PTSD is when a traumatic event is linked to fear centres in the brain, as if the trauma continues to occur.
My PTSD treatment “trains” those parts of the brain that become abnormal during your traumatic memories or sensations. This training breaks the link between the memory and any connected emotions. After treatments, patients usually say that if they have the traumatic memories they are no longer bothered by them.
The current formal definition of PTSD is:
- Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are reliving the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
- Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations that bring on distressing memories. People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They may resist talking about what happened or how they feel about it.
- Negative thoughts and feelings may include ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”); ongoing fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activities previously enjoyed; or feeling detached or estranged from others.
- Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts; behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.
Most patients find that, after treatment, the traumatic memories don’t bother them anymore.
LORETA neurofeedback identifies and normalizes the response of the particular area of your brain that becomes abnormal during your traumatic memories or sensations. LORETA lets you see which memories or feelings are causing an abnormal response in your brain. You can then “train” those areas to break the link between the memory and the emotions linked to the memory. For best results, I encourage combining LORETA treatment with talking therapy with a counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Please read the section on “how to prepare for your session”. Your hair must be clean and dry. You must remove everything you can from your head and neck and preferably clothes and other parts of your body.
Dr. Birmingham provides PTSD Treatment at his Vancouver, BC clinic
For more information or to make an appointment
MHSc FRCPC FACP ABIM FAED
Specialist in Internal Medicine
Epidemiologist & Biostatistician
Professor of Psychiatry UBC