Self

The 'Alternative' PTSD Treatment That Helped Me Heal — And Probably Saved My Life

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woman, smiling, hanging out of a car window in the high desert

Editor's note: The following story is based on the author's experience. It isn't meant to paint all post-traumatic stress disorder with one big brush, but rather to share a helpful story of one woman who found a powerful path for herself.

We all have our demons, and we all confront them with the tools available to us. All PTSD stories are unique

That said, I believe that learning about my experience could help others with PTSD. These solutions saved my own life and, I believe, have saved the lives of so many others.

RELATED: What It's Really Like To Live With Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My personal PTSD story

In 1998, I endured a divorce after my husband’s PTSD caused him to purchase a shotgun and threaten me.

He had served in Vietnam and like 30 percent of Vietnam vets, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, developed PTSD. Additional military statistics show that 12 percent of Gulf War veterans were diagnosed with PTSD each year and during the Iraqi war, 11-20 percent were diagnosed annually.

If you add the annual PTSD veteran diagnoses to others who suffer from PTSD, you can see that this is a national health crisis.

While the VA prescribes medication, as a surgeon’s daughter I learned that many medications have undesirable side effects and that finding effective alternatives is preferable. This was likely even more true in that time.

It was those prescription drugs that triggered my husband’s PTSD symptoms and caused his “roid rage," a common symptom of steroid and some psychotropic drugs.

Although he had been a brilliant clinical psychologist, PTSD ruined his life and almost ended mine.

Therefore, I sought and found safe, effective alternative solutions to established treatments.

RELATED: Yes, You Can Get PTSD From Staying In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Where I turned for PTSD guidance

In 1994 Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald saved my life by diagnosing my PTSD and explaining the chronic stress response in which the exhausted adrenals inhibit “feel good” brain chemistry.

This one-two punch of PTSD is new to most doctors and since 1994 I have recommended that more than 900 clients and their family members and friends take the PTSD test. Though I have many clients without PTSD symptoms, of those whom I suggested might have PTSD, 100 percent of them were found to have adrenal exhaustion.   

If someone with PTSD lives in your home, this can trigger your PTSD. My husband’s anxiety and repressed anger reactivated my own PTSD, and tragically his medical doctor did not diagnose his PTSD and prescribed steroids for my husband with terrifying results.

I used empathy to calm him down and escape.

Since then, I have discovered the most innovative, outside-the-box solutions for PTSD that have allowed me to heal.

The first step is to identify the causes and symptoms of PTSD.

RELATED: 5 Heartbreaking Signs Your Spouse Is Silently Suffering From PTSD

Here are seven potential causes of PTSD

1. Military service or law enforcement employment

If you served in the military or police force, this group has the largest incidence of PTSD because being “on guard” causes adrenal exhaustion.

2. Exposure to violence

Have you endured a threatening or violent situation? Verbal abuse, physical abuse, and prolonged fear of either create PTSD.

3. Exposure to repetitive danger

Do you have a habit of fight, flight or freeze? These are the go-to behaviors of those who have endured and survived repetitive danger which leads to PTSD.

4. Escape from a collapsed government or a war-torn nation

Did you or your family emigrate from one country to another to avoid danger? Almost everyone with this history developed PTSD.

RELATED: If You Can't Stop Thinking About Something That Happened To You, You Might Be Experiencing Trauma

5. Excessive thrill-seeking

Do you love the excitement and often make unsafe choices? When you have PTSD, you may often feel exhausted and depressed when your adrenals are exhausted.

Getting an adrenaline high from taking risks can easily become an addiction similar to cocaine and Adderall dependency

6. Exposure to parents with PTSD

If either of your parents has PTSD symptoms such as rage, depression, violence, or all three, or if either of your parents endured danger or abuse, there is a high probability that you developed PTSD as a child

7. Unbalanced brain chemistry or constant environmental stress

Much of teen suicide is caused by inherited brain chemistry or environmental stress due to parents with PTSD.

RELATED: Stop Dismissing My PTSD Just Because You Can't See It

A tool to diagnose PTSD

The single accurate diagnostic tool I discovered is the test for cortisol, DHEA, serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitter levels during the day and evening; not just the “snapshot” approach of testing.

Many ailments can be prevented, but PTSD is different. Can a baby prevent parents from fighting? Can children heal their parents’ marital issues?

When someone is drafted during a war, they are in for the duration and must cope as best they can. Therefore, understanding every way to eliminate PTSD symptoms is key.

When tested five years before my divorce, my own adrenal levels were vastly below the healthy norm. I had trouble focusing, sleeping, fully awakening in the morning, and maintaining my energy throughout the day.  

After using these solutions for a few years, I was retested, and my adrenal and neurotransmitter levels were much improved.

RELATED: Why Adrenal Fatigue Makes You Feel Wired But Tired

A few PTSD solutions that work for me

1. Supplements

Organic supplements support adrenal function and dopamine and serotonin to diminish exhaustion of PTSD and increase joy. For anxiety, anger, and other symptoms of PTSD there are additional supplements that work.

2. Patches

Stem cell activation patches reset 4,000 different genes which transform so many aspects of brain and body function and have increased my energy and general health.

Additional patches support melatonin for deep sleep and boost neurotransmitters for enhanced inner peace and joy.

Some former military and police experience extreme pain that triggers their PTSD. There are 12 pain-relief protocols using patches that have eliminated pain symptoms for me and my clients.    

3. Emotional soothing techniques

We need to be able to quickly calm down when PTSD affects our brain chemistry and we feel frustrated or scared. I developed Brain-breathing, a fast, powerful self-soothing skill that allows us to shift our energy whenever we feel triggered so that we can dial down our reactions and control our communication, too.

4. Choose the right words

In a stressful situation, the words we use either create peace or the opposite. I developed The 6 Part Conversation so that we can use only peacemaking language when we are faced with someone’s anger.

As mentioned above, these solutions saved my own life and have saved the lives of so many others. The American Psychological Association recommends cognitive behavior therapy, certain antidepressant medications, and other treatment methods. 

I hope they serve to bring you peace, as well.

RELATED: The Secret Healing Technique Most Therapists Won’t Tell You About

Susan Allan is a certified Mediator and Coach and the Founder of The Marriage Forum, Inc. She offers The 6 Part Conversation© and The 7 Stages of Marriage and Divorce© training so that both partners understand their own needs and their partner’s needs and learn to create the most peaceful and loving "passionships."

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