Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment

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As the name suggests Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a stress and anxiety related disorder that occurs after you have undergone a particularly traumatic experience. If the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  treatment is related to psychotherapy, the specific cause of the trauma needs to be known.

The specific traumatic event could be the death of a close family member or a relative or a huge personal loss. Post traumatic stress disorder is associated with war heroes and those who have seen a lot of bloodshed. While in most cases the experience is personal this disorder has been known to occur among people who are exposed to significantly higher levels of suffering. Therefore emergency worker, law enforcing agents and hospital staff are also more prone to this condition.

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People who suffer from PTSD tend to re-experience the traumatic incident in their minds repeatedly. Some of the consequences or symptoms of the condition are:

  • –        Feeling of numbness or dejection
  • –        Clinical depression
  • –        Blocking the traumatic event and therefore denial
  • –        Nightmares and flashback memories of the traumatic event
  • –        Intense physical reaction like palpitations, sweating, nausea and sometimes even vomiting
  • –        Loss of interest in otherwise interesting activities
  • –        Lack of concentration or focus
  • –        Irritability and anger
  • –        Insomnia
  • –        Suicidal thoughts
  • –        Severe headaches

Post traumatic stress disorder  treatment options include cognitive behavior therapy focused on the trauma, EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, medication, family therapy and herbal remedies. Each of these has been explained below.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy – This post traumatic stress disorder treatment is a remedy in which the patient is exposed to some of the stimulus that brings back memories of the traumatic event. The counselor tries to elicit what the patient feels during these times when the memory comes alive. Irrational thoughts are replaced with thoughts of what is more practical and closer to reality.

Eye Movement Desensitization

EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – This is a post traumatic stress disorder treatment in which the techniques of cognitive behavior therapy are combined with rhythmic eye movement or coordination that involves the left and the right side. The tap or bell that the patient hears from side to side is expected to snap the patient out of the repetitive memory of the event.

Medication While almost always suggested as a last resort due to the side effects that it has, medicines for PTSD are used when the condition reaches extreme levels. While medication does control symptoms, it does not provide long term relief or cure. The first group of medicines to be approved by the FDA for post traumatic stress disorder treatment is SSRI’s or Selective Serotonin reuptake Inhibitors.

Family therapy – This is a solution that some counselors seek to be able to provide round the clock support to the patient. The family is briefed and trained about the manner in which they should respond at specific times. Obviously this post traumatic stress disorder treatment involves a fair amount of support from the family.

Herbal remedies – Some of the common herbs that are used as a Post traumatic stress disorder treatment are lemon balm, lavender and St. John’s Wort. These herbs work by restoring the balance of the brain chemicals.

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