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Alternative Treatment for PTSD

Mental trauma causes physiological changes to your brain. Our biological treatments help calm the sympathetic nervous system and relief symptoms of PTSD/PTSI.

WHAT IS PTSD?

PTSD is an injury that can be treated.

In psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as a response to experiencing traumatic or stressful events that create feelings of horror or helplessness. A neuroscience-informed view suggests that what has been called PTSD is in fact a biological injury that can be seen through brain scans.

Though PTSD is a common term mental healthcare professionals use, Stella and others have suggested a new term – Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PSTI) – instead of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. By talking about Post-Traumatic Stress as an injury, we can reduce stigmas around healing.

At Stella, we have a range of proven treatments for the symptoms and conditions associated with trauma exposure. While many mental healthcare resources highlight the 17 most common PTSD symptoms, there are actually more.

 

What Happens When PTSD IS Triggered

Trauma lives in our mind and body

PTSD can be triggered by anything that reminds people of their past trauma or adverse experiences, including sights, sounds, and sensations. Individuals may experience:

  • Excessive fear: The amygdala controls emotions such as fear. When encountering a trigger, the amygdala may overreact and cause intense fear, even when there is no actual threat.
  • Vivid memories: The hippocampus is responsible for forming new memories and linking them to old ones, and it can cause one to experience traumatic events over and over again through memories, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
  • An increased stress response: The body's fight-or-flight response intensifies when triggered, leading to physical symptoms such as sweating, lightheadedness, a racing heart, nausea, and more.
SGB INJECTION TO TREAT PTSD

Brain imagery data suggests that sympathetic dysregulation causes changes that are visible in the brain.

More people are living with Post-Traumatic Stress than you may think but research suggests that only 2-11% of people experiencing trauma symptoms are actually diagnosed.

Oftentimes, when someone experiences a traumatic or highly stressful event, their body's fight-or-flight response – which is connected to the sympathetic nervous system – turns on. If it stays on long after the traumatic event, the body may be experiencing what is referred to as sympathetic dysregulation.

By stopping the nerve growth that is occurring and eliminating or pruning the extra nerve fibers that have been created, the amygdala can be reset to its pre-trauma state.

Stella's advanced Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) protocol, Dual Sympathtic Reset features two injections on the same side of the neck of a local anesthetic next to a bundle of sympathetic nerves that can bring the fight-or-flight response back to its pre-trauma state. With a physical reset, individuals can gain some peace in their bodies and minds so they can better focus on other aspects of the healing process.

Cutting-edge PTSD treatment informed by modern neuroscience.

Treating your symptoms starts with a virtual assessment with Stella's expert Advanced Practice Providers (APP). Individualized curated care can include cutting-edge modalities like:

Stella's advanced Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) protocol of two injections of local anesthetic on the same side of neck near a bundle of sympathetic nerves that can bring the fight-or-flight response back to its pre-trauma state.


 

 


In-office medically guided infusions that follow a responsible innovation approach paired with integration sessions to effectively treat mental health conditions, such as depression.

 

 

 


Work directly with Stella's Advanced Practice Provider to discover the most impactful relief through smart applications of safe and effective treatment modalities.

 


 

 


Meet with Stella's Advanced Practice Providers to track symptoms, discuss nutrition, supplements, medication adherence & gain trauma-informed insights.

 


 

Stella Integration Sessions are built to optimize healing and growth by making meaning of ketamine infusion sessions and create individualized action plans that turn insights into growth.

 

 

 

Alongside biological treatment, meet with trauma-informed APN therapists to gain greater personal insight and understanding in support of better long-term clinical outcomes.

 


 

We measure success in lives changed.

Stella's treatment approach gives patients the optimal pathway to seamless, comprehensive, integrated care by using a variety of innovative treatments in combination with each other or as supplemental treatments to your existing care plan.

Savannah

Savannah had always been an anxious person since childhood. The untreated traumas in her family go back decades but one of the most traumatizing events she experienced was from a relationship in her late teens. Trauma symptoms like hypervigilance, hypersensitivity to external stimuli, and dangerous coping mechanisms crept in. Individual and group therapies helped, but only to a certain point. Since receiving the Dual Sympathetic Reset a form of the Stellate Ganglion Block, she doesn't feel the sense of impending doom, anxiety, and lack of sleep or focus. Her "quality of life improved almost immediately."

Aaron

US Marine veteran Aaron Williamson wasn't aware of the severity of his symptoms of post-traumatic stress. After he received DSR SGB treatment in the fall of 2022, everything changed. He describes the feeling as if something vacuum-sealed was opened up, and he could see everything returning to its normal size. He could process and understand why all the negativity, anxiety, stress, and trauma associated with post-traumatic stress happened and continued to work toward a better quality of life. 

