Light Treatment Helps with Psychological Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety that can emerge after you’ve gone through extreme emotional trauma that involves an injury or a death. Medical Reporter Mark Charter is here with more on a treatment.

(Mark Charter, Reporting):  It’s called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and doctors tell me, not only does it help treat PTSD, it can help with other types of anxiety, like specific fears and panic disorders.

Doctors still aren't sure how to cure posttraumatic stress disorder, but St. Alexius has found a way to help patients by using a unique kind of psychotherapy.

(Dr. David Brooks, St. Alexius Neuropsychologist):  "People often go blank...get relaxed. Most typically, even after the first set or two of the first session that we do it, people indicate that they're feeling a lot more relaxed." Simply put, the EMDR treatment works by asking patients a series of questions.

(Dr. Brooks):  "What is the earliest thing in your life that happened that still really bothers you a lot when you picture it?” Doctors take some notes, do some analyzing, and then it's time to see the light.

(Dr. Brooks):  "When your eyes move this way, this side of your brain lights up, and your eyes move this way, this side of your brain is activated. When you're alternating, it activates the hemispheres of the brain that induces relaxation." Doctors say the patient’s negative thoughts usually don't bother them again, but the treatment isn't hypnosis.

(Dr. Brooks):  "It doesn't make people forget what happens, but it tends to take away the cloud.” And not only does it take away those bad thoughts, it does it quickly.

(Dr. Brooks):  "This tends to be very effective and very fast. Often in ten sessions or less, we're through everything.. and sometimes in one or two or three sessions."

EMDR isn't a magical treatment, but it is an option for those who are struggling with something bigger than the human body can process by itself. Doctors say the treatment also help with addictions, like alcohol and drugs, gambling and food.

Mark Charter, Reporting