Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: New and Alternative Treatment Methods
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: New and Alternative Treatment Methods

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A presentation on new and alternative treatment methods for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with a brief overview of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and treatment as usual.

A presentation on new and alternative treatment methods for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with a brief overview of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and treatment as usual.

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  • My name is Richard Stephens and I am currently a Master’s student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Florida State University. Today I will be discussing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with an emphasize on new and alternative treatment methods.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after exposure to a traumatic event, like abuse or assault, natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist attacks, and war. Though it is most commonly thought of as a disorder that is affecting combat veterans, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect anyone of any age.
  • Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are divided into four categories – reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event; avoiding emotions, events, people, places, and/or thoughts; negative changes in beliefs and feelings; and feelings of hyperarousal or hypervigilance. Also, there is a possibility of symptoms related to anxiety. Reliving or Re-Experiencing the Traumatic EventYou may have flashbacks where it feels like the traumatic event is happening again or you may have repeated bad memories or nightmares related to the traumatic event.Avoiding Emotions, Events, People, Places, and/or ThoughtsYou may try to avoid your emotions and participate in emotional numbing or you may avoid events, people, places, and/or thoughts that remind you of the traumatic event.Negative Changes in Beliefs and FeelingsYou may experience feelings of fear, guilt, or shame, or you may experience anhedonia, or a lack of pleasure in doing activities that you once enjoyed.Possible Symptoms of AnxietyYou may experience dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath, or increased sweating.
  • Treatment as usual for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder includes the use of or combination of counseling and medication.Counseling techniques include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), both of which are branches of CBT. CBT concentrates on helping you to see howyour thoughts and beliefs about the traumatic event affect how you act and how you feel. CPT concentrates on helping you understand how the traumatic event changed your thoughts and feelings.PET concentrates on helping you repeatedly talk about the traumatic event until memories of the event are no longer upsetting. You also visit safe places that you have been avoiding. Medications include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and Prazosin.Prazosin is a medication that may be helpful in treating night terrors (nightmares).
  • Treatment as usual for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder includes the use of or combination of counseling and medication.Counseling techniques include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), both of which are branches of CBT. CBT concentrates on helping you to see howyour thoughts and beliefs about the traumatic event affect how you act and how you feel. CPT concentrates on helping you understand how the traumatic event changed your thoughts and feelings.PET concentrates on helping you repeatedly talk about the traumatic event until memories of the event are no longer upsetting. You also visit safe places that you have been avoiding. Medications include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and Prazosin.Prazosin is a medication that may be helpful in treating night terrors (nightmares).
  • While treatment as usual may work for a majority of clients, thinking outside of the box is never a bad thing and, in some ways, new and alternative treatment methods may be superior to the treatment as usual. While there are plenty of new and alternative treatment methods out there for PTSD, I will focus on three – the use of the psychoactive drugs MDMA and marijuana and looking at the forgetting gene or Tet1.
  • One study found that ecstasy decreased activity in the limbic system, the part of the brain involved in emotional responses, and it reduced communication between the medial temporal lobe and the medial prefrontal cortex, the parts of the brain that are involved in emotional control.The opposite of the observed brain patterns occur in people with anxiety.Also, there was increased communication between the amygdala and the hippocampus, which is the opposite for those with PTSD.The FDA has approved a series of clinical trials and one of the studies focuses on the use of MDMA with veterans who have PTSD.
  • Anecdotal reports and preliminary studies have shown that marijuana may help people suffering from PTSD, though no extensive research has been done as of yet.Andrew Holmes, a researcher at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, states that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects the system of the brain that is “critical for fear and anxiety modulation,” which has been shown through experiments with animals. Researchers suspect that this effect found in animals, namely mice, may hold true for humans suffering from PTSD as marijuana may help to quiet an overactive fear system.Though marijuana may not be the perfect answer, as Dr. Kerry Ressler of Emory says, if “medications including drugs like marijuana that can be used in the right way, there’s an opportunity there, potentially.”A major step forward occurred this past week when the United States government approved a study that will look at the use of marijuana in treating veterans who have PTSD. But, at this point, two states – Michigan and Oregon – have expanded their medical marijuana laws to cover PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: New and Alternative Treatment Methods Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: New and Alternative Treatment Methods Presentation Transcript

  • A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Post-traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/ Guess, K. (2009). Life after trauma: Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Health Psychology Home Page – Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/CBT_PTSD.htm PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (n.d.). What is PTSD? United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/PTSD- overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp
  • A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Post-traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/ Guess, K. (2009). Life after trauma: Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Health Psychology Home Page – Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/CBT_PTSD.htm PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (n.d.). What is PTSD? United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/PTSD- overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp
  • A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Post-traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/ Guess, K. (2009). Life after trauma: Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Health Psychology Home Page – Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/CBT_PTSD.htm PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (n.d.). What is PTSD? United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/PTSD- overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp
  • A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Post-traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/ Guess, K. (2009). Life after trauma: Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy an effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Health Psychology Home Page – Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/CBT_PTSD.htm PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (n.d.). What is PTSD? United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/PTSD- overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp
  • Preidt, R. (2014). Could ecstasy help people with anxiety, PTSD? MedlinePlus. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_144109.html Zarembo, A. (2014). Exploring therapeutic effects of MDMA on Post-Traumatic Stress. LA Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-mdma- 20140316,0,4729638.story#axzz2w5lZmRUa
  • Associated Press. (2014). Oregon begins allowing medical marijuana for PTSD. KATU. Retrieved from http://www.katu.com/politics/Oregon-begins-allowing-medical-marijuana-for- PTSD-239138081.html Hamilton, J. (2013). Could pot help veterans with PTSD? Brain scientists say maybe. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/12/23/256610483/could-pot-help- veterans-with-ptsd-brain-scientists-say-maybe Oosting, J. (2014). Michigan medical marijuana law expanding to include post-traumatic stress disorder. M Live. Retrieved from http://www.mlive.com/lansing- news/index.ssf/2014/03/michigan_medical_marijuana_law.html