationships often break down and even if they don't, those living close to a sufferer will invariably have had to adopt coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of the mood swings.

The event can be something that happens directly to you or one that you witness. Either way, it is something that disturbs you deeply, although you may not be conscious of it at the time. Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening or traumatic events can develop stress related trauma or PTSD. Typically, these events include things such as:

After the event, it may be normal to feel confused, angry or scared for a few weeks. If these feelings don't go away or they get worse, you may be developing or already suffering from PTSD.

Not everyone witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event will develop trauma or PTSD. Each person is different. How likely you are to develop trauma or PTSD depends on many factors such as how close you were to the event, how much personal control you had over events, how strong your reaction was, how intense your trauma was and how long it lasted and whether you were injured or lost someone close to you.

Typical Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD typically start soon after the traumatic event, but this isn't always the case. Sometimes, there is a delay of months or even years.

Flashbacks and nightmares

Memories of a trauma can surface at any time. Some people may feel the same fear that they did at the time of the event and may even feel like they are completely reliving the event in a flashback. They may also have nightmares. Sometimes, something triggers a flashback. For example, witnessing a car crash can remind someone of his or her own accident or hearing a loud bang can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran. Even a smell can be a trigger to reliving an event.

Avoidance

People suffering from PTSD often try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the event and avoid thinking or talking about what happened. For example, someone involved in a fire may avoid watching films or TV shows that feature fires. Others keep themselves overly busy and avoid seeking help in an attempt not to think about the event. Avoidance of the news or news papers is not uncommon.

Numbness

Many PTSD sufferers report feeling numb, finding it hard to express their feelings, though this is really another way to avoid memories. For example, they may avoid close personal relationships or may have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy.

Irritability

Sufferers may be hyper-alert, jittery, feeling continually on-guard and on the lookout for danger. This can cause sudden anger or almost constant irritability and irrational reactions to situations. They may find it difficult to sleep or have broken sleep and find it difficult to concentrate. They may also be far more startled than usual when something or someone surprises you.

Mood swings

Mood swings may be instantaneous and alarming both personally and to those around the sufferer. Individuals may experience feelings of hopelessness and depression along with bouts of uncontrollable aggression.

Other common problems

People with PTSD may also develop other problems as a direct consequence of their condition such as the use of alcohol and drugs to self medicate difficulty in securing or holding down a job, and/or feelings of hopelessness, a lack of self-worth and low self esteem, shame, or despair. Being unable to maintain a relationship or let anyone get close to them emotionally.

Self harm or harming others can surface as problems along with extravagant or unnecessary shopping or gambolling to temporarily give a sense of release from the symptoms.

Sexual dysfunction is also a common problem lack of libido through to erectile difficulties in men and lack of libido through to the inability to orgasm in women.

Children with PTSD

Children may display the same PTSD symptoms as adults although symptoms often vary with the age of the child. Young children may become very upset if their parents are not close by, they may have trouble sleeping, bed-wetting or suddenly have trouble with toilet training. Children around 5-10 years of age may re-enact the trauma through play, drawings, or stories. Others may complain of physical problems such as headaches or abdominal pain or become more irritable or aggressive and may develop fears and anxiety unconnected with the traumatic event.

The way forward

Many sufferers have been through years of treatments which, although possibly helping in the short term, do not offer a long term solution. Many therapies are slow and painful often involving the client repeatedly reliving the event and often making them feel worse. Frustratingly the NHS seems only to recognise the slow painful methods.

Using a combination of my extensive experience as a doctor, and using NLP and TFT and neurohypnotic re-patterning, I will tailor make a programme for each individual client. Results are rapid and long-lasting.

I feel that there is now no reason why anyone should go through life suffering from the psychological effects of a traumatic event.