Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or, PTSD, is the development of a specific set of side effects resulting from someone’s reaction to trauma. Most people will experience trauma first hand within their lifetimes. While they might suffer some short term effects of trauma, few will develop the lifelong mental health disorder of PTSD. With the right combination of treatment methods, PTSD can be treated, bringing relief to those who suffer at the hands of the past.
Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is one of the most effective modalities for PTSD treatment. The process was developed by a psychologist who had a moment of witnessing her own anxiety in response to her trauma. Moving her eyes around, she found relief in the midst of anxiety. Putting research and development to test, she discovered that bilateral stimulation helped ease the tension and stress of PTSD flashbacks or anxious experiences. During the process of EMDR, patients are guided through traumatic memories, in stages. Guided by a certified and trained mental health professional, they use different eye movement and bilateral stimulation practices to reprocess the memories, effectively removing the trauma association. EMDR is done in phases. While it can be exhausting and challenging work, it helps many people heal from the memories they otherwise cannot control.
Virtual reality is immersive, desensitizing, and confusing. With sights and sounds all around you, it can feel like you are truly in whatever simulation is playing before your eyes. As VR headsets become more available, researchers are developing programs for healing mental health conditions like PTSD. Specifically catered to veterans at this time, immersive war scenes are helping patients work through their worst memories and relieve the pain. Studies are finding overwhelming results in their patients using virtual reality healing.
One of the more controversial forms of PTSD treatment, exposure therapy is typically designed for overcoming phobias. In one way, living with trauma is like living with a phobia of the past. Hyperarousal and paranoia create a chronic sense of panic that there will be a trigger, a flashback, or suffering caused by one’s trauma. Exposure therapy to difficult surroundings or triggers is similar to virtual reality therapy and can help overcome challenging associations.
Without treatment, PTSD can lead to substance abuse, severe depression, or suicide. Healing is possible. Let Aurora Recovery Center show you the way to lifelong recovery. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.
If you are struggling with PTSD and are having suicidal thoughts, please call your local Distress Center hotline or call 911 in case of emergency.