Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition that develops following an extremely stressful event or series of events that cause intense fear, particularly if feelings of helplessness accompany the experience. Those with PTSD are much more likely than others to have major depression, problems with substance abuse, or panic disorder sometime in their life, either before or after the development of PTSD. PTSD may be precipitated by war-related trauma, physical or sexual assault or abuse, an accident (such as an airplane crash or a serious motor vehicle accident), or a mass disaster.

In PTSD, factors associated with the original event elicit the same stressful feelings later on, so the affected person often tries to avoid these stimuli. Feelings of stress in response to a trauma are normal; PTSD is characterized by the intensity of the feelings, how long they last, how one behaves in response to these feelings, and the presence of particular symptoms. Since exposure to at least one traumatic event is estimated to occur in 5% to 35% of the U.S. population every year, PTSD is a significant public health problem.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD may develop months or even years after the original trauma and may include the following:

  • Intrusive thoughts recalling the traumatic event
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Efforts to avoid anything that either reminds the person of the traumatic event or that triggers similar feelings
  • Flattened emotional response
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Feelings of guilt (from the false belief that one was somehow responsible for the traumatic incident)
  • Being easily startled
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Hypervigilance (excessive awareness of possible danger)
  • Insomnia

Causes

Normally, during a traumatic event, one’s perceptions and thought processes change and serve to dissociate one from the extreme circumstance. This natural defense mechanism helps a person cope with the situation at hand and to separate from the trauma as a form of self-protection. With PTSD, these thought processes linger on and recur in response to any trigger that brings back thoughts of the trauma. This may be related to persistent elevations of a substance called glutamate in the brains of those with PTSD; glutamate generally rises in response to stress and returns to normal following the event. Ongoing trauma (as in the case of an abusive relationship) makes the persistence of dissociative thinking more likely as well.

Integrative Medicine Treatment Options

We combine the best of conventional medicine with the best of complementary and alternative therapies to give you optimal results.

Here are some options we use at Alliance Integrative Medicine LOCATED IN Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Therapies, Supplements & Medication
  • Mind/Body Relaxation Techniques
  • Energy Healing
  • Medical Massage Therapy

Our PTSD patients come to us from Westchester/Liberty Township, Mason, Indian Hill, Hyde Park and Loveland as well as Springdale, Terrace Park, Blue Ash, Finneytown, Reading and from all across the United States.