Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) is far more common than many people realize and often misunderstood by both the general public and those suffering from the symptoms it presents. Too often these symptoms may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and are at times hidden or ignored until something happens that attracts the attention of the authorities or loved ones.
Post-Traumatic Stress Can Happen to Anyone
Approximately 24 million Americans suffer post-traumatic stress (PTSD) which is nearly equivalent to the number of people living in the state of Texas, as stated by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Those affected consist of survivors not only of combat experience but also serious accidents, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, abuse or assault, as well as sudden and major emotional losses. According to PTSD United, of every three returning troops, one suffers from symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTSD), but of that group, only 40% will seek help. Women are about twice as likely to develop symptoms of trauma than men. No one is sure why some people develop more severe symptoms than others, but it is by no means a sign of weakness or mental instability.
While research continues to uncover staggering statistics of individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTSD), it is important to remember the ripple effect that trauma can have on family members and loved ones. Marriages crumble, relationships are damaged while families, friends, and co-workers witness dramatic changes in someone they care for but have no answers for how to help.
Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress
A number of different medications can be prescribed to help with the symptoms. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs states that antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may be used to help deal with sleeping problems, difficulty concentrating and to help relieve anxiety. Some people living with post-traumatic stress suffer from debilitating nightmares causing them to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. Prazosin, a commonly prescribed medication, may be used to help reduce the severity of nightmares.
While some people may find relief through the use of prescribed medications, many feel they act as a Band-Aid, not a cure.
Many forms of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, have been used to treat post-traumatic stress (PTSD). While some of the more traditional methods can be very effective, they may take many sessions to achieve the desired goal. Clinicians also run the risk of re-traumatizing their clients by asking them to verbalize their traumatic memories repeatedly. Additional treatments that have been used include hyperbaric oxygen treatment, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is a remarkable, evidence-based psychotherapy that provides the most effective and innovative therapeutic method in a rapid recovery setting by reprogramming how the brain stores traumatic memories and imagery.
The treatment program’s distinct features include the use of horizontal “smooth pursuit” eye movements and memory reconsolidation, a way in which new information is incorporated into existing memories.
Characterized as an exposure-based therapy, ART aims to resolve a client’s traumatic memory through a combination of relaxation and memory visualization. This approach provides effective relief from the strong physical and emotional reactions associated with post-traumatic stress (PTSD), trauma, anxiety, depression, and performance, in as few as one to five session, with the average being four.
ART International is committed to training clinicians in this evidence-based psychotherapy so that all individuals struggling with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and other psychological traumas are able to get the help they need nationwide and beyond.
Contact ART International at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-435-1374 to learn more.
**ART International considers post-traumatic stress a symptom and not a disorder. Post-traumatic stress and other traumas can be caused by exposure to war, natural disasters, sexual assault, physical and emotional abuse, accidents, death and other distressing situations that leave lasting memories which can interfere with life as usual.