The PTSD, Addiction & Sleep Disorder Connection
Despite a proven track record of success with neurofeedback and substance abuse, it has not been widely accepted as a standard care treatment. However, with the positive results being seen in PTSD and neurofeedback, that may change.
A person with Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a section of their brain that is disabled and keeps them reliving a dark section of their emotional past. Most of them desperately seek a way back to normalcy or the way they used to be. This desperation can lead to substance abuse and poor sleep habits, which can make the problem worse. Those helping treat PTSD patients know this all too well: patients will often self medicate or seek out alcohol and other substances.
It should be no surprise to learn that 52% of men with PTSD are diagnosed as alcoholics and 34% suffer from drug addiction. Of the women diagnosed with PTSD, 28% experience alcoholism and 27% drug addiction.
The larger substance abuse and alcohol dependent community – 25% of Americans – will recognize core symptoms of PTSD. These can include sleep problems, irritability, aggression, uncontrollable rage, physical pain, dependency, tinnitus, jumpiness, loss of interest or an increased feeling of isolation.
Among the treatment modalities that are starting to get noticed is neurofeedback, a process by which a computer is used to monitor and help normalize brainwave behavior.
During a neurofeedback session electrodes are attached at selected points to a client's scalp. Brainwaves are then monitored in real time, with instant reactions taking place using visual, auditory and tactile stimulation. In simple terms, the computer helps the patient alters their own brain patterns toward a more stable state. As the brain waves shift moment to moment, the computer signals the brain with visual and auditory cues that help the brain refocus and stay on track. Over time the brain learns to maintain healthy patterns on its own.
Neurofeedback has a decades-long history in alcohol and drug treatment, often with some notable positive results. Even so, it has not been mainstreamed for a variety of reasons, including treatment prejudices and lack of serious funding for peer-reviewed studies. Other factors are the variety of forms and techniques that can give different results with different populations, and the reality that proper training as a practitioner can be extensive.
However, recent treatments for PTSD in California clinics are showing that positive results are not only possible, but frequent. And results from neurofeedback can often last years or decades. This represents a major shift away from medications and towards a safer and more accurate alternative for PTSD care, one that uses computer technology to accurately promote healing in the dysfunctional areas of the brain.
Restoring Health in Orlando has been offering neurofeedback for years, with many positive testimonials and case studies. If you suffer from PTSD, addiction or sleep issues, call us today to learn more about neurofeedback and how it may help you.
Posted In: Neurofeedback