Treatment Options for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

PTSD treatments will help in relieving the symptoms that are associated with the traumatic situation that you have experienced. The treatment will allow one to re-call & improve the thought process and emotions that are involved with the situation that they have faced. It is better than avoiding the entire situation. Other than offering an option to vent out all the emotions, this treatment will help in restoring the emotional control & decrease the occurrence of memory in your brain.

Treatment Options for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Treatment Plan for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

PTSD treatment plan includes the following process:

  1. A complete understanding of PTSD, which involves psycho education
  2. Issues and events underlying PTSD and their treatment
  3. Correct thinking that will help in combating the problems of PTSD
  4. Effective management of symptoms involved with PTSD

Treatment Options for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

  1. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  2. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  3. Family therapy
  4. Medications

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

Trauma focused CBT or Cognitive therapy will help you in understanding about the disorder entirely and change the way you think about the traumatic situation and its after effects. The primary goal behind this therapy is to understand the significance of each symptom occurrence and its contribution in making the situation worse.

Through this treatment, you will be able to identify the thoughts that make you upset and afraid. The therapist will help in replacing all the grave instances and other thoughts with those that will bring some positivity to you. Feelings like anger, fear and guilt can be easily controlled by undergoing this therapy session.

There are times when you will hold yourself responsible for the traumatic situation and wish that you could have done something different at that moment. Through this therapy session, you can tackle such feelings effectively.

What Is Exposure Therapy for PTSD?

Exposure therapy will teach the PTSD patient to have less fear of all the memories that surround your brain. It is based on the idea that people learn to fear feelings, thoughts and other situations. These are often associated with the traumatic event that one has gone through.

Speaking to the therapist about your trauma causing PTSD will let you control the thoughts as well as feelings that are related to trauma. The therapist will suggest various mind exercises that will help you in controlling all these feelings in an instance. This may, however, require some practice and if followed regularly, you will get to manage the thoughts that are troubling your mind. Initially, every person suffering from PTSD is bound to feel a little overwhelmed, but as time passes and with sufficient practice, you will eventually come over all the fears.

With your therapist’s help, you can change the course of your reaction when in stressful situations. Indulging in a conversation at a safer place makes this process easier. In the initial stages, you may focus on the memories that are less distracting before reaching out to the worse ones. This process is termed as desensitization and it allows a person to deal with all the bad instances with time. Your therapist may also ask you to remember all the incidences at once and this is denoted as flooding.

Apart from all this, PTSD patient can also practice some exercises that will calm your body and mind. Breathing exercises have proven to be of great help at such times for people suffering from PTSD.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

Involvement in a distressing event can be overwhelming for some people. For them, their brain may find it unable to process the information like having a normal memory. The distressing memory tends to be frozen at a certain level in the brain.

When a person is compelled for recalling the memory, they will experience all the feelings like smell, taste, vision as well as things that they heard. This can be quite distressing at times. The person tries to avoid thinking about all these events when they disturb his or her brain in an unusual way.

There are instances where these distressing memories stimulate a series of events that are registered in a person’s mind. These stimulations will trigger the brain to produce various signals, which involve eye movements, sounds or taps. This will also help a person to get out of the frozen situation in a timely manner.

The process of therapy tends to make the memories a little less intense, so that they seem less distressing and like ordinary memories. This effect is similar to the Rapid Eye Movement, which occurs when a person is asleep. EMDR also helps in reducing the distress of different types of memories, which will involve various sensations.

Family Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

Even an entire family can be affected with PTSD. Your partners, including your kids may sometimes fail to understand as to why you are getting angry or under so much stress. They may often feel guilty, angry or scared about the condition that you are suffering from.

Family therapy is also a type of counseling, which involves helping every family member to communicate effectively. This may often involve communication tips, coping up with intense emotions and so on. Your family might also learn more about the disorder and help you in managing the associated emotions as well.

In this type of therapy, every member of the family is allowed to speak their mind and mention about their concerns as well as fears. It is important to be honest and true about the feelings at such times. You can talk about the symptoms that you are facing to the members of your family at such times. You can also speak about the treatments and the medications that the doctor has prescribed.

Medications for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

For treating PTSD in adults, antidepressants like paroxetine, mirtazapine, amitriptyline orphenelzine are effectively used.

Amongst all these prescriptions, paroxetine is licensed for treating PTSD specifically. Nonetheless, mirtazapine, phenelzine and amitriptyline are also equally effective and have been prescribed by many mental counselors.

However, These Medications Will Only Be Used If:

  • A person chooses to not have psychotherapy and related treatments
  • Psychological treatment may not tend to be effective when there are no dangers of other trauma.
  • The course of trauma-focused psychological healing has not rendered you any benefits
  • You have a primary medical condition, like severe depression, which is affecting your treatment significantly.

However, the drugs like Amitriptyline or phenelzine can only be consumed under the care of a medical practitioner.

To tackle the signs of depression and anxiety, antidepressants may be prescribed by the doctor. This will help in reducing the problems of insomnia and manage the other symptoms as well. Nevertheless, they are not allowed to be consumed by a person who is under 18 years of age.

If the prescribed drug for PTSD is found to be effective, it may be continued for 12 months prior to withdrawing from the course completely. If the medication is not providing any relief, the dosage may be improved by the doctor.

Care should be taken to collect all the information about the medication you are following. Your therapist should educate you about all the consequences of consuming these drugs.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD Treatment for Children and Young People

Trauma-focused CBT is recommended for kids and youngsters who are suffering with PTSD.

The course will normally run for 8 to 12 sessions depending on the age and the stage of development in a child. Wherever necessary, the treatment may also involve the consulting the entire family for the child’s well-being. Medication along with combined treatments is not recommended for youngsters and children suffering from PTSD.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 12, 2019

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