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In today’s fast-paced world, mental health is a topic that is gaining more relevance and attention than ever before. While many are familiar with conditions such as depression and anxiety, there are other less-discussed but equally devastating neurological injuries that often go unnoticed. One such condition is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a neurological injury that can have a profound impact on an individual’s life.
The Anxiety Guys, are dedicated to shedding light on this intricate battle and providing valuable insights on how to navigate through it. If you have a complex PTSD diagnosis or believe you have this injury Anxiety Guys can help. Our mission is also to change the name from posttraumatic stress disorder to posttraumatic stress injury (PTSI).
Understanding Complex PTSD: A Deeper Dive
Complex PTSD is a unique form of post-traumatic stress disorder that develops after exposure to prolonged, repeated traumatic events, particularly in cases of childhood abuse, domestic violence, or situations involving captivity or hostage experiences. While the symptoms are similar to those of traditional PTSD, Complex PTSD encompasses additional challenges, including difficulties with emotional regulation, self-perception, and interpersonal relationships.
Complex PTSD Symptoms
Experiencing Complex PTSD can be overwhelming, and it is essential to recognize the symptoms in order to seek appropriate support. Individuals with Complex PTSD may exhibit a range of symptoms, including:
- Emotional dysregulation: Intense emotional reactions that fluctuate from extreme anger, sadness, or numbness.
- Hyperarousal and hypervigilance: Constantly feeling on edge, easily startled, or hypervigilant in response to triggers.
- Avoidance behavior: Avoiding situations, people, or even memories that remind them of their traumatic experiences.
- Distorted self-perception: Negative beliefs about oneself, feelings of shame, guilt, or detachment from one’s own identity.
- Impaired interpersonal relationships: Difficulties in establishing and maintaining healthy relationships, often resulting in social isolation.
- Flashbacks and intrusive memories: Vivid recollections of traumatic events, which can be triggered by various stimuli.
It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with Complex PTSD may vary, and seeking professional help is crucial for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. If you are looking for a faster method of healing reach out to us for some direction, their work has been viewed as cutting edge by their clients as they find healing.
Treatment for Complex PTSD
While living with Complex PTSD can be exceptionally challenging, there is hope for recovery. By acknowledging the disorder and investing in effective treatment strategies, individuals can pave their way toward healing and regain control of their lives. Here are a few steps that can aid in this journey:
- Neurological Interventions, Therapy and counseling: Engaging in therapy, particularly trauma-focused therapies such as EMDR or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can help individuals process traumatic experiences and develop healthier coping mechanisms, however often times fall the client short of lasting results.
This is a good reason to reach out to us and see if they offer a better option for you with their Trauma Resiliency Protocol (TRP) and the Emotions Management Process (EMP). TRP and EMP fall outside of the realm of traditional counselling and therapy and are considered brain based neurological interventions.
- Self-care practices: Prioritizing self-care activities, such as exercise, healthy nutrition, and mindfulness techniques, can provide much-needed relief from stress and enhance overall well-being.
- Building support systems: Surrounding oneself with a strong support network of understanding friends, family, or support groups can offer a sense of belonging and validation.
- Educating oneself: Seeking knowledge and understanding about Complex PTSD, its effects, and available resources, can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their treatment and recovery.
- Embracing self-compassion: Practicing self-compassion and self-acceptance is crucial in overcoming the shame and guilt associated with PTSD.
By embarking on this healing journey and seeking appropriate support, individuals with Complex PTSD can defy the odds and reclaim their lives.
When we start looking at Complex PTSD for what is is, an injury it gives people hope they can heal. Disorder labels can be powerful and cause individuals to stay in a stuck state as a limiting belief. Here is another issue that must be considered and that is what if the American Psychological Association is wrong in labeling PTSD as disorder.
Dr. Frank Ochberg is a highly respectable Psychiatrist and was an original editor of the DSM III in 1980 that labeled PTSD for the very first time. Conversations with Dr. Ochberg, revealed an error that he believe they made when labeling it a disorder immediately as it stigmatized PTSD. The stigma of PTSD came after a protracted Vietnam war. Many veterans were struggling with something and the American Psychological Association was trying to address it.
“Dr. Frank Ochberg.” Dr. Frank Ochberg is a prominent psychiatrist and expert in the field of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of trauma-related issues. Dr. Ochberg is known for his work in various areas, including:
- Trauma Expertise: Dr. Ochberg has extensive experience working with trauma survivors, including individuals who have experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other forms of traumatic events. He has played a key role in advancing the field’s understanding of the psychological and emotional impact of trauma.
