Treatment Options for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Patients
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Treatment Options for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Patients

Dealing with the aftermath of a stressful event in one’s life can be very difficult if the proper treatment is not administered. Patients with such episodes are sufferers of PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is a form of illness akin to chronic depression. Patients are constantly reminded of their past events and it continues to haunt them, thus not allowing them to go on with their lives. Eventually, if these patients do not get any help, they will turn suicidal or violent

Dealing with the aftermath of a stressful event in one’s life can be very difficult if the proper treatment is not administered. Patients with such episodes are sufferers of PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is a form of illness akin to chronic depression. Patients are constantly reminded of their past events and it continues to haunt them, thus not allowing them to go on with their lives. Eventually, if these patients do not get any help, they will turn violent and potentially suicidal.

The good news is that PTSD, like most mental illnesses can be effectively treated. The treatment of PTSD can take many forms. The most commonly use form of treatment is psychotherapy. This involves "talk therapy” and utilizes communication as the main remedy for the illness. PTSD sufferers are encouraged to relate and relive the details of the life changing episode. After reliving it, the physiotherapist would engage the patient in discussing the event. Although it seems relatively simple, talk therapy is effective because it allows the patient to express emotions and thoughts that have been hidden for some time. It is usually these suppressed feelings that are the cause of the anxiety and stress for the patient.

Besides communication, another option in psychotherapy for PTSD patients is CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The main focus of this treatment is cognitive restructuring. Basically it involves helping the patient understand their bad thoughts and dreams.  If the patient experiences any embarrassment or guilt about the event, then cognitive behavioral treatment will allow them to view the events realistically and to accept the past as it is. Alongside cognitive restructuring, stress reduction techniques are also a part of CBT. It is well known that anxiety and stress are not easily eliminated so PTSD sufferers are taught techniques in keeping them under control. Finally, another CBT treatment that has been proven effective is the use of exposure therapy. This means that the patients are forced to face their demons directly, either by returning back to the place of the incident or to visualize it in their minds.

Sometimes if the situation is deemed more serious, doctors would prescribe depression or anxiety medication to the patient alongside the psychotherapy treatments. This is usually not for a prolonged period and only to help patients in very serious conditions especially suicidal cases.

PTSD is a very difficult but real condition. In fact, there are many out there who suffer from this illness but choose to ignore it. Unfortunately, without treatment, the illness will only get worse to the detriment of everyone close to the patient. Therefore it is important that anyone suspected of suffering from PTSD should seek treatment immediately.

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Comments (3)

Very helpful information.

Thank you for this discussion as PTSD is an ever increasing disorder.  Stress reduction can be as simple as Psychotherapy and become an effective form of treatment; however, according to some psychological reports psychotherapy is more effective when combined with medications for the associated depression and confusion.  I agree with you that many individuals do not even realize they have PTSD; even in its mildest form. Treatment for any level of PTSD is recommended, even if it's just talk therapy.

Very informative. Stafford, Fort Bend County.
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