PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has gotten a lot of press lately as many veterans return from the wars in the middle east with trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as
These cases are often complicated by TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury. In fact, the two can be intrinsically related and co-generating. Depression is often the result. Neurofeedback treats both conditions, so is becoming one of the complementary therapies of choice in the treatment of PTSD.
“Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression. In addition, researchers found about 19 percent of returning service members report that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while deployed, with 7 percent reporting both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.”1
In a recent military study, entitled “Neurotherapy of Traumatic Brain Injury/Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Vietnam Veterans”, comparisons of pre- and post-treatment questionnaire assessments revealed notable decreases for all symptoms, suggesting improvements across the broad domains of cognition, pain, sleep, fatigue, and mood/emotion, including post-traumatic stress symptoms. This was for veterans who have had these symptoms for many years!
Neurofeedback can be combined with traditional talk therapy to speed the process of recovery for individuals with PTSD:
“Often a PTSD client is in a state of psychological paralysis, unable to talk about or even remember accurately the traumatizing events, since their limbic systems are in hyper-vigilant mode which freezes up the speech areas in the left frontal lobe as well as memory consolidation. Talking therapies can take months or more to disarm the emotional “survival” system that is over- activating the senses: the sight, sound or smells of often repressed episodic memories associated with past trauma, while Neurofeedback has been shown to truncate the length of therapy.” source: http://www.qeeg.co.uk/PTSD.htm
The EEG Institute, a world leader in neurofeedback research and training, and Homecoming for Veterans are offering this cutting-edge treatment, at no cost, for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through a network of clinicians across the country.
Military veterans are not the only ones with PTSD- there are many others who suffer from the neurological repercussions of past traumas, both physical and psychological. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a condition that results from chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma over which a victim has little or no control and from which there is little or no hope of escape, such as in cases of: domestic emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
Neurofeedback is the least invasive therapy, and the most promising in terms of research. As always with complementary or alternative medicine, more funding is needed for more in-depth and larger studies.
1- Tanielian, Terri, Lisa H. Jaycox, David M. Adamson, M. Audrey Burnam, Rachel M. Burns, Leah B. Caldarone, Robert A. Cox, Elizabeth J. D’Amico, Claudia Diaz, Christine Eibner, Gail Fisher, Todd C. Helmus, Benjamin R. Karney, Beau Kilmer, Grant N. Marshall, Laurie T. Martin, Lisa S. Meredith, Karen N. Metscher, Karen Chan Osilla, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Rajeev Ramchand, Jeanne S. Ringel, Terry L. Schell, Jerry M. Sollinger, Mary E. Vaiana, Kayla M. Williams and Michael R. Yochelson. Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2008.