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Stress, Trauma and PTSD2022-04-30

Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods.

-Peter A. Levine

It is never only about how bad things are out there, it is about how bad they are perceived to be. Trauma is the internal perception of external stressors and events as being damaging. Recollection of them, future encounters with similar events, or even the possibility of future encounters with them, can trigger avoidance or lashing out (post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD).

One way to diminish or prevent internal trauma is to change the perception and context of an external adverse event. Use the difficulty. What is great about this, how can this be used to make you better/stronger? Change your reactivity to external events by stoicism, meditation, and/or by the use of adrenergic blockers prophylactically or in the immediate aftermath of an adverse event.

Once the memories and circuits encoding trauma have been established, it is harder to treat, and people are stuck with it. It can be dampened but not completely resolved by SSRIs, mood stabilizers, and adrenergic blockers. To dissolve/erase those circuits, exposure therapy with cognitive reframing, or psychedelic drugs, can be used.

The levels of internal perception of stress can be measured with an app, and correlated with life events, as a way of gaining insight into what life activities can traumatize you, so you can avoid and/or address them. The internal perception of stress can also be measured at a biological level with blood biomarker tests, such as the one we have developed1. These tests also match people with nutraceuticals and medications that can be used preventatively or therapeutically. Trauma can make lives miserable, age people prematurely2, lead to addictions, and even lead to deaths by suicide3. Addressing it is possible nowadays, in multiple ways.

Live. Happier. Longer.

Footnotes

  1. Le-Niculescu H, Roseberry K, Levey DF, Rogers J, Kosary K, Prabha S, Jones T, Judd S, McCormick MA, Wessel AR, Williams A, Phalen PL, Mamdani F, Sequeira A, Kurian SM, Niculescu AB. Towards precision medicine for stress disorders: diagnostic biomarkers and targeted drugs. Molecular Psychiatry; 2020 May; 25(5): 918-938. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0370-z. Epub March 12 2019 PMID: 30862937

  2. Rangaraju S, Levey DF, Nho N, Jain N, Andrews KD, Le-Niculescu H, Salomon DR, Saykin AJ, Petrascheck M, and Niculescu AB. Mood, Stress and Longevity: Convergence on ANK3. Molecular Psychiatry; 2016 Aug;21(8):1037-49; doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.65. Epub 2016 May 24. PMID: 27217151

  3. Niculescu AB, Le-Niculescu H, Levey DF, Phalen PL, Dainton HL, Roseberry K, Niculescu EM, Niezer JO, Williams A, Graham DL, Jones TJ, Venugopal V, Ballew A, Yard M, Gelbart T, Kurian SM, Shekhar A, Schork NJ, Sandusky GE, Salomon DR. Precision medicine for suicidality: from universality to subtypes and personalization. Molecular Psychiatry; 2017 Sep;22(9):1250-1273; doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.128. Epub 2017 Aug 151 PMID: 28809398