Can PTSD be treated?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), like any mental health disorder, can dramatically affect the ability to live a normal life. Luckily, advances in technology have created differing intervention modalities to help alleviate the symptoms and treat PTSD. Treatments include exposure therapy, psychotherapy, neurofeedback training, medication, or a blend of multiple methods.
What Causes PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that is a result of unresolved trauma. Although it is stereotypically attached to military personnel, anyone can be affected by it. PTSD can be brought on by any traumatic event such as a death or accident. As symptoms persist they generally worsen, so it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD can start directly after the traumatic event or they may not appear for years after. Regardless of when they start, they can affect the day-to-day life of the individual at work, home, or in relationships. Symptoms are generally categorized into intrusive memories, avoidance, changes in mood and thoughts, or physical and reactional changes. Signs and symptoms of PTSD include:
- Re-occurring unwanted memories
- Severe reaction to any reminders of the event
- Avoiding talking or thinking about the event
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Gaps in your memory surrounding the event
- Symptoms of depression
- Extreme feelings of guilt
How to Treat PTSD Symptoms
PTSD responds relatively well to treatments. And, depending on the treatment method, affected individuals can expect to notice positive results almost instantly. Here are 3 different modalities you can use to treat PTSD.
Exposure therapy is great for individuals who tend to avoid anything that acts as a reminder of the event. It consists of 8-15 sessions that last for about 90 minutes each. The goal of these sessions is to learn techniques to cope with anxiety. You will also work through each of the things you have been avoiding one by one.
Psychotherapy is sometimes referred to as talk therapy. And like exposure therapy, its goal is to help you talk through the trauma and face bits of it little by little. Talking to a PTSD professional can help the affected individual learn to recognize behavior and thought patterns. Psychotherapy is usually used in conjunction with exposure therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR). Ultimately, therapy allows you to gain control of your fear.
Not all individuals want to use medication to treat their PTSD, and that’s okay. There are natural supplements and treatment options that do the same things. BrainForest Centers offers neurofeedback training that aims to help retrain your brain back to a natural safe. The treatment is pain-free, drug-free, non-invasive, and has had great success.
Just like anxiety or depression, PTSD can cause and be a result of chemical imbalances. Because thoughts can’t necessarily be shut off, continually battling them can cause the individual to become emotionally removed. Medications can help bring balance back to neurotransmitters and allow the space to feel “normal”. Typical medications include:
Finding the Relief You Deserve
If you or a loved one suffers from symptoms of PTSD, don’t lose hope. There are multiple treatments you can use to beat post-traumatic stress disorder! A few of which include: exposure therapy, psychotherapy, neurofeedback training, and medication. With so many options, you can find the one that works best for you.