Psychiatry and Behavioral Health > Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Why choose Wayne Health for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Wayne Health’s team of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscientists includes renowned experts in the evaluation and treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Our team has deep experience working with veterans, refugees, first responders, victims of torture, human trafficking, crime and other traumatic events.

Our experts are known for innovative research and approaches to PTSD treatment, including not only medication and psychotherapy, but exercise, art, dance and movement, yoga, mindfulness and lifestyle modifications to help patients lead a fulfilling life. Cutting-edge Augmented Reality technology has also been used in conjunction with telepsychiatry to provide exposure therapy for PTSD patients.

Wayne Health providers are also co-leaders of research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health exploring biological and environmental aspects of PTSD, changes in the brain and body, and the benefits of a new drug (alloprenanolone) for treating PTSD.

Wayne Health Post Traumatic Stress Disorder services

We offer innovative, multidisciplinary treatment for:

  • PTSD and trauma related disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance of normal life situations caused by PTSD


Wayne Health's approach to treatment

1 in 5 young people and 70-90% of adults experience trauma over the course of their lives. In the aftermath of trauma, they may experience PTSD, anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms as well as require stress coping skills and ways to build resilience.

Like most psychiatric conditions, PTSD is a clinical diagnosis which means that psychiatrists diagnose PTSD by the symptoms exhibited by the patient which can include:

  • history of exposure to trauma
  • frequent flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive memories
  • avoiding any reminder of trauma and its memories
  • hyperarousal, or being overly vigilant, having sleep disturbances, being easily startled
  • negative thoughts or feelings
  • significant distress or dysfunction

Treatment for PTSD focuses on helping patients with the symptoms that are distressing and causing dysfunction.

Brain scans are not used to diagnose PTSD, but can help clinicians understand what happens in a PTSD brain. Research has shown that in people with PTSD, there can be changes in the structure and function of different areas of the brain involved in fear response and anxiety, regulation of emotions, cognitive processing and memory.

PTSD treatment usually involves psychotherapy and medications, mainly antidepressants, which help reduce a high level of emotional arousal, allowing the person to more effectively use their cognitive and rational brain in dealing with stressful conditions. Lifestyle changes and physical activity are also beneficial in addressing PTSD.

Wayne Health’s psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences team has also used body-based mindfulness methods, such as yoga and dance therapies, to successfully help refugees with PTSD. In other research, Augmented Reality technology has been used in conjunction with telepsychiatry for exposure therapy for PTSD patients

People may experience and be distressed by some, and not all symptoms of PTSD. These people will benefit from the same interventions used for treatment of PTSD.

Advancing research and medical education

Wayne Health physicians and researchers are also faculty members of the Wayne State University School of Medicine who conduct research and clinical studies. This makes the latest treatments and clinical trials available to you sooner than other health providers without a medical school affiliation. We are fully committed to innovative research that advances care and treatment in behavioral health.

PTSD research at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences examines the impact of exposure to trauma among urban and refugee adults and children, first responders, and its biological (brain, immune system, autonomic system, genetics and epigenetics) and environmental aspects. Researchers also examine innovative treatment methods including body based mindful treatments and augmented reality and telemedicine technologies in helping civilians and first responders with PTSD.

For more information, please visit the links below at the WSU School of Medicine.