PTSD treatment

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD occurs when a person has gone through a traumatic situation and then has difficulty re-connecting with the world around him. The person re-experiences the traumatic or dangerous event or sequence of events over and over. This makes him highly sensitive to normal life experiences. PTSD can affect not just those who have been directly involved in a traumatic or stressful situation but also those who witness it. It can even occur in friends and family members of the victim. Wars, kidnapping, rape, assault and similar events can trigger PTSD.

People with PTSD may have to deal with feelings of fear, anger, guilt and shame. They suffer from sleep problems, concentration problems, irritability and depression. Flashbacks, nightmares and haunting memories keep coming back and interfere with their daily life activities.

PTSD is a mental health problem and needs to be treated. PTSD treatment should be done as early as possible. Once the symptoms get worse, treatment might be difficult and time consuming. Moreover, this condition can impact your physical health and family and social life. Those seeking PTSD treatment should find a therapist who specializes in dealing with trauma and PTSD. Your doctor, others who have been through this situation, your local metal health clinic or counseling center will be able to refer you to a good therapist.

PTSD treatment includes both psychological and medical treatments. Antidepressants and antipsychotis are commonly prescribed to treat this condition. Mood stabilizers like lamotrigine, tiagabine and divalproex sodium are also used at times. Sometimes doctors may prescribe tranquilizers to ease the anxiety associated with PSTD.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common non-drug therapy for PTSD. Your therapist will work with you and help you understand your feelings about the traumatic event. You will be able to identify the thoughts that make you angry, upset or anxious. Your therapist will help you understand these feelings and change your attitude. You will learn to cope with such distressing feelings and replace them with more reasonable and balanced thoughts.

Sometimes, PTSD treatment combines cognitive behavioral therapy with another therapy called exposure therapy. The aim of this kind of therapy is to confront the things that make you fearful. You can talk to your therapist about the trauma you experienced. Your therapist will help you control your thoughts and feelings about the traumatic event and change the way you react. This kind of therapy may seem difficult at first since you will have to keep talking about the trauma and re-live stressful situations. But as the treatment proceeds, you will be able to handle such stressful thoughts with ease.

A new kind of therapy for PTSD is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). It combines the elements of cognitive therapy with eye movements, hand taps and sounds. This therapy is aimed at stimulating the brain’s information processing system so that it can process the stressful emotions and memories completely.

Some therapists may recommend family therapy. This kind of treatment can help family members understand what you are feeling and going through so that they can help you through your problems. Group therapy is also effective in PTSD treatment. By talking to others who have been through trauma and by sharing our experiences and feelings, you will be able to build relationships, enhance self confidence and learn to focus on the future rather than on the past.

Self-help measures also help ease the symptoms of PTSD. You can do some volunteer work, maintain a healthy diet, exercise and practice self relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.. These steps will help you feel more confident to deal with stressful and disturbing thoughts.


Last updated on Jul 8th, 2010 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “PTSD treatment”

  1. PTSD Vs. CPTSD says:

    What is difference between PTSD and CPTSD?

    PTSD is what you can get from witnessing a car crash. Or being in a car crash. Or earthquake. Or involved in a shooting. And then on top of that, you start having bad dreams about it. Or flashbacks. But, the trauma is OVER. IT’s done. It’s not happening again and again and again. That’s CPTSD.

    CPTSD is when a soilder is sent to battle, 5 times in 5 years, and keeps experiencing the same war zone. PTSD is no longer the diagnosis here. The trauma went on too long.

    CPTSD can also occur in caregivers of severely disabled or autistic persons who exhibit intracable, prolonged, extreme self-injurious or assaultive behaviors. Witnessing repeated acts of such complex, high risk behaviors, where the person must constantly protect the other person is classic CPTSD, in a situation that is episodic, chronic and acute. It is one of the most undereported conditions facing families raising disabled children with extreme, challenging behaviors which require constant emergency interventions. The constant state of emergency and pressure of providing safety is what leads to CPTSD in primary caregivers. It is also seen in caregivers of dementia patients, who are without relief or respite care. Incessant or disruptive vocalizations often exacerbate the stress loads on caregivers of dementia patients, further contributing to CPTSD, as auditory overload, insult factors.

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