Post traumatic stress disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most debilitating psychological disorder that occurs after traumatic events and disasters such as:

– direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury
– witnessing an event that involves death, injury
– learning about unexpected or violent death, serious harm, or threat of death
– injury experienced by a family member or other close loved ones

It involves intense fear and helplessness and may have symptoms such as unable to have loving feeling, sleep problem (wakeful sleep), sensitive to noise, nightmares, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.

Do you feel that your day is full of potential ‘threats’ – peers, teachers, classmates, relatives, parents, children and even people in the train?? Life becomes a form of competition and approval seeking.Some of us cover up our anxiety with busyness, noise, addiction to computer games and indulgence in rich food. Staying in a silent retreat or fasting from solid food sounds terrible. You may already be suffering from low grade PTSD.

The person often go into a state of permanent alert and a sense of persistent danger. Sounds familiar? I believe many of us are suffering from this even though we may not be clinically diagnosed. We have our childhood traumas, past threats from other people, fear of our parents & teachers, rejection from those we loved, divorced spouse etc. Certain biological and psychological factors are found to increase the chances and onset of PSTD.

Phytomedicine is a safe and non addictive treatment for the relief of PTSD symptoms without suppressing the psychological causes but can help to encourage relaxation at the physiological level and prepare the person for psychological treatment (Singer and Bone, 2001). A systematic review of nutritional and herbal remedies for treating anxiety related disorders found that they are effective agents for treating anxiety related disorders without risks of serious side effects (Lakhan and Vieira, 2010).

Many of us are not suitable for face to face therapy such as counselling. Psychological tools of the heart coupled with the right phytomedicine may be more effective in addressing our low grade PSTD such as art therapy, dance therapy, prayer (especially those that involves the spiritual practice of repeating a sacred word/phrase throughout the day – rosary, chanting etc.) and meditation. This is because the solution to your issue must come from within – your inner wisdom or God’s voice within.

References

Singer, J., Bone, K. (2001). Herbal support for post traumatic stress disorder. A Phytotherapist’s perspective, 24, 1-9.

Lakhan, S.E., Vieira, K.F. (2010). Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutrition Journal, 9(42), 1-14.

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About sliew

I am a practicing Medical herbalist and doctor of naturopathy from Singapore.
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