 

Janelle

After years of sleepless nights, violent ideations, and suicidal thoughts due to military sexual trauma, Janelle needed a path toward healing. Her trauma symptoms were holding her back from the positive impact she was looking to make in this world. To Janelle, trauma was a prison she could not escape. After the stellate ganglion block, relief came quickly. Besides a temporary expected short-term effect called Horners Syndrome (a droopy red eye with a dilated pupil on the side of the injection), Janelle's thought process changed immediately, and her mind felt healthier and more optimistic. Her hope of making an impact has been revived.

Kristen

After experiencing a devastatingly traumatic event at nine years old and living through a verbally abusive marriage, Kristen struggled with symptoms of trauma. Anger, sadness, and disconnection from others stuck with her for years. And despite trying various treatments such as EMDR and exercise, she never felt like herself again. However, her life changed when she discovered the SGB. In December 2022, she received the life-changing treatment. It had an immediate and positive impact, bringing her back to her happy and loving self and allowing her to reconnect with her children. Kristen is spreading the word about SGB and giving hope to others who may also be struggling with debilitating trauma.

Tara

It's normal to feel skeptical or nervous when finding treatments that seem too good to be true, especially for trauma, and for Tara, it was no different. After experiencing years of relinquishment trauma, a form of adoption trauma, she felt her options for treatment were dwindling. After receiving treatment by Stella for the first time, Tara didn't recognize an impact and felt nothing had changed. She had preemptively scheduled another treatment two weeks later to be performed on the opposite side, but her doctors put her on the schedule for the next day. After her second treatment, she noticed an immediate impact. Her heart wasn't racing like it used to; the thoughts and anxiety in her head weren't there. Over the next few days, her stress dissipated. She noticed things were getting easier. As a healthcare professional, Tara encourages anyone seeking treatment for trauma and mental health challenges to look into the Stellate Ganglion Block. Knowing she now has the ability to feel "normal" was "worth every penny."

Sidney

Witness what happened after a Marine Corps combat veteran tried a promising treatment for post-traumatic stress called the stellate ganglion block, or SGB. Before getting the 15-minute procedure, Sidney Morris described violence as his vice of choice.

Lexi

"Post-traumatic stress disorder is validation of what happened." For years, the trauma from sex trafficking hid in Lexi's body and mind, manifesting with even the simplest sounds, including laughter. Now, three months after receiving the Stellate Ganglion Block, Lexi can breathe deeply and enjoy some of the biggest things life has to offer.

Mike

When Mike returned home from his time in the Marines, he struggled with panic attacks, thoughts of impending doom, and even cold sweats that would stop him from his daily routine. Mike's trauma played on a loop through his head. He did everything he could to gain a higher quality of life, but with every attempt, he would find himself back at square one. Finally, after receiving the Stellate Ganglion Block, Mike experienced a relaxation he'd rarely felt before. His irritation level dropped immensely. And he found a quality of life he loves through SGB, therapy, exercise, and other forms of healing PTSD.

Luis

Luis was a police officer for 5 years. During a routine traffic stop, he was shot 6 times – causing injuries that left him unable to walk for two years. During this time, he began to realize that he was suffering from symptoms of PTSD. Luis was unable to feel affection for his son, which resulted in his son growing afraid of him. After receiving Treatment by Stella, he was able to feel a warmth towards others, and finds pleasure in interaction with those he loves.

Noel

Noel did everything he was supposed to managing his trauma symptoms. Still, on a good day, he could only be out in public for about two hours. After struggling for some time, he received the SGB treatment by Stella. Noel experiences a sense of calmness he hasn't experience since he was a teenager and is much more present in his social life. "It's a huge gift to your loved ones," he says."

Erin

Erin had received a Dual Sympathetic Reset, an advanced SGB, once before to help with her PTSD symptoms and suicidal ideations. The results of her first treatment had left her in a peaceful state; her racing thoughts had stopped, and the electricity under her skin had finally calmed. She began to realize that her environment at the time wasn't the best, causing some of the symptoms to resurface. Upon making changes in her life, like continued talk therapy and medication, she decided to return to Stella for another treatment since nothing like DSR SGB worked to calm her physical symptoms.

 

Shannon

Shannon is an intensive care nurse on the front lines of the pandemic, who's already endured a lifetime of personal trauma. She was skeptical about getting an injection that would help her post-traumatic stress.

Frequently Asked Questions About PTSD

Is PTSD a physical injury to the brain?

It is proven by research that post-traumatic stress can trigger biological changes in the body and brain. When individuals experience traumatic experience, the release of cortisol activates sympathetic nervous pathways and generates negative feedback to both the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary. This negative feedback system appears to be compromised in patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. This leads to the sympathetic nervous system to sustain an extended period of overactive state after exposure to trauma and stressors. As a result, many PTSD symptoms like increased heart rate, flashbacks, nightmares, and panic attacks can be manifested. 

The biological changes caused by both PTSD and secondary PTSD can be seen on a brain scan, the same way you can see in a brain injury. That is one of the many reasons why field-leading experts are now dropping the "D" in the "PTSD" and referring to the condition as the biological injury it is – Post Traumatic Stress Injury.


