Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Christchurch earthquake

Healing Yourself From After A Traumatic Event

by Dr. Pradeep Chadha

Dr._Chadha_1Trauma affects all of us at some stage in life. The stress that follows from a traumatic event usually stays as ‘tension’ in the body that is not appreciable at a conscious level. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that describes typical symptoms of nightmares, flashbacks, irritability and avoidance following a traumatic event. Even if a person does not have symptoms of PTSD, a traumatic event can affect a person, sometimes permanently. Various researches put a figure of 1% to 8% of population suffering with PTSD. The treatment of PTSD in psychiatry is with antidepressant medications. But in psychotherapy it can be treated with imagery and desensitisation. In this article I am including a technique that I have used successfully over last 20 years to help people with PTSD and traumatic stress.

Post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) has not only affected many New Zealanders recently with the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, PTSD affects many around the world on a daily basis, as many people struggle to come to terms with very stressful events in their lives. Here is a most useful article from Irish psychiatrist Dr. Pradeep Chadha which can help those who suffer from PTSD. The following 5 steps can be of enormous help to those who suffer after stressful events, regardless of how long ago these events occurred. Please forward this page to those who may benefit.

Dr. Chadha’s 5 Steps For Guide How To Heal Yourself of Traumatic Stress

  1. Sit comfortably on a chair. Close your eyes. Take ten deep breaths. Breathe out AS SLOWLY AS YOU CAN.
  2. With your eyes closed, remember one event that you would consider a ‘traumatic’ event. Each event has a start and an end point. Decide the two points.
  3. With eyes closed, run through the traumatic event in your mind AS FAST AS YOU CAN from start to the end. Do it at least five times. Then stop. Take five deep breaths. Keep your eyes closed and notice how you feel. You may feel ‘agitated’ or ‘angry’.
  4. With eyes closed, run through the event in blocks of five times. Evaluate your feelings after running through it after each block of five. You will successively go through stages of ‘agitation’, ‘anger’, ‘sadness’ and then ‘physical tiredness’ or ‘exhaustion’
  5. Carry on doing this exercise till you reach the stage of either ‘tiredness’ or you notice that the memory has started to fade. You will also notice becoming ‘calmer’ than before the exercise.

Tips And Cautions

  1. You can stop doing the exercise if you feel exhausted at any time. Then repeat it after a gap of at least three days.
  2. This exercise is good for one event. If more than one events are involved, you can address them one at a time starting from the one that bothers you most.
  3. This exercise is not the complete treatment, but it will take away the ‘sting’ out of your emotional pain.
  4. Do not substitute this treatment for a professional consultation.
  5. Not everyone will be able to do this exercise because of the severity of trauma. Use your discretion to do it.
  6. Anger is an emotion that is experienced when doing this exercise. If you experience it and cannot handle it, stop doing the exercise.

Dr Pradeep Chadha is an Irish psychiatrist who resides in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Chadha is  also an accomplished psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, coach, author, as well as a speaker. Dr. Chadha is one of the rare few psychiatrists who believes that emotional health is everything, and that psychiatric practice is possible without drugs. For more information visit: www.drpkchadha.com