PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD leaves one being stuck in a pattern of response where you continue to feel distressed and disengaged from yourself and others. Often people experience a sense of continued hyper-vigilance beyond what is needed that taxes the body’s capacity for recovery.
For those with PTSD, everyday life becomes a reminder or avoidance versus living in the present. It not only keeps a person suffering with what happened but keeps them from experiencing anything else now. Triggering experiences can often keep someone reactivated, angry or disengaged for hours, days, months and even years. PTSD can also lead to depression.
Neurofeedback works with the brain in a ‘bottom up’ capacity, training it how to get out of/into states that reduce symptoms and create a healthier brain, changing our thinking and mood. Neurofeedback has been shown to increase the number of brain neurons responsible for regulating one’s overall mood. It is often possible to train one’s brain to achieve a level of calmness and balance that does not require medication or other types of treatment. There are brainwaves that are related to our feelings (both good and bad). An under-aroused brain often results in feeling depressed with a lack of motivation. Neurofeedback trains your brain to increase its activation with the beta for mood elevation and is sometimes followed by alpha theta to balance these brainwaves. The objective of neurofeedback is to teach your brain to balance and not be reactive in response to events out of your control.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that a person with PTSD is
six times more likely to attempt suicide than a person from the general population.
Neurofeedback Therapy Treatment For PTSD
At Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback, we utilize a scientifically proven protocol developed by world-renowned experts in the field of biofeedback. Our system demonstrates improvements with all symptoms of PTSD along with issues that commonly result from dysfunctional families, grief, and other upsetting life experiences.
Clients Who Experience Alpha-Theta Training Report:
- Feeling more emotionally connected
- Have increased peace and serenity
- Better able to access and integrate difficult experiences
- They are more observant of new opportunities
- Have significantly less fear in pursuing new undertakings
Alpha-theta protocol is named after the two main types of brainwaves that are involved during the neurofeedback training process. There is no talking involved. The client listens to feedback from his or her brain, which brings on a deep calm witness state. People can often observe or think about their difficult experiences in this safe dream-like state. Negative response patterns operating on a sub-conscious level release trauma and false beliefs so one can enjoy life with a new and healthier perspective.
The Results Are Real
PTSD symptom reduction was tracked among 819 clients receiving the same EEG neurofeedback system used at Emerald Coast NeuroFeedback. Participants in this study reported numerous PTSD symptoms including flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, reoccurring triggers, and reliving trauma. As indicated below, 89% of participants with PTSD reported improvement after 20 neurofeedback sessions.
reported improvement in PTSD after 2 sessions
reported improvement in PTSD after 5 sessions
reported improvement in PTSD after 10 sessions
reported improvement in PTSD after 20 sessions
THAT CONTRIBUTE TO PTSD
Service members put themselves at risk for death or injury and may see others harmed or killed; they themselves may have to kill or wound others in combat. They often must be on high alert. Many service members are away from their homes and families for long periods of time. These and other factors increase the chance of developing stressor related disorders such as PTSD or other mental health problems.
Bullying is any intentional action taken to intimidate, embarrass, coerce, or otherwise dominate another person or group. It is often repeated and involves a perceived imbalance of power. Some common settings for bullying are school, workplace, or cyber-bullying.
Child abuse may be physical, emotional, or sexual. Another form of maltreatment is neglect. The CDC defines childhood abuse as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver (e.g., clergy, coach, teacher) that results in harm, the potential for harm, or the threat of harm to a child.
Community Violence includes threats, assaults, fights, or shootings between unrelated individuals who may or may not know each other. It occurs in public places such as neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
Complex trauma, also known as Developmental Trauma, includes children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events, often at the hands of a caregiver. This type of trauma is particularly damaging to the developing child and has a broad, long-term impact in the following ways: difficulty developing a sense of safety, increases chronic illnesses, and trouble forming positive relationship bonds.
Natural disasters can cause tremendous loss. From damage or total loss of one’s home, belongings, and neighborhood, to even the death of family or friends, there can be lasting stressors in the aftermath of such events.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), also referred to as domestic violence, occurs when an individual purposely causes harm or threatens harm to any current or previous partner. This may include stalking, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse. IPV has long-lasting, serious effects on physical and mental health.
Early Childhood Trauma
Early childhood trauma refers to various kinds of adversity and traumatic experiences that occur early in one’s life, usually before age 6.
First responders are usually the first on the scene to face challenging, dangerous, and draining situations. They are also the first to reach out to disaster survivors and provide emotional and physical support to them. It is estimated that 30 percent of first responders develop behavioral health conditions including, but not limited to, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
LGBTQ and Trauma
According to the National Center for PTSD, LGBTQ+ individuals are nearly four times more likely to experience violent assault (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault) than their cisgender (i.e., a person whose gender identity is the same as their sex as assigned at birth), heterosexual counterparts. This increases the risk factors for persons of the LGBTQ+ community to develop PTSD. Approximately 48% of LGB individuals and 42% of transgender and gender diverse individuals meet the criteria for PTSD as compared to 4.7% within the general population.
Medical trauma that occurs in a medical setting or because of an issue and may lead to conditions like PTSD, anxiety, depression, or chronic pain.Some forms of medical trauma may include having health complications as a child, undergoing surgery, giving birth, or having a cesarean delivery, or living with chronic pain, or medically unexplained symptoms.
The accumulation of race-related stressors, including intergenerational racial trauma, racial microaggressions, racial discrimination, and overt racism that many people of color experience can result in developing PTSD
Many refugees have experienced trauma related to war or persecution that may affect their mental and physical health long after the events have occurred.
Sexual assault refers to any sexual activity or acts without consent.
Sex trafficking involves the giving or receiving of anything of value (money, shelter, food, clothing, drugs, etc.) to any person in exchange for a sex act.
Not tied to any specific religion, but rather fundamentalism of any faith, spiritual abuse is using religion to coerce, control, manipulate, or abuse someone knowingly or unknowingly.
Terrorism and Violence
Mass violence, acts of terrorism, or community trauma in the form of shootings, bombings, or other types of attacks that are either witnessed or threatened.
Grief is a natural process of emotional healing after a loss. However, when this process interrupted or otherwise complicated, the body and mind may have trouble processing the loss. When trauma co-occurs with the bereavement process, we may experience traumatic grief.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF PTSD?
- Generalized fears such as separation anxiety
- Avoidance of situations
- Sleep disturbances
- Preoccupation with words or symbols
- Play that repeats themes of the trauma
- Poor recall of trauma related events
- Omen formation: belief there were warning signs predicting event
- Issues with impulse control and risk taking
- Problems with self-image
- Difficulty with focus
- References to the trauma in play, art, or stories
- Impulsive & aggressive behavior
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Preoccupation with revenge
- May numb feelings
- May be suicidal
- Post-traumatic reenactment by incorporating aspects of the trauma into daily life
- May be suicidal
- Intrusive thoughts
- Difficulty being focused in the present
- Re-experience flashback with hyper arousal symptoms
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Diminished interest in participating in activities
- Feel detached or estranged from others
When to Get Emergency Help
If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
If you’re have suicidal thoughts:
- Call your doctor or mental health professional.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.