If, you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD –Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
You might be thinking, ‘Does therapy for PTSD really work?‘ Or, ‘What about medications?‘
Well, there are treatments of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that work, and you have choices.
We’re going to show you PTSD treatments that are evidence-based, which means they’ve been proven to work in multiple scientific studies.
Two of the most effective PTSD treatments are
Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure.
Both are cognitive behavioral therapies, CBT for short. CBT is far from just talking; you’ll learn skills to manage your PTSD symptoms.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
It teaches you how to change negative thoughts about your trauma, which can have a big impact on how you feel.
It helps you confront memories and situations you’ve been avoiding since your trauma.
This gets easier with time, and eventually, you won’t need to avoid them.
Another effective therapy is EMDR, which involves thinking about images and feelings that distress you while doing rapid eye movements.
This can help you change how you react to trauma memories.
Therapies like these usually take 3 to 4 months of weekly visits – and improvement can last for years.
Medications are another effective option.
The best medications for treating PTSD symptoms are
Antidepressants, specifically SSRIs and SNRIs.
Antidepressants work by helping brain cells communicate better, and that can make you feel better.
Improvements in your PTSD symptoms will last for as long as you keep taking them.
You might have heard about benzodiazepines or benzos.
In the past, doctors prescribed these anti-anxiety medications for PTSD.
New research shows anti-anxiety medications may interfere with therapy and do not improve PTSD.
These medications can also lead to harmful side effects, like confusion, fogginess, and accidents or falls. If you’re taking benzodiazepines or other medications with potentially harmful side effects — like atypical antipsychotics — talk to your doctor about whether you should safely stop them.
There are more effective options for PTSD.
It’s common to have other problems at the same time you have PTSD, like chronic pain, depression, substance abuse, a history of traumatic brain injury, or insomnia.
Often, treatments effective for PTSD can help with these problems too.
In other cases, your doctor might suggest an additional treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For example, there’s a special type of cognitive behavioral therapy called CBT-I — the “I” is for insomnia.
CBT-I teaches you skills that can improve your sleep, even after just a few therapy appointments. Some antidepressants can help with sleep too, and there is a medication called prazosin specifically for nightmares.
So, where do you start? Talk to your provider about which effective treatment options are right for you — therapy, medications, or maybe both. And remember, it’s always important to talk to your doctor before stopping or switching medications.