Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

There are many forms of treatment developed for those who live with the trials of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the most common of the treatment options available are medication and psychotherapy.  The goal of these therapeutic treatment plans is to allow for those living with PTSD to regain control of their emotions and ultimately regain control of their lives. Post traumatic stress can be a cause of many problems for the one dealing with the disorder, as well as their loved ones. The first step to regaining the life that they had prior to the traumatic experience is seeking treatment.

 Cognitive Therapy VS Prolonged Exposure Therapy

There are different approaches to therapy to aid in the recovery from post traumatic stress disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is geared toward helping the patient understand their feelings and change the destructive thoughts associated with PTSD.  Through the process of psychotherapy, those with the disorder learn to identify what thoughts cause and trigger stress and replace these negative thought processes with ones that are more conducive to recovery. The transformation from negative thoughts to less distressing thoughts help to ease the anxiety of those with post traumatic stress disorder. Cognitive therapy helps victims of PTSD, such as soldiers and veterans, to stop the feelings of guilt for their actions and realize that the experiences that caused their condition are not their fault or in their control.

Prolonged Exposure therapy takes a slightly different approach to cognitive therapy.  This method aids in the understanding of why these feelings occur and have such a stronghold over the thought processes of those with PTSD.  Having an understanding of why you have the feelings and emotions that are common in PTSD is a key factor in moving past the negative thoughts. Exposure to the real world is another part of this treatment plan, helping with the reintegration of the “real world” to those living with PTSD. Breathing exercises are also a part of this form of therapy. Simple breathing techniques can help to relax the patient and therefore relieve some of the internal stress experienced due to post traumatic stress disorder. Psychotherapy is also included in this form of treatment, as is with all PTSD treatment plans.

Additional Therapy Options

Group therapy is often helpful, simply because it helps those living with post traumatic stress disorder to realize that they are not alone. PTSD has a way of placing a demon on your shoulder and telling you that you are alone in your suffering, that you are a bad person and that you can not trust anyone.  Joining a support group with those who share and understand these types  feelings helps to prove that PTSD is not singularly targeting you.  It is a common occurrence in group PTSD therapy sessions for all participants to sit in a horseshoe formation, this is because of the discomforting feeling of having your back turned to anyone. Simple practices like this show that there are others with the same confusing thought processes as you.  Talking about experiences with others who have had the same experiences can be very comforting.  Even the most well-trained therapist cannot fully understand what the person living with PTSD has seen or experienced, but group therapy changes this by placing a group of people together who can all relate to one another.

Never Too Late to Seek Help

According to the National institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 30 adults in the U.S. suffer from PTSD in a given year.  A PTSD sufferer may be a war veteran, an accident victim, or a survivor of a natural disaster.  Many PTSD sufferers feel alone and don’t fully understand that there are others like them, experiencing similar trials and tribulations every day.  Some post traumatic stress victims are vocal in wanting help in finding a recovery method, while others live in a state of denial.  Regardless of your experience or your age, it’s never too late to seek help for PTSD.  You are a survivor; you deserve to live life to its fullest.


PTSD Treatment Information