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Can Psychotherapy Reverse Post-Traumatic Epigenetic Changes?

Grant H Brenner
6 min readOct 29, 2019

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New research shows how therapy works to treat PTSD.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) is a condition affecting a subset of people exposed to traumatic experiences. Not all people who endure traumatic experiences will develop PTSD as most people are resilient due to biological, psychological, and social factors. Most responses to trauma are normal, including short-term stress responses, sleep disturbances, fears of trauma happening again, and related reactions, but they resolve after the trauma without becoming more severe or ongoing.

PTSD Is Endemic

Nevertheless, in any given year up to nearly 5.5 percent of people meet the criteria for PTSD, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. Of those people, over two-thirds are estimated to have moderate to high severity symptoms. Adverse childhood experiences are more common than recognized, leading to life-altering changes which often extend far into adulthood, and to future generations.

PTSD can develop after people are exposed to a traumatic event involving death, threats to life, actual or threatened injury, or sexual violence. Exposure to trauma can be direct, via witnessing trauma, learning about a relative or friend who was traumatized, and through hearing…

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Grant H Brenner

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Disaster Responder, Advocate, Photographer