We’ve covered many aspects of post-traumatic stress in our blog: Symptoms of PTS, What is PTS, History of Military PTS, What Not To Say To Someone With PTS, Myths of PTS to name a few. One thing we’ve never discussed, is how post-traumatic stress can be treated. Our Intrepid Spirit Centers exist because PTS is an invisible wound of war, something a bandage and some ointment can’t treat.
Discussing the traumatic event which triggered PTS can sometimes be extremely difficult for patients. Art therapy, which is offered at many of our Intrepid Spirit Centers, can help patients begin to open up about the traumatic event. Expressing emotion nonverbally can ease the difficulty in opening up and speaking about these experiences which can then lead to implementing treatments to begin recovery. While it may seem unconventional at first glance, art therapy has been shown to transform PTS treatments in many, many studies.
Neuropsychology is another practice that can be implemented when treating post-traumatic stress. Neuropsychologists work to evaluate behaviors of the brain after being exposed to a traumatic event. They can also monitor for sleep problems and psychological disorders. Neuropsychology helps guide the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress because it identifies patients’ cognitive, behavioral, and emotional strengths and weaknesses.
Sleep therapy is of critical importance for patients with difficulty falling or staying asleep as getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep is crucial to brain health. Known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), this treatment has been shown to be more effective in the long term than medications for sleep issues. It’s very common for patients experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress to struggle with their sleep. Nightmares of the traumatic event can trigger the “re-experiencing” symptom of PTS. CBT-I helps to re-train the body to get back on a regulated sleep schedule.
Mind-Body techniques such as yoga and meditation are also implemented to help address post-traumatic stress. These practices help patients master stress-management and can also enhance the effectiveness of other medical treatments. Yoga for example has also been shown to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress such as re-experiencing, nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
Treating post-traumatic stress is life-saving, but having a place to treat PTS is life-altering. For our military heroes, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has made it our mission. To date, we’ve funded and completed 8 Intrepid Spirit Centers, satellites of our National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Each center is specially equipped to treat post-traumatic stress and other invisible wounds of war including traumatic brain injury. Two more Intrepid Spirit Centers have yet to be completed, and we rely entirely on donations from the public to fund our mission. Donate today to help heal our heroes.
Posted on October 28 2019 in Blog