2 Approaches to Overcome PTSD You Haven’t Heard Of Before
PTSD is short for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As the name suggests, PTSD affects many who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.
Natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist acts, war, or any kind of violence afflicted on an individual can cause PTSD. Disturbing news about a loved one, or a diagnoses of terminal illness can also bring about PTSD symptoms.
This how the American Psychiatric Association describes the experience of individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.
Counseling, prescription drugs, and other medical (and non-medical) modalities are prescribed to victims of PTSD with varying degrees of success. Complete resolution of all symptoms in a reasonable amount of time isn’t common.
Since symptoms of PTSD tend to linger for extended periods of time, many sufferers are open to unconventional, even experimental treatments that offer hope for relief. Deep brain stimulation, stellate ganglion block, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy are a few examples of these therapies and the subjects of some clinical trials. These may be expensive, invasive, or risky, and therefore not available to many sufferers.
Before continuing, Little Change would like to inform our readers that PTSD is a medical diagnosis, usually requires medical treatment, and that Little Change isn’t offering medical advice in this article.
The purpose of today’ post is to build awareness of two approaches to PTSD; a psychological one, and a chemical one, that appear promising, but haven’t received a lot of attention yet. The desired outcome of the founders of Little Change is for our readers to discuss anything of interest in this article with their physicians or mental health care providers prior to making any decisions or purchases.
1. Metacognitive Therapy
Metacognitive Therapy, or MCT, is a “talk therapy” that aims to help patients change how they relate to thoughts and experiences, rather than focusing on the content of their thoughts, or the origins of their distress.
Studies have shown MCT to be effective in providing complete relief for a variety of anxiety and depressive disorders. For PTSD, the Metacognitive Therapy Institute in Manchester, United Kingdom states:
Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) is the latest development in [PTSD] treatment and our development work and trials show this approach is highly effective. It is usually brief and does not rely on exposure to memories or detailed discussion of the trauma itself. It is based on research identifying the factors that impede normal emotional recovery following trauma. The therapist works with the patient to change their style of reacting to spontaneously occurring memories, thoughts and symptoms. In this way in-built psychological recovery processes are allowed to operate. This treatment approach is recommended and is supported by data from several published studies and studies in preparation.
Metacognitive Therapy offers a unique psychological approach to PTSD based on a sound psychological theory.
MCT aims to quickly free patients of unhealthy processes and ways of coping that serve to prolong the otherwise transitory nature of distressing emotional events. Case reports and clinical trials demonstrate MCT’s remarkably fast onset of action and effectiveness.
Since Metacognitive Therapy was developed by Adrian Wells of Manchester, United Kingdom, it may be challenging to find an MCT Registered Therapist who practices in the United States at this time. MCT has gained traction in about 10 countries, and we’re hoping to see its prevalence reach closer to home soon. Meanwhile, the Metacognitive Therapy Institute appears to be testing and developing some self help materials to use at home.
2. French Oak Wood Extract
French Oak Wood, the same wood that’s used to make barrels for storing and aging wine has been consumed by humans for centuries. Scientists discovered a unique substance known as roburin that is currently found only in oak wood.
When ingested and activated by friendly stomach bacteria, roburin causes a series of biological processes that lead to ribosome production. Ribosomes are involved in the function of every tissue, organ, and system.
Extreme, or prolonged psychological distress is believed to contribute to oxidative stress, and ultimately fatigue. Oxidative stress occurs when there is too much cellular oxidation without sufficient antioxidant support. Oxidative stress damages ribosomes. Reestablishing ribosome production appears to improve energy and biological functions.
Robuvit®, a patented, standardized brand of French Oak Wood Extract, quercus robur, was developed to help fight fatigue and oxidative stress. Clinical trials of Robuvit® demonstrated an improvement in mood, oxidative stress, and insomnia as well as fatigue.
These fascinating results lead to a clinical trial of Robuvit® to see if it could alleviate some of the symptoms of PTSD, which has some symptoms in common with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
A trial was conducted for the survivors of an earthquake in Central Italy, who displayed clinical symptoms of PTSD. All of the victims received the same standard psychological care. Only half of them received Robuvit®, while the other half received a placebo.
After 4 weeks, the patients who received the Robuvit® had significantly fewer recurrent dreams, intrusive memories, transient dissociative states, flashbacks, intense emotional distress, emotional numbness, social disinterest and detachment than the group who received the placebo. Sleeping problems, irritability, and fatigue were also significantly reduced for those who took the supplement.
No doubt that further clinical trials are necessary for this to reach the safety and efficacy standards required by our FDA, but this is still exciting news!
If you don’t wish to wait for further trails, consider discussing this preliminary research with your doctor or mental health professional (or both) to see if they’d be willing to monitor you while trialing this promising new therapy for yourself. If they approve, there are a few companies that are already including Robuvit® in their supplement formulas that can be purchased online.
We recognize that PTSD is extremely distressing, and we want to wish you much success in overcoming this challenging disorder no matter which treatment option you pursue. We recommend that you keep your doctor or mental health care provider informed of anything modality you wish to try.