Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe disturbance of normal function resulting from exposure to highly stressful events or circumstances. A primitive part of the brain, that responds to perceived threats becomes stuck in a state of permanent readiness, or “fight or flight”. Symptoms can include severe emotional reactivity, fear and avoidance, and a disturbance of memory, and behavioral issues.

The PTSD diagnosis has historically been attributed to returning veterans. Today, the diagnosis has been expanded to include any significant trauma (physical or emotional) that causes a change in mental or emotional function and stability. Returning veterans, first responders, accident victims, and domestic violence victims are just a few examples of individuals who can fall into this category.

Complex Trauma (C-PTSD)

Repeated, long-term exposure to traumatic events can cause significant physiological dysregulation. Chronic fear, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, mood, and behavioral issues are just some of the symptoms these individuals may experience, often throughout their lifetimes. Individuals who have experienced early life abuse, neglect, street violence, bullying or a host of other chronic stressors may fall into this category.

Gray Matters has significant expertise working with the full range of trauma disorders through the use of Neuroimaging, Neurofeedback, EMDR, and Psychotherapy. Our multidisciplinary team has decades of combined experience in the research and treatment of trauma, allowing us to offer unprecedented and quantifiable results.

The example below shows swLORETA imaging of a 16-year victim of cyberbullying. The trauma she experienced was so great that, when re-triggered, she dissociated, losing her sense of reality and forgetting who and where she was. The initial image shows significant issues, especially in the left hippocampus, responsible for episodic memory. The second image shows her brain after one month of intensive treatment at Gray Matters. As the dramatic improvement in the images below suggest, she is now functioning dramatically better.

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