Posts Tagged PTSD

[Infographic] PTSD

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[Infographic] Co-Occurring Symptoms PTSD and TBI

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[WEB SITE] ‘Brain training’ may be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder

by Lawson Health Research Institute

'Brain training' may be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
The study tested use of a neurofeedback loop in which a person’s brain activity is measured through sensors placed on the scalp and displayed back to them using a computer interface. Brain activity was visualized as either a still cartoon or a distorted picture that would move or become clearer when the alpha rhythm was successfully reduced. Credit: Lawson Health Research Institute

Neurofeedback, also called ‘brain training,’ consists of exercises where individuals regulate their own brain activity. In a new study from Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University, researchers have found that neurofeedback may be an effective treatment for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Published in NeuroImage: Clinical, the clinical trial found that neurofeedback was effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD.

“Brain connectivity involves different parts of the brain communicating with each other and helps to regulate states of consciousness, thought, mood and emotion,” explains Dr. Ruth Lanius, scientist at Lawson, professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and psychiatrist at London Health Sciences Centre. “Individuals with PTSD tend to have disrupted patterns of brain connectivity, but our research suggests they can exercise their brains to restore patterns to a healthy balance.”

Neurofeedback uses a system called a neurofeedback loop in which a person’s brain activity is measured through sensors placed on the scalp and displayed back to them using a computer interface. This allows the individual to complete exercises and visually see the results.

The trial tested neurofeedback with a total of 72 participants, including 36 participants with PTSD and 36 healthy control participants. Of those with PTSD, 18 were randomized to participate in neurofeedback treatment while the other 18 acted as a comparison group.

The study found that the severity of PTSD symptoms decreased in participants randomized to receive neurofeedback treatment. After treatment, 61.1 per cent of participants no longer met the definition for PTSD. This remission rate is comparable to gold standard therapies like trauma-focused psychotherapy.

The research team also used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at St. Joseph’s Health Care London to capture brain scans of participants both before and after participation in the trial. They found that individuals with PTSD experienced positive changes in brain connectivity in the salience network and the default mode network following neurofeedback treatment.

“The salience network is involved in detecting threat as part of the ‘fight or flight’ response. It is normally hyperactive in individuals with PTSD. Meanwhile, the default mode network is activated during rest and is involved in autobiographical memory. We often see that this network is less active during rest and functionally disrupted among individuals with PTSD,” says Dr. Andrew Nicholson, affiliated scientist at Lawson. “Neurofeedback helped restore the functional connectivity of both networks to healthier levels.” Dr. Nicholson is an assistant professor at McMaster University and was formerly a post-doctoral fellow at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.

The study involved weekly sessions of neurofeedback over 20 weeks. Participants were asked to reduce the intensity of the brain’s dominant brain wave—the alpha rhythm. Brain activity was visualized as either a still cartoon or a distorted picture. If the alpha rhythm was successfully reduced, the cartoon started playing or the picture started becoming clearer.

“Participants were not instructed on how to reduce the alpha rhythm. Rather, each individual figured out their own way to do so,” notes Dr. Lanius. “For example, individuals reported letting their mind wander, thinking about positive things or concentrating their attention.”

The team notes the treatment could have a number of clinical implications following further validation.

“Neurofeedback could offer an accessible and effective treatment option for individuals with PTSD,” says Dr. Lanius. “The treatment is easily scalable for implementation in rural areas and even at home.”


Explore further Game study not playing around with PTSD relief


More information: Andrew A. Nicholson et al, A randomized, controlled trial of alpha-rhythm EEG neurofeedback in posttraumatic stress disorder: A preliminary investigation showing evidence of decreased PTSD symptoms and restored default mode and salience network connectivity using fMRI, NeuroImage: Clinical (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102490

Journal information: NeuroImage: Clinical

Provided by Lawson Health Research Institute

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[BOOK] Trauma Thrivers – eBook


The Solutions To Trauma Series

Created for those who have an interest in trauma, complex PTSD and PTSD and finding out more about the various treatments available. This E-book is a valuable resource and an amazingly comprehensive, thoroughly researched “Trauma Solutions Series”.

