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What are Different PTSD Treatments?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Post traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is a disorder in which a person experiences fear and anxiety due to past experiences. This disorder is particularly common among war veterans or those who have experienced abuse or witnessed traumatic situations such as automobile accidents or natural disasters. These attacks of fear and anxiety may occur any time the conscious or subconscious mind relives elements of the original trauma, even in situations that seem innocent to others. PTSD treatments typically involve a combination of prescription medications and psychotherapy.

PTSD treatments often begin with the use of medications such as antidepressants. There are a variety of antidepressants on the market, and what works for one patient may not necessarily work for another. In many cases, it may take months or even years to find the exact medication and dosage that provides the most symptom relief.

In some cases, PTSD treatments may involve the use of medications to help prevent nightmares. Some people who suffer from PTSD are awakened often by extremely disturbing dreams, preventing adequate sleep and adding to stress levels and anxiety. A medication known as prazosin has been used for many years as a treatment for high blood pressure and has been shown to reduce the frequency of nightmares in many people with PTSD.

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PTSD treatments that are the most effective combine the use of medications with some sort of therapy. Individual therapy is an important part of treatment, although many PTSD treatments also involve family therapy so that those who are close to the patient can learn to cope as well. Individual therapy is often recommended for a while before family therapy is considered to make sure that the patient is ready to share private thoughts and feelings with others.

Therapy for PTSD is frequently a very long and slow process. The patient is often introduced very slowly to situations and thought processes that bring on the episodes of fear and anxiety. This type of therapy also helps the patient replace the negative thoughts with more positive thoughts so that a more balanced view of the original trauma can be learned and accepted. When and if the therapist thinks it is appropriate, bringing in the entire family for some sessions may be recommended. In other situations, other family members may be encouraged to begin therapy apart from the patient in order to help them learn how to best help their loved one.

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