MANAGING TRAUMATIC STRESS

 

DO YOU SUFFER FROM THE EFFECTS OF A TRAUMATIC EVENT?
Did  you experience or witness a life-threatening, terrifying or horrifying  event?  Examples are childhood sexual abuse, rape, violent crime,  torture, combat, natural disaster or a severe accident.
After one of these terrible events, it is common for people to experience a number of symptoms.  
These  may include nightmares, intrusive memories of the event, feeling very  upset when reminded of the event, trying to avoid reminders of it, loss  of interest in activities you formerly enjoyed, feeling cut off from  other people, feeling emotionally numb, trouble sleeping and  concentrating, feeling irritable and being easily startled.
Most people find that these symptoms dissipate within months after the event.
For  others, distress remains.  At their most severe, this group of symptoms is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  It may be associated with other  problems, such as depression, substance abuse and disruption of work and  family life.

CAN YOU BE HELPED?
PTSD  can be treated.  Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)  and Thought Field  Therapy (TFT) are approaches Dr. Agigian uses to help trauma survivors  eliminate, reduce or manage their symptoms.  There are also treatment protocols for specific symptoms, such as nightmares and anger.  For many trauma  survivors, medication can also  help.
Here are examples of Dr. Agigian's work with trauma survivors.

HARRY'S PROBLEMS:
Trauma Symptoms from deadly fires and combat
During  Harry's 52 years, he had escaped from one deadly fire and seen the  charred remains of  two victims.  He had also experienced several terrifying events while serving in Iraq.  A year before seeking help, Harry also saw a co-worker at a  refinery burned to death.
After  this latest trauma, Harry's symptoms increased.  They included  nightmares and flashbacks about the fires and combat, trouble sleeping,  avoiding his friends and family and getting into physical fights with other  motorists.  He became more easily startled, more anxious and depressed,  and had trouble concentrating.  Harry was beginning to stay in his workshop at home and refusing to go to work.

THE SOLUTION:
Dr.  Agigian used Thought Field Therapy (TFT) to reduce trauma-related  symptoms.  Harry learned breathing retraining to reduce the anger  which had led to fights.  Dr. Agigian saw Harry's family to help them  understand Harry's problems, support him and get support for themselves.  As the symptoms subsided, Dr. Agigian worked with Harry to  restore his relationships with family, friends and co-workers.  Dr.  Agigian also referred Harry for a medication evaluation.

RESULTS:
The  medication improved Harry's sleep and reduced the severity of his  symptoms, so that Harry was able to focus on treatment with Dr.  Agigian.  Harry's distress about the traumas on a scale of 1 to 10 went down from 10 to 1.  As the symptoms subsided, Harry rebuilt his relationships and work life with support from Dr. Agigian.

ALICE'S PROBLEMS:
Trauma symptoms from incest and abusive relationships   
Alice, age 32, was sexually abused by her father once or twice weekly from ages 10 to 15. 
She mistrusted men but became involved with partners who beat  her.  Alice believed sex was all men wanted and she had nothing else to  offer them.  She had just ended another abusive relationship and felt she needed to do something different.  Alice's PTSD symptoms included sleep problems and intrusive memories. 

THE SOLUTION:
Dr.  Agigian helped Alice understand that her present symptomss were related  to her being raped by her father and abused by her partners.  Thought Field Therapy (TFT) made it possible for Alice to come to terms with the incest and abuse and reduce the  distress caused by her traumatic memories.   Dr.  Agigian taught Alice how to distinguish which men were trustworthy and  improve her ability to select a supportive, non-abusive partner.  Using  cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)  techniques, he also coached Alice in  relationship skills, such as assertiveness and effective problem-solving.  These skills  replaced the behaviors Alice used in the past that had inadvertently  invited anger and abuse from her partners.

RESULTS:
Alice's  symptoms subsided.  Her distress associated with incest and abuse on a  scale of 1 to 10 was reduced from 10 to 2.  Alice learned that she was  not at fault for what had been done to her and that she had much to  offer a partner beyond sex.  Alice  improved her ability to pick a good partner and ultimately married a  warm and loving man.  She used her newly learned skills to deal with and  recover resiliently from the conflicts that occur in all marriages.   There were ups and downs, but over the following years Alice became increasingly happy with her life.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP
 Contact Dr. Agigian for more information or to arrange a free 30-minute consultation at (510) 653-7596.  
Or email him at agigian@sonic.net.