There are many faces of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but today I will talk about the most common scenarios presenting in my clinical practice:
- War Veterans returning home from military service and suffering intermittent anxiety attacks
- People who have witnessed some earth-shattering devastation (like fire, earthquake, flood and such) or war-related atrocities like genocide.
- People who have been abused either sexually or physically at some point in their life
- Professionals who have been exposed to monumental destruction (like firemen and policemen during 9/11) or physicians who have worked in shocking environment, like Ebola epidemic for example)
You are starting to notice a connecting link for all of the above descriptions of PTSD victims – they have all lived through hell. Now, that they are back in our “normal” world, many of them are suffering with flashbacks, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks – all manifestations of PTSD.
Before seeing me, my patients have visited other physicians, who have prescribed drugs like benzodiazepines, tranquilizers, anti-psychotics, and anti-depressants. Many patients were also referred for talk therapy. I won’t waste your time discussing the medications. They are not addressing the root of the problem. What they are doing is making victims of PTSD numb to life and indifferent to any human emotion, not to mention pages of side effects and complications.
Talk therapy is a much better approach. Firstly, it does no harm to the patient. Secondly, it may actually help at least in part, by helping the person vent to the therapist or the group of other victims of PTSD.
In my book ‘Diet Slave No More!’ which is really more of a Mind-Body guide for achieving any goals, I point to the complex interactions inside our Mind on a subconscious level, without our conscious realization. Victims of PTSD are like an iceberg – they present only a fraction of their problem to the surface. The bulk of their trauma sits deeply underneath – in the subconscious. In my practice, I reveal to PTSD patients just how their Minds process information – and how their trauma was registered and internalized. Once the patients have a good grasp of what happened and what kind of internal tools they possess to heal themselves, the road to getting better becomes much clearer.
As a way of giving back to our veterans, I would like to extend free evaluations to veterans twice/month and the appointment can be facilitated by my office. I commonly use medical hypnosis and EFT (emotional freedom technique) to get to the deepest levels of subconscious conflict and teach the patient coping techniques to handle it. I address the entire lifestyle: when they wake up, what they eat, how they exercise, what are their ways to distress, what is the dynamics within the family, and what is their goal in life?
If I could single out one most important thing I teach my PTSD patient it is: to live in the moment. By focusing on the beauty of the moment we live in – what is looks like in detail, its smells and sounds, what it feels like to our body – we effectively record new happy scenarios in our Mind which, with repetition, outpace the old, unused scenes of trauma.
About The Author:
Svetlana Kogan, MD, practices holistic and integrative medicine at her clinic in New York City. She created ‘Diet Slave No More!’ a fun literary journey into yourself, offering readers a brand new approach to healthy living and to handling weight issues. A Cornell University graduate, she received a scholarship from the National Institute of Health for her achievements in diabetes research. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from Cornell University and an M.D. degree from Sackler School of Medicines New York State Program. Dr.Kogan is a Master Hypnotherapist certified by the Local 472 Union and is experienced in Ayurvedic Healing, Herbology, and Energy Treatment. When you are getting an Integrative Physical Exam from Dr.Kogan – you are getting a 360-degree assessment of your Mind-Body needs. She is experienced in both Western and Eastern medical philosophies and fuses the best of both to bring you the ultimate experience in the 21st century preventive physical exam.
Dr. Kogan is an active member of both the American Medical Association and the Hypnotherapists Union. She has authored numerous print and online articles, including her own magazine, and has appeared as a medical expert on national television.
A patient observer of life and an outside the box thinker, Dr. Kogan has pioneered her own vision of mind-body medicine, where the best of what Eastern and Western philosophies can offer, are applied towards patients’ well-being and longevity. She has also developed a revolutionary Uberdoctor™ encounter, which allows her to communicate with patients around the world.