Delivered in a beautifully presented FREE E-book packed full of information on more than 50 different methods that help with healing trauma.


Download E-book Now


Image

Who is the writer?

Hello, I’m Lou Lebentz the Founder of Trauma Thrivers. I’ve been a therapist for nearly two decades and I’ve been a trauma survivor all my life and only called myself a thriver for the last few years!!

I would love to assist you on your journey to full recovery from trauma, PTSD and complex PTSD. Because I personally know what it’s like to be baffled by all the differing views and methods available! That’s why I produced this book, in the hope it may help.

Contents of the E-book

This E-book has well over 50 different healing methods. So, I really hope you get to discover which treatments for trauma resonate with you.

Your FREE copy of the E-book awaits!

[…]

For more visit site

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[BLOG POST] NightWare Is An Apple Watch App That Stops PTSD Related Nightmares – Video

When Tyler Skluzacek’s father Patrick came back from Iraq in 2007 after serving in the military, his life completely changed. Because of PTSD, he would have vivid and terrible nightmares every night. The only way he could sleep was with the help of vodka and pills.

As an undergrad at Macalester College in 2015, when Tyler heard about a hackathon that focused on mobile solutions for people with PTSD, he decided to participate. During the hackathon, he put together a team that would work on a smart watch solution to detect the onset of night tremors based on the person’s heart and movement. The inspiration behind this solution was service dogs that were already doing something similar – recognize when a person was experiencing a traumatic nightmare and then nudge or lick them to disrupt the bad dream. Tyler’s vision was to provide the “licking and nudging” through gentle vibrations on the smart watch. However, the real challenge was to create a stimulus through the vibrations just enough to disrupt the nightmare but continue sleep unaffected.

Image showing screens from the app displaying important information like stress, heart rate, movement etc

Tyler had the perfect guinea pig who could help test this solution – his own father! After a lot of trial & error and constant fine-tuning, Tyler eventually perfected the formula. For Patrick, this solution was life changing. After suffering for years, Patrick finally found relief not only during sleep but also in his personal life. He has since remarried and is working as a mechanic again. 

The most remarkable outcome of this father-son success story is that more people will be able to benefit from this invention. An investor decided to purchase the rights to this smart watch app and start a company called NightWare to provide this solution to the masses. It was recently approved by the FDA and will soon be available to those who need it by prescription.

Watch the video below and hit the source link for more information.

Source: MPR News

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[WEB PAGE] Living With PTSD? How to Manage Anxiety and Flashbacks

How to take steps toward healing

The human brain

If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you know how much it can mess with your day-to-day life. But help is available. You can take steps to live well even with this challenging disorder.

PTSD symptoms: Difficult, but totally normal

Maybe you experience nightmares or flashbacks. The anxiety they bring can show up without warning, like the worst kind of surprise houseguest. And you might find yourself sucked into quicksand-like swamps of anger or guilt.

The good news: All of those symptoms are normal. You might be thinking, “That’s supposed to be good news?” But understanding where your symptoms are coming from is the first step toward healing. And you can heal and recover from PTSD – it will just take some time, says psychiatrist Molly Wimbiscus, MD.

What exactly is PTSD anyway?

First, the basics. PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder. It occurs in people who’ve experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Sometimes, that event is big and obvious: combat, a life-threatening accident, sexual assault. Other times, it develops after a series of smaller, less obvious, stressful events — like repeated bullying or an unstable childhood.

How is PTSD treated (and is it worth the effort)?

Professional treatment can help you feel better, says Dr. Wimbiscus. And while medications can play a role in treating the disorder, she says the gold-standard treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT.

This type of therapy helps you reframe your memories of the trauma and learn new ways to manage those thoughts and feelings. “A big part of managing PTSD is having a skilled mental health professional working alongside you,” Dr. Wimbiscus says.

Here’s the ugly truth: That treatment isn’t easy — it might dig up memories or emotions you’d rather keep buried. And for all that effort, you may not feel like you’re making much progress.

