New PTSD Trauma Treatment
When searching for PTSD/Trauma treatment options, the standard search results returned are typically for; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). These are all relatively standard and well-proven PTSD/Trauma treatment options. But what if you are looking for something different? What new PTSD treatment options are there?
This article outlines five new PTSD/Trauma treatment options you might not have considered previously.
New PTSD Trauma Treatment – Brainwave Entrainment
Light Brainwave Entrainment stimulates the brain into entering a specific state by using high-frequency LED light. This light recalibrates brain activity, evoking the brain’s ‘frequency following’ response. In doing so, it induces a specific or desirable brainwave state, be that relaxation, meditative, focused and clearer thinking. Simply put, brainwave entrainment pushes the brain into a particular state, adjusting or interrupting the brain’s response to certain situations. Essentially reprogramming how your brain processes and responds.
Brainwave Entrainment helps for many people facing various mental health and happiness-related challenges. Including PTSD, trauma, depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia and chronic fatigue. It is a simple yet effective way to lead your mind into states you might usually find difficult to reach, allowing you to experience what those states feel like.
New PTSD Trauma Treatment – MDMA-Assisted Psychotheraphy
Experts are tapping into MDMA’s effects as part of therapy for severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MDMA, more popularly known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug that acts as a stimulant. As a stimulant, it has an energising effect, heightens your senses, and boosts emotions like self-awareness and empathy. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy uses prescribed doses of MDMA in addition to psychotherapy sessions. Research suggests that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, including Complex PTSD, might improve treatment effectiveness.
Experts have found that when people with PTSD are given a certain amount of MDMA in a clinical setting, it helps them open up so they can work through traumatic events. Legislation to decriminalise MDMA is progressing in numerous countries as a result.
Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS)
Theta-burst stimulation (also known as TBS) is a different form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS or rTMS). TBS is an alternative treatment option for some mental health conditions like PTSD/Trauma. The treatment is safe and effective with little or no side effects. TBS works similarly to TMS and is administered over the prefrontal cortex. The treatment encourages cortical activity in the area of the brain responsible for mood and emotion by applying magnetic pulses in a particular pattern, called bursts. Theta is the frequency our brains use when learning new things or adjusting to new environments, thus making TBS therapy superior to previous forms of TMS in treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD or simply depression).
A 2020 study completed by Australian researchers from the Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health reported on a TBS pilot study. This study published in Military Medicine showed that TBS is a more powerful and effective form of TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). TBS mimics the human brain’s natural “theta rhythms” to evoke potent effects.
Behavioural activation is a branch of therapy that focuses on how someone’s environment shapes their actions and, therefore, their mental health. As a treatment for PTSD/Trauma or other mood disorders, behavioural activation is based on the idea that, as humans dealing with trauma or become depressed, they tend to avoid and isolate themselves. This behaviour can tend to maintain or worsen their symptoms.
The goal of treatment is to work with depressed patients to slowly decrease their isolation and avoidance and increase their engagement in activities that have been shown to improve their mood. People can “initiate” a positive emotional state by deliberately practising certain behaviours. The practice is based on the simple principle that engaging in healthy or fulfilling activities makes someone feel good, making them more likely to keep participating in those activities. The same process can be used to trigger more negative emotions making someone feel bad or unpleasant.
Some therapists recommend behavioural activation for PTSD/Trauma because the symptoms of these conditions make it hard to engage in pleasurable or meaningful activities.
Stellate Ganglion Blocks.
The Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is one of the newest treatment options for reducing PTSD symptoms. SBG is an injection of local anaesthetic into the sympathetic nerve tissue of the neck. It works by affecting the nerves near the voice box. It is administered with the help of an ultrasound or x-ray imaging by a doctor or other healthcare professional.
The Stellate Ganglion has a nervous system connection with the brain centre (Amygdala), which is activated in patients experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. Stellate Ganglion Block reduces the nerve impulses and messages sent to the brain centre, thereby providing relief to the symptoms of PTSD.
A research study published in 2020 compared the effects of SGB treatment with a placebo treatment. Results showed that although the placebo group saw an improvement in their symptoms of 15%, the group receiving SGB improved by 34%.
The Study’s conclusion noted SGB as a positive part of PTSD treatment. Understandably not everybody is open to such invasive ways of treating their PTSD and trauma symptoms.
In conclusion, there are various treatment options to help reduce the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Trauma, be they new or tried and tested, each with benefits and merits, but what’s right for you can only be determined by you. So, look around and do your research. If you liked the treatment but not the therapist or provider, keep searching until you find a treatment provider and environment that works for you and your PTSD/Trauma symptoms.