One of the most multifaceted and difficult mental disorders to treat is complex PTSD. Often, people dealing with complex PTSD have been through years of abuse or trauma, and as a result, they may have difficulty trusting people, feel isolated and alone, and be in constant fear. While traditional methods of complex PTSD treatment in Maryland, such as talk therapy, can be helpful, they often don’t address the underlying causes of the disorder. That’s why more and more therapists are turning to alternative treatment methods. The following blog explains symptoms and alternative Complex PTSD treatment in Mt. Airy, Maryland.

Symptoms of Complex PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person and may be triggered by various events or circumstances. However, there are some common symptoms that many people with PTSD experience. These come in three categories:

•    False Sense of Threat

PTSD is a complex disorder that manifests in a variety of ways. Hypervigilance, or an always-on sense of threat, is the most prominent symptom for some. This can make everyday activities dangerous and difficult, leading to social isolation and anxiety. But it’s important to remember that PTSD is treatable, and there are many ways to manage the symptoms of sense-of-threat PTSD. With the right treatment plan, people with this type of PTSD can learn to live normal, healthy lives.

•    Re-Experiencing Symptoms

Re-living the traumatic event is one of the most difficult things about living with PTSD. This type of symptom can pop up at any time, without warning. You might be going about your day, feeling perfectly fine, when you’re suddenly hit with a strong wave of anxiety or a surge of adrenaline. It’s like your mind is playing a cruel trick on you, transporting you back to the traumatic event you’ve been trying so hard to forget. These “re-experiencing” symptoms can be extremely distressing, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Many people with PTSD struggle with these same issues.

•    Avoidance Symptoms

Avoidance is a funny thing. Humans like to avoid all sorts of things – dentist appointments, taxes, that tough conversation you need to have with your boss. But it’s no laughing matter when it comes to avoidance in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder. People with PTSD spend their days avoiding triggers. Triggers include places, situations, people, or even sounds that remind them of the trauma they experienced. They may self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, potentially leading to addiction. They may also withdraw from friends and family, causing a strain and loss of relationships.

In extreme cases, they may even avoid leaving the house altogether. It’s no wonder that avoidance is one of the main symptoms of PTSD. After all, who wants to relive a trauma? But avoidance can also be counterproductive. By sheltering from anything that might trigger PTSD, you may also be keeping yourself from healing. So, if you find yourself avoiding people, places, or things because they remind you of your trauma, it may be time to seek help from a professional from complex PTSD treatment centers.

•    Low Self-esteem and Emotional Dysfunction

Self-esteem issues are common among those who have experienced complex trauma. You may feel worthless or blame yourself for your trauma. You may also believe bad things happen because of something in you, which cannot be further from the truth. This can lead to emotional dysfunction, such as intense emotions, which are sometimes inappropriate. Besides anger and sadness, you may also feel like you are living in a dream. You may also have difficulty feeling happy. While these issues can be difficult to deal with, help is available. Therapists can teach coping skills and help people develop a positive outlook on life. Those with complex PTSD can learn to manage their symptoms and live fulfilling lives with proper treatment.

A women with complex PTSD walking through a grass field

Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB)

Since its inception, the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB), also known as SGB injection, has shown promise as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The treatment involves injecting a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, a cluster of nerves near the collarbone. The SGB is thought to work by interrupting the body’s “fight or flight” response, which can be dysregulated in people with PTSD. This working method makes SGB an effective treatment for resistant complex PTSD.

A small study of veterans with PTSD found that those who received SGB significantly reduced symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. With such studies, SGB shows promise as a new treatment for PTSD.