You might have to meet with your therapist a few times before you can get into the real work of treating PTSD.

Having patience for that process is easier said than done. But your hard work will be worth it when you come out on the other side, with fewer symptoms and better tools to manage your anxiety.

Some people with PTSD will notice their symptoms fade in a matter of months. For others, healing takes longer. You may feel frustrated that you can’t speed up the process.

Can you live a normal life with PTSD?

While you’re being treated for PTSD, you can do several things to make getting through each day a bit easier:

  • Embrace daily (often mundane) routines. It can be tempting to hole up and avoid situations that could trigger anxiety. But avoiding life only makes symptoms worse. “Get up, take a shower, go to work or school every day — even if you don’t feel like it,” advises Dr. Wimbiscus.
  • Ask for help. Often, there are workarounds to help you manage symptoms. If you need some adjustments to help you succeed at school or work, don’t be afraid to ask.
    If you’re having trouble concentrating, for instance, ask to take tests in a quieter room, or ask to move to a quieter cubicle in the office. (By the way, you may even be eligible for medical leave while you undergo treatment.)
  • Get support. If you have supportive friends and family members, that’s terrific. They probably want to help, so let them know what you need — whether it’s driving you to appointments, weekly coffee dates to get you out of the house or just a sympathetic ear.
    Unfortunately, not everyone can lean on family members. If your inner circle can’t offer you the help you need, try looking for a support group (in person or online) to connect with others facing similar challenges. It’s good to have friends who get it. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, can help connect you to support groups and resources in your area.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. You probably know that drowning your feelings in a bottle of whiskey isn’t a long-term solution. Yes, it can be tempting to use substances to escape the hard parts of PTSD. But substance use can be dangerous and will make your recovery harder in the long run.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

One more thing you should definitely do if you have PTSD: Be kind to yourself. That advice probably makes you roll your eyes — but sometimes, cheesy advice rings true. PTSD can cause feelings of guilt, shame and anger. When you’re feeling down, it can help to remember that it’s not you. It’s the disorder.

PTSD changes the structure of your brain, Dr. Wimbiscus points out. Think about that: Your brain is physically different than it used to be. PTSD is not caused by weakness, and you can’t just make yourself get over it.

So what should you do when you’re feeling hopeless? Remember that hopelessness, too, can be a symptom of the disorder.

And try to follow Dr. Wimbiscus’ advice: “Focus on getting through your daily tasks, and know that it gets better. Allow time to do its work. It may be a struggle right now, but time is one of our greatest healers. There is hope.”

Source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/living-with-ptsd-how-to-manage-anxiety-and-flashbacks/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=cc+posts&fbclid=IwAR26EmXqYJQ0a1mU7sIrfhyFfFL4KBYxFXrTHCHZOfnPqWEevjCJdyACDgQ

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[WEB PAGE] 7 Unexpected Signs You Have High-Functioning PTSD

When most people think of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they envision debilitating anxiety and depression that seems apparent from the outside. But some people exhibit signs of high-functioning PTSD, and they might not be as obvious as you thought. Some people can experience PTSD and still manage to get through their day-to-day lives, but that doesn’t mean their symptoms don’t deserve to be looked at or that they have to live with those emotional hurdles forever.

“What many don’t realize is that PTSD is not a direct result of trauma,” John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC and Chief Clinical Outreach Officer at Mountainside Treatment Center, tells Bustle. “It’s not just the experience that results in PTSD, but how the person responds to that experience internally. It depends on how the person processes and reacts to the traumatic event. A lot of times, an individual will disconnect from themselves and have a hard time being present as a result. An individual with high-functioning PTSD is someone who struggles with the symptoms of this mental illness, but not to the extent where it interferes with everyday activities and relationships.”

The first step to getting the help you need is recognizing that you might be a high-functioning person living with PTSD. Discussing these symptoms with your therapist can help you get a diagnosis and figure out the best forms of treatment. Here are seven unexpected signs you have high-functioning PTSD, according to experts.

