The concepts of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerged following World War I when veterans returned from the battlefields diagnosed with “shell shock.” Today, it’s understood that trauma is relative to your experience, but the lasting psychological and behavioral effects can be debilitating and devastating. Board-certified psychiatrist Sudhir Gadh, MD, offers customized approaches to help you heal from your psychological wounds at his private practice in Union Square, New York City. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.
"Abuse is the most pervasive type of human suffering and with each generation, we succeed in reducing it institutionally and in families. By seeing it as we do the recovery of physical trauma as well as keeping in mind the arc of progress described above, we can come to a place where both blame and forgiveness lead to a resolution. I'm an expert in the treatment of PTSD. I invite you to watch the video made in collaboration with the US Navy and speak with me about how we can tailor the approach to help you towards progress." - Dr. Gadh
Psychologically, trauma is your mental and emotional response to a dangerous or harrowing event or situation. Originally, trauma was associated with the horrors of war and was referred to as “shell shock” or “combat fatigue.” In many cases, the symptoms of what is now known as PTSD were often considered as side effects of a concussion.
Dr. Gadh considers trauma a psychological wound, and he uses a method that is similar to treating physical injuries. Treatment for physical injuries involves what’s called the RICE method — rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The following is how Dr. Gadh uses this method for psychiatric care:
When you sleep, your body and mind restore and replenish themselves. However, if you’re living with trauma, your psychological wound can disrupt and reduce the amount of time you spend in deep sleep cycles or produce nightmares.
As a result, you may feel unrested and turn to substances like over-the-counter sleep aids, alcohol, or drugs to sleep. While this self-medication may make you fall asleep, it won’t necessarily improve the quality of your sleep. Dr. Gadh will work with you to address your trauma and help improve your sleep.
Ice reduces swelling and pain, but how do you ice a psychological injury? Dr. Gadh encourages you to practice fast and slow exercises. Running and other energetic physical activities exercise your body and stimulate the “feel good” chemicals in your brain. Slow exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation, can help you regain control of your heart rate and breathing rate.
Like the brace you wear when you sprain an ankle, medication compresses your psychological wound temporarily, allowing you to work through other parts of your treatment. Dr. Gadh can prescribe antidepressants, which are helpful to some people. He also may encourage you to take a low-dose lithium supplement, which has been proven to reduce negative thoughts and self-destructive behaviors.
Dr. Gadh helps you rise from your past. Through talk therapy, including dialectic behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, you learn to become your own storyteller and narrate your past, casting yourself as a survivor. You learn to see the purpose of your experiences to reclaim what’s been taken from you and not to let those experiences define who you are today.
Dr. Gadh understands that you may be reluctant to take medication for a variety of reasons, but he’ll encourage you to discuss your concerns and ask questions about your treatment plan. Medicines, such as lithium supplements and antidepressants, are only a temporary part of your treatment and can help you talk about your memories and feelings productively in therapy.
If you are living with trauma, book an appointment with Sudhir Gadh, MD, online or over the phone and get the expert and compassionate help you need.