While ART is successfully used with many different types of mental health problems, one of the most successful is in treating PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a mental health condition which affects millions worldwide and it often co-exists with depression, substance misuse and domestic violence. PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced trauma in an accident, natural disaster, serious illness, violence or rape. PTSD is an occupational hazard of the military, first responders, firefighters, paramedics and police. Symptoms may include:
- Reliving the negative events with flashbacks, nightmares or intrusive memories.
- Feeling hyperalert, angry, anxious, startling easily, nightmares or difficulty in sleeping or concentrating.
- Changes in emotions and behavior including feelings of shame or guilt.
- Avoidance of situations, persons, places or things which remind one of a traumatic or negative event.
ART restores mental health by often eliminating the physical reactivity associated with distressing memories or images and changing the way distressing images are stored in the brain.