1
You’re Always Busy

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

People with high-functioning PTSD tend to be workaholics or find some other way to keep their time occupied. “Staying busy all the time allows the individual with high-functioning PTSD to not have to think about the painful memories,” trauma therapist Ginger Poag, MSW, LCSW, CEMDR tells Bustle. “The trauma and memories may be too overwhelming for the person that they rather stay busy to keep their mind off of what happened.” Of course, having a packed schedule doesn’t mean you automatically suffer from PTSD, but if you notice you may be avoiding confronting some traumatic events, it might be time to speak with a therapist.

2
You Have Extreme Emotional Reactions

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When you are experiencing PTSD, your fight-or-flight reactions intensify. When your body feels unsafe, you live in a state of hyper-vigilance. “This can lead to having an extreme emotional reaction (tears, feelings of hopelessness, catastrophizing) to stressful or anxious situations, especially if this reaction is much more intense than what you felt before the trauma,” trauma therapist Michele Quintin, LCSW tells Bustle. Once again, the best way to deal with these emotions is to seek the help of a professional.

3
You Cancel Plans

Hannah Burton/Bustle

“It is common for individuals with high-functioning PTSD to cancel plans they had made with friends,” says Poag. “The person wants to go out and have a good time, but when it actually comes down to going, the individual feels too overwhelmed, and does not want to go out and socialize with a lot of people. We may start to see social anxiety develop.”

4
You Have Insomnia

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Difficulty getting to sleep at night is another symptom of high-functioning PTSD. “The individual is exhausted from pushing themselves all day both mentally and physically,” says Poag. “It takes a lot of energy to maintain the image of everything is together and fine. When the individual goes to lay down for the night, they often start to ruminate about the days events or what is coming up in the future. Even though the individual is tired, the brain is still active, and they are not able to sleep.” Insomnia can have many causes, but if difficulty falling asleep seems to be the result of anxiety, a therapist can help you.

5
You Have Digestive Issues

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Many people with PTSD experience digestive issues due to the mental stress that they are under. “The brain sends signals to the stomach that the brain is under a great deal of stress, and as a result we start to see digestive issues and stomach pain,” says Poag. Like insomnia, digestive issues can be caused by a variety of factors, so if you’re questioning where these problems may be coming from, a trip to the doctor’s can help clarify.

6
You Are Experiencing Disordered Eating

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“An eating disorder may also be seen in high-functioing PTSD,” says Poag. “The individual may be trying to numb theirselves from the painful memory of the trauma or release the intense emotions they have built up inside.”

If you’ve gone through a traumatic event and are experiencing these symptoms, consult a therapist who can help give you the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

via 7 Unexpected Signs You Have High-Functioning PTSD

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[Abstract + References] Neurostimulation in Anxiety Disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Book chapter

Abstract

Many pharmacological treatments were proved effective in the treatment of panic disorder (PD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); still many patients do not achieve remission with these treatments. Neurostimulation techniques have been studied as promising alternatives or augmentation treatments to pharmacological and psychological therapies. The most studied neurostimulation method for anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD was repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). This neurostimulation technique had the highest level of evidence for GAD. There were also randomized sham-controlled trials indicating that rTMS may be effective in the treatment of PTSD and OCD, but there were conflicting findings regarding these two disorders. There is indication that rTMS may be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, but the level of evidence is low. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) was most studied for treatment of OCD, but the randomized sham-controlled trials had mixed findings. Preliminary findings indicate that DBS could be affective for PTSD. There is weak evidence indicating that electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial direct current stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and trigeminal nerve stimulation could be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD. Regarding these disorders, there is no support in the current literature for the use of neurostimulation in clinical practice. Large high-quality studies are warranted.

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via Neurostimulation in Anxiety Disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder | SpringerLink

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[Infographic] “get over it” – PTSD

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[TED-Ed] The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder

Many of us will experience some kind of trauma during our lifetime. Sometimes, we escape with no long-term effects. But for millions of people, those experiences linger, causing symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and negative thoughts that interfere with everyday life. Joelle Rabow Maletis details the science behind post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

via The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder – Joelle | TED-Ed

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