- PTSD and Trauma Therapy: As a pioneer in the field, Dr. Ochberg has been involved in developing therapeutic approaches for individuals suffering from PTSD and trauma-related disorders. He has contributed to the development of trauma-focused therapies, emphasizing the importance of safety, trust, and empowerment in the healing process.
- Psychological First Aid: Dr. Ochberg has been a proponent of psychological first aid, which involves providing immediate emotional and psychological support to individuals who have experienced traumatic events. This approach aims to promote resilience and prevent the development of long-term psychological difficulties.
- Journalism and Trauma: Dr. Ochberg has also worked at the intersection of trauma and journalism. He has written about the psychological impact of reporting on traumatic events and has advocated for ethical reporting practices that consider the well-being of both journalists and survivors. https://istss.org.
- Educational Initiatives: Dr. Ochberg has contributed to educational efforts to raise awareness about trauma and its effects. He has given lectures, conducted workshops, and authored numerous articles and books on the subject.
The History of Defining PTSD in America
Dr. Ochberg formed the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, where many professionals have leaned on for accurate data collection for met a analysis in the field of PTSD (https://istss.org).
- Early Acknowledgment of Trauma Effects (Ancient Times to 19th Century): Throughout history, there have been accounts of individuals experiencing emotional and psychological distress after exposure to traumatic events, such as warfare, natural disasters, and accidents. Ancient texts and historical records contain descriptions of soldiers, for example, displaying symptoms akin to what we now recognize as PTSD.
- Shell Shock and Combat Fatigue (World War I and World War II): During World War I, the term “shell shock” was used to describe the psychological symptoms that soldiers exhibited after exposure to the intense and prolonged stress of warfare. These symptoms included anxiety, panic attacks, tremors, and more. In World War II, the term “combat fatigue” was used to describe similar symptoms. However, during these times, the focus was more on physical factors like concussive blasts rather than the psychological impact.
- Vietnam War and Formal Recognition (1960s-1980s): The experiences of soldiers during the Vietnam War brought renewed attention to the psychological impact of combat. Many veterans returning from Vietnam exhibited symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, and emotional numbing. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association formally recognized PTSD as a psychiatric diagnosis in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III).
- Broadened Understanding and Civilian Context (Late 20th Century – Present): While PTSD was initially associated with combat-related trauma, its scope expanded to include other types of traumatic experiences, such as sexual assault, accidents, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. The understanding of PTSD also evolved to recognize that not only combat veterans but also survivors of various traumatic events could experience similar symptoms.
- Research and Treatment Advances: Over the years, research on PTSD has increased, leading to a deeper understanding of its neurobiological, psychological, and genetic underpinnings. Various therapeutic approaches have been developed to help individuals manage and recover from PTSD. These include Trauma Resiliency Protocol (TRP), Emotions Management Process (EMP), cognitive-behavioral therapies, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), medication, and more. ~ Read more about The Data
- Awareness and Advocacy: As public awareness of mental health issues grew, so did efforts to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for PTSD. Various organizations and advocacy groups have been established to provide support, resources, and education for individuals with PTSD and their families. A veteran and first responder resource is 22ZERO, they provide free treatment to the veterans, first responders and their families.
The history of PTSD highlights the evolving recognition of the psychological impact of traumatic events and the ongoing efforts to understand, diagnose, and treat this condition. While progress has been made, there’s still much work to be done in improving our understanding of PTSD and providing effective support for those affected by it. Research is ongoing as breakthroughs are now available leveraging modern and not so modern neuroscience.
Evoke Neuroscience and their CEO David Hagedorn, BCN, Ph.D. are revolutionizing the injury aspect by using QEEG developed by Dr. David Hagedorn. https://evokeneuroscience.com In 2024, 22ZERO and Anxiety Guys will be training a group in Pittsburgh, PA. The training will be a mixture of mental health professionals and first responder peer support.
The University of Pittsburg will then embark on a comparative study with TRP/EMP versus the giant of the industry CBT. This will show pre treatment brain scan and post treatment brain scan on all participants in a double blind Randomized Controlled Trial. This is where the invisible wounds will now become visible as they can be seen by frequency modulation in the QEEG. The great part is we will be able to observe objective scientific data that will definitively prove injury as we see it now.