Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder initiated by a traumatic or life-threatening experience, such as war, natural disaster, rape or terrorism. Everyone responds to distressful, traumatic, or terrifying events differently, some experience anxiety, rage, shock, or they may even feel responsible. For most people these feelings subside after a short period of time. However, for people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), these emotions continue and sometimes even escalate then can become debilitating over time (Posttraumatic…, 2013, para.1). We still do not know why some people get PTSD and some do not.
The fight or flight response is triggered within your body during a distressful or traumatic experience. When a threat is perceived your body automatically responds by releasing adrenaline, the stress hormones are released, heart beats harder and faster, blood pressure increases, breathing quickens, metabolism is stimulated, and muscles receive more oxygenated blood. In PTSD patients these responses are triggered when they are reminded of the traumatic experience. When a body is in a heightened state of stimulation for an extended length of time it can have negative affects.
The effects of PTSD include but are not limited to flashbacks, emotional detachment, jumpiness, nightmares, avoidance or social withdrawal, depression, irritability and anxiety; these are the most common in adults. Helplessness, fear, confusion, guilt, repetitious traumatic play, preoccupation with danger, regression, rebellion, worry, and life threatening re-enactment are just a few symptoms in children (Post-Traumatic Stress…, 2009, para. 16, 18 & 19). Unfortunately many people affected by PTSD are also diagnosed with other disorders, such as depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug addiction, and gambling addiction. Luckily there are many treatments out there for those who need it.
With every symptom of PTSD there is a method of coping or treatment, a large variety of which come in the form of therapy. The approaches range from hypnosis to medications and neurofeedback methods. There are medications that are approved for the treatment of PTSD, although, it is recommended to include therapy (with the medication). While there are no known cures or preventions to the disorder, there are countless ways to cope. Studies show that the sooner treatment starts the more effective it is.
Hypnosis and Neurofeedback are on opposite ends of the treatment history spectrum. Hypnosis was used for treatment during and after WWII and the Korean War and reportedly worked extremely well for veterans. However, it is very seldom used today due to hypnosis’ association with false memories. Neurofeedback, a way to learn to control brain activity, is new treatment and is still being studied, so far the results have been promising (What is Neurofeedback, para. 1).
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which are used for depression and anxiety as well, have...