Post-Traumatic Stress Specialist Alexander City AL

PTSD (post'traumatic stress disorder) has always been associated with combat veterans, but as Laura’s story suggests, they’re not the only victims. In fact, as many as 70 percent of us experience or witness an event that can trigger PTSD—a car crash, a rape, a crime, a natural disaster, abuse. And up to 10 percent of Americans will suffer from it at some point, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Tomeka McGhee
(256) 404-0677
Alexander City, AL
Practice Areas
Career Development, Childhood & Adolescence, Clinical Mental Health, Aging/Gerontological, Depression/Grief/Chronically or Terminally Ill
Certifications
National Certified Counselor

Altapointe Health Systems
(251) 645-3706
8065 Lott Rd
Wilmer, AL
Industry
Mental Health Professional

Data Provided by:
Brian Christo Toshcoff
(256) 768-9191
205 Marengo St
Florence, AL
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Stacyt Lynn Siegel
(205) 871-9898
2100a Southbridge Pkwy
Birmingham, AL
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Jean F Pointon
(205) 758-6484
2012 13th St
Tuscaloosa, AL
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Salon U
(205) 870-8708
2900 Central Ave
Birmingham, AL
Industry
Health Spa, Mental Health Professional, Personal Trainer

Data Provided by:
Nirmala Jetty
(205) 934-5038
619 19th St S
Birmingham, AL
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Bharti A Shah
(334) 272-4670
215 Perry Hill Rd
Montgomery, AL
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Lawrence Roger Lacy
(205) 978-7800
100 Century Park South
Birmingham, AL
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Rosewood Lodge House Nbr 3
(251) 633-4539
1500 Leroy Stevens Rd
Mobile, AL
Industry
Mental Health Professional

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Spotlight on Post-Traumatic Stress

Provided by: 

By Julia Van Tine

In her freshman year in college, Laura Curry was raped at a party. Dazed, she wandered the neighborhood until her friends found her. She told no one, and the rapist was never charged.

A few months later the flashbacks began, once while she was kissing a man on a bed. “When he rolled into a position similar to the rapist’s, I freaked,” says Laura, today 39 and a fitness trainer in Minneapolis. “That’s when I knew I needed help.”

Laura consulted a therapist, but talking about the problem didn’t help, she says, and she soon terminated their sessions. The flashbacks continued, and in her sophomore year, another therapist diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric ailment that can occur after experiencing—or even witnessing—a life-threatening event. In the next six years she graduated, landed a job and climbed the corporate ladder, married, and divorced. She also went through seven therapists.

PTSD has always been associated with combat veterans, but as Laura’s story suggests, they’re not the only victims. In fact, as many as 70 percent of us experience or witness an event that can trigger PTSD—a car crash, a rape, a crime, a natural disaster, abuse. And up to 10 percent of Americans will suffer from it at some point, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Symptoms can include flashbacks, jumpiness, insomnia, nightmares, guilt, and emotional numbness. Women are affected twice as often as men, perhaps because they’re more likely to experience the kinds of trauma, like rape and abuse, that can cause PTSD.

It’s not clear why some people develop the disorder and others don’t, but researchers say the brains of sufferers tend to have higher-than-normal levels of stress hormones. The job of one of these, norepinephrine, is to activate the hippocampus, the part of the brain that governs long-term memory. When the hippocampus gets flooded with too much of this chemical, the result may be searing memories experienced as flashbacks or intrusive thoughts.

There’s no standard treatment for PTSD. Some patients benefit from antidepressants, others from different forms of therapy, such as the cognitive-behavioral approach, which aims to change how we feel and behave by changing how we think.

And recently therapists have begun combining cognitive-behavioral therapy with New Age relaxation techniques—with striking results. One theory is that these treatments work by bypassing the more evolved parts of the brain, which govern thought and speech, and engaging its primitive areas, where images, physical sensations, and feelings are experienced.

“It’s in the sensory and emotional channels of the primitive brain where most of the trauma is processed,” says psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek, a pioneer in the use of guided imagery who wrote Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal, and created programs used to help victims of 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombings, and the Columbine tragedy. ...

Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...