Stella believes PTSD/PTSI is a physical injury to the brain that can be treated biologically. Our cutting-edge treatments like the Dual Sympathetic Reset and Ketamine Assisted Therapy addresses the biological changes caused by trauma and stress, which helps create a safe space for the patients' healing without the constant attack from debilitating symptoms. 

What are the causes of PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by experiencing a traumatic event or stressful situation. Typically, the events that may cause PTSD are extremely distressing or involve a significant threat to a person's physical or emotional well-being. While not exhaustive, here are 17 common signs and symptoms of PTSD/PTSI:

  • Adoption
  • Bullying or hazing
  • Childhood trauma or abuse
  • Childhood neglect
  • COVID-related trauma (e.g., hospitalization for COVID, post-COVID health challenges)
  • Combat and/or warfare
  • Death or injury of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Domestic abuse
  • First responder trauma (for healthcare workers, EMTs, and LEOs)
  • Homelessness
  • LGBTQ+ trauma (e.g., harassment, rejection, identity crisis)
  • Loss of pregnancy
  • Natural disaster
  • Non-physical interpersonal abuse (e.g., emotional abuse by a narcissistic individual
  • Personal health issues
  • Physical violence or threat
  • Political/ national refugee-related trauma
  • Racial trauma
  • Reproductive challenges/ infertility
  • Secondary PTSD
  • Sexual assault
  • Sports injury
  • Victim of crime by a stranger (e.g., mugging, break-in, robbery)
  • Witnessing a traumatic event
  • Workplace injury or job-related accident
  • Workplace abuse, loss, harassment, or other related workplace trauma

What are the common symptoms of PTSD?

Trauma can cause symptoms that diminish our capacity to experience warm and loving feelings from others (i.e., emotional numbness), which can lead to profound negative changes to our self-image and identity and spark fears that often limit our enjoyment of pleasurable activities. When we have symptoms following trauma exposure, we may have recurring feelings of helplessness and horror. We also commonly experience panic attacks, feelings of self-blame and shame, chronically disrupted sleep, and relationship conflicts with loved ones.

While there could be more in reality, Many mental healthcare resources highlight the below 17 most common symptoms of PTSD.  

  • Agitation
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Flashbacks
  • Hypervigilance
  • Nightmares
  • Problems with concentration or thinking
  • Problems with memory
  • Headaches
  • Depression and crying spells
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Mood swings
  • Obsessive-compulsive tendencies
  • Panic episodes
  • Paranoia
  • Shakiness
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep disturbances

What are the differences between PTSD in men and women?

While the main causes and symptoms of PTSD are similar in men and women, there can be some differences in how the PTSD is experienced between the two genders.

  • Prevalence: According to research published by American Psychological Association (APA), while males have a higher risk for traumatic events, women suffer from higher PTSD rates. This is partly due to the fact that women are more likely to experience certain types of trauma, such as sexual assault and interpersonal violence, which are strongly associated with the development of PTSD.
  • Trauma types:While some trauma types like childhood trauma are prevalent in both men and women, the two genders are prone to be exposed to different types of trauma. Studies show that females are more likely to experience sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while males are more likely to experience trauma related to accidents, nonsexual assaults, combat or war.
  • Symptoms: While the core symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors, are similar for both men and women, some studies have suggested that women may experience certain symptoms more intensely. For example, women with PTSD may report higher levels of emotional numbing and avoidance than men.
  • Comorbid Conditions: Men with PTSD may be more likely to develop co-occurring substance use disorders, while women may be more prone to experience comorbid mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
  • Help-seeking behavior: Societal norms and expectations can influence how men and women respond to mental health challenges. Men may be more reluctant to seek help due to cultural factors emphasizing stoicism and emotional restraint, while women may be more willing to seek support and treatment

What makes Stella's PTSD treatment different from others?

Stella is a pioneer in providing multi-modality mental health care using science-based biological treatments. While traditional treatment for PTSD like talk therapy and medication can help patients process and heal trauma from a cognitive and chemical perspective, treatment by Stella helps address the biological root cause of PTSD by treating the physical injury to the brain caused by trauma. By leveraging cutting-edge treatments like DSR SGB and Ketamine assisted psychotherapy to regulate the brain's overactive sympathetic nervous system, and create new neural pathways that transform an individual's belief system, we help create a safe space for the patients' healing without the constant attack from debilitating trauma symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares and hypervigillance.

How do I determine if treatment by Stella is right for me?

Please call 908-293-7559 to schedule an intake assessment with our Advanced Practice Provider to determine you can benefit from Treatment by Stella. Our trauma informed clinical team will create a curated care plan based on your symptoms, health history and experience. 

 

Cutting-edge PTSD Care Treatment leads to life-changing results

Stella's innovative PTSD treatments help relieve symptoms of emotional trauma and mental health challenges for individuals of all genders, trauma types, and ages. Start your healing journey by calling us today.

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