Therapy for PTSD

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating PTSD, many experts believe that therapy can also be an effective tool for managing the condition. Traditionally, therapists have used various alternative treatments for PTSD complex PTSD to help patients process their trauma and develop coping mechanisms. However, recent years have seen the rise of newer, more innovative approaches to therapy, shown to be effective in treating PTSD, and there is no one “right” type of therapy. Many people with PTSD find that a combination of therapies works best for them. Here are some of the most common types of therapy used to treat PTSD:

•    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a therapy that helps people change negative thinking patterns and behaviors. CBT is particularly effective in treating PTSD and its symptoms. These symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. CBT can help people manage their symptoms by learning how to identify and alter negative thoughts and behaviors.

•    Exposure Therapy

This form of therapy treatment for PTSD is considered one of the most effective treatments for PTSD. Exposure therapy aims to help people face their fears and reduce their symptoms. A therapist experienced in complex PTSD treatment in Elkridge, Maryland, will work with the individual to gradually expose them to the feared object or situation. This can be done in several ways, such as imaginal exposure, which involves the individual imagining the feared situation, or in vivo exposure, which involves confronting the feared situation. Exposure therapy can be a very effective treatment for PTSD, but it is important to work with a qualified therapist who can tailor the exposure to the individual’s needs.

•    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a type of therapy that is used to treat trauma. It is based on the idea that certain eye movements can help reduce the intensity of negative memories and emotions. EMDR therapy typically involves three phases: assessment, preparation, and processing.

1.    During the assessment phase, the therapist will assess the client’s symptoms and history to determine whether EMDR is an appropriate treatment.

2.    The preparation phase involves teaching the client-specific techniques used during the processing phase.

3.    The processing phase is where the therapist will guide the client through a series of eye movements while they recount their traumatic experience. This phase can be repeated multiple times until the memory is no longer distressful.

EMDR is an effective trauma treatment, and it can also be used to treat other conditions such as anxiety and depression.

•    Medication Therapy

While there is no single effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), medication therapy can be an important part of the healing process. Various medications are used to treat PTSD, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and beta-blockers. Antidepressants are often prescribed to help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Anti-anxiety medications can help to reduce arousal and relieve symptoms of anxiety. Beta-blockers are sometimes used to help control intrusive memories and flashbacks.

•    Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)

SIT is a cognitive-behavioral therapy that effectively treats post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The goal of SIT is to help people develop coping skills to deal with life stressors. The first step in SIT is education, which involves learning how stress affects the body and mind. Next, people are taught relaxation techniques to help them lower their overall level of stress. Finally, people practice coping skills in gradually increasing levels of stressful situations. By the end of treatment, people should have developed a toolbox of skills to help them cope with life stressors.

•    Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy (BEP)

BEP is one such option that has shown to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with PTSD. This approach incorporates elements from different theoretical orientations, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, humanistic therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Brief eclectic psychotherapy focuses on helping the individual process and makes sense of their trauma. This includes exploring thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impacting the individual’s ability to cope with their experience. Through this process, individuals can begin to develop more adaptive coping strategies and improve their overall well-being.

•    Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

Despite its name, NET does not focus on the act of recounting a traumatic event. Instead, this treatment aims to help the individual develop a coherent narrative of their experiences. This process begins with the therapist building a timeline of the client’s life, starting from birth and moving chronologically through the present day. The therapist then uses this timeline to help clients identify and make sense of their past experiences. In particular, the therapist encourages the client to tell their story in a way that gives them a sense of control and mastery over their experiences. By developing a cohesive and empowering narrative, individuals can begin to heal the psychological wounds inflicted by trauma. NET has an effective treatment for various trauma-related disorders. NET can be tailored for individual or small groups of people.

Key Takeaway

Complex PTSD is a mental disorder that can be incredibly difficult to treat. The disorder is characterized by several symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of people and places, and chronic feelings of guilt and shame. Complex PTSD treatment options typically involve a combination of medication and therapy, but the most important factor in a successful treatment is the willingness of the sufferer to seek help. Without that essential ingredient, even the most expertly-crafted treatment plan will fail. If you or someone you know has complex PTSD, don’t hesitate to seek help from the best complex PTSD treatment centers. It could be the first step on the road to recovery.

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