Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can disrupt a person’s whole life, including: job, relationships, health, happiness, and enjoyment of everyday activities. It is triggered by a terrifying event or ordeal in which a person was harmed or threatened. In New Jersey and New York, we have recently experienced at least two community-wide PTSD causing events: Hurricane Sandy and 911. Events that lead to the development of PTSD include: Natural Disaster (i.e. Hurricane Sandy), Terrorist Attack (i.e. 911 in New York City), Automobile or Horse Accident, Life-Threatening Medical Diagnosis (i.e. Cancer, AIDs), Divorce, Rape, Childhood Neglect, Emotional and Physical Abuse, Sexual Molestation, Physical Attack, Being threatened with a Weapon, Fire, Mugging, Robbery, Assault, Civil Conflict, Plane Crash, Torture, Kidnapping, Combat Exposure, and other extreme or Life-Threatening Events. People who witness traumatic events, and who are related to (family and friends) victims can also get PTSD. Twice as many women as men experience PTSD. Depression, alcohol/drugs or other substance abuse, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts or actions, or other anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with PTSD. In addition, PTSD has been linked to increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Pain, Gastrointestinal Disease, Autoimmune Diseases (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease), and Musculoskeletal Conditions.
It is an anxiety disorder characterized by many symptoms. Symptoms can begin within three months to many years after a triggering event and fall into three categories as reported by the Mayo Clinic: 1) Intrusive Memories (flashbacks, reliving the event, and nightmares), 2) Avoidance and Numbing (trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event, feeling emotionally numb, avoiding activities you once enjoyed, hopelessness about the future, memory problems, trouble concentrating, difficulty maintaining close relationships), and 3) Increased Anxiety or Emotional Arousal – Hyperarousal (irritability or anger; sweating; irritability; overwhelming guilt or shame; self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much; trouble sleeping; being easily startled or frightened; hearing or seeing things that aren’t there; and feeling that one can never relax and must be on guard all the time to protect oneself). Symptoms can be constant or come and go. Receiving treatment as soon as possible after the event typically prevents long-term suffering from PTSD.
Traditional medical treatment can include psychotherapy, group support, anger management and prescription medication (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antidepressants).
The Lasting Pain Relief Center offers proven alternative therapies that work to alleviate PTSD and allow you to get your life back. These therapies include Myofascial Release (MFR), Yoga, Reiki, Stretching, Sound Therapy (Chakra Crystal Bowls, Gong, and Tuning Forks), and Meditation.