All Posts in Category: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

EMDR Treats Past Traumas and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

We’d all like to think that the world is a nice place; we hope that everything will always be easy for us and for those we love. Unfortunately, the reality of life is that sometimes bad things do occur to people. When traumatic events happen, they can sometimes bring out an emotional response in people that can make the situation or similar situations difficult to cope with. Generally, this response goes away on its own, but when the emotional response becomes a long-term reaction that affects the person’s daily life, we see the beginnings of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
           
Fortunately, there are many therapeutic options available for people who have suffered from an emotional trauma. One such treatment is EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR is a comprehensive approach to psychotherapy that contains elements of several types of therapy, including:

EMDR deals with the past traumatic experience(s) that set the groundwork for the pathology, current situations, and the triggers that bring on negative reactions from the sufferer. EMDR therapy also addresses the positive experiences and beliefs that are needed to enhance the patient’s future mental health and behaviors. EMDR is an 8-phase program primarily based around information processing therapy. The 8 phases include:

  • Phase 1 – This phase is a history-taking session. The client identifies situations that may have led to the trauma and learns skills and behaviors necessary for the rest of the treatment.
  • Phase 2 – This phase focuses on coping methods and on ensuring the client is stable and ready for the rest of the treatment.
  • Phase 3-6 – These phases address external stimulus combined with a focus on the strongest visual memories related to the trauma, on negative beliefs about self, on related emotions, and on body sensations. The client also identifies a preferred positive belief to replace the negative ones.
  • Phase 7 – This is the Closure phase. The client is asked to keep a journal of further negative responses that may occur and works on maintaining the positive skills and behaviors they have learned.
  • Phase 8 – This phase is a re-evaluation of previous work to ensure that all related events, as well as the current and future triggers for trauma-related stress have been addressed.

     
If you or someone you know suffers from a past trauma, EMDR can provide a much shorter recovery time than many therapies of the past. But it requires you to take quick action, before the problem gets worse!

For more information on EMDR treatments for traumas and post-traumatic stress disorder, contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

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PTSD Symptoms Rise After Hurricane Sandy – Even in South Florida

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Northeast is struggling to return to normal. As of November 1, 2012, it was reported that nearly 650,000 people were still without power, looters were ravaging the streets, the U.N. Headquarters in New York was severely damaged, and the subway systems had been shut down, among other things.

Fortunately, most damage will be repaired. It may take time, but eventually all power will be restored, the U.N. building will be repaired, crime will be taken under control, and the subway systems will be operating at normal capacity. But what about the lingering psychological effects a storm of this power can have?

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) incidents often flare up after a traumatic event like Hurricane Sandy, even for people living far from the affected area. South Florida is a prime area for PTSD reactions due to its frequent close encounters with hurricanes. PTSD symptoms often appear immediately but, in some cases, may take a while to manifest. No matter when they appear, though, PTSD symptoms have been known to linger for long periods of time, during which this disorder can have a dramatic effect on the daily lives of its victims.

Some PTSD stress symptoms that hurricane victims might experience include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • An acute stress reaction, such as being easily startled or frightened
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Flashbacks to the hurricane
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Unsettling dreams related to the storm
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Angry outbursts
  • Memory problems
  • Avoidance behavior, such as keeping away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the storm

If you or someone you know is experiencing PTSD symptoms like these it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible because the sooner treatment begins the easier it is to keep the disorder under control and work toward relief. Delaying treatment of PTSD symptoms can mean that the PTSD can become so severe the victims could end up harming themselves or others.

Treatment for PTSD symptoms may include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or medication. Psychotherapy will allow victims the opportunity to discuss the hurricane and related events, while learning ways to manage their symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy will help people recognize and adjust trauma-related thoughts and beliefs in a more positive way. In some cases, medication may be used in combination with these other therapy techniques. Above all, therapy helps the person understand that a disorder like PTSD develops because of the extraordinary stress they have experienced, not because of their own weakness.

For more information on PTSD and for help and treatment of PTSD symptoms in the Boca Raton, Florida area, contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorder. You can reach us by calling 561-496-1094 or by emailing Dr. Rosen and The Center today.

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Bin Laden’s Death And Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In recent days, the nation has been captivated by the shocking news that Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader responsible for planning the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was killed by an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALS. September 11, 2001 will stand in memory as one of the most horrific events to take place on American soil. It has been responsible for one of the largest epidemics of post traumatic stress the United States has ever seen and the news of bin Laden’s death is sure to have an impact on that.

To understand the affects of this news, you must first understand the basics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Trauma occurs when a person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with a terrible event or injury. The threat of a life or death situation to themselves or others can produce the same result. Of course, it is normal to experience a strong reaction after such an event but when Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs, it is because the victim has experienced PTSD symptoms for at least a month with dramatic impact to their everyday life.

The symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma
  • Persistent avoidance
  • Increased state of arousal

Now, with the death of Osama bin Laden, there is a complicated array of emotions that may affect victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a multitude of ways. For some, it may:

  • Dredge up old feelings and the risk of a relapse
  • Heighten their PTSD out of anxiety that bin Laden’s death could provoke retaliation from radical Islamic groups
  • Bring a sense of closure similar to hearing a guilty verdict at a murder trial

No matter what side of the coin you’re on, the good news will always be that PTSD can be controlled with the proper treatment. Treatment may include individual psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, medicine, or peer group support. If you or someone you know is suffering from this disorder, seeking help can get you back on the path to a normal life.

For more information and help for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the South Florida area, contact Boca Raton Post Traumatic Stress Disorder therapist Dr. Andrew Rosen at 561-496-1094 or email him today.

 

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