Many people often associate PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with soldiers returning from war. The repeated trauma that they experienced manifests itself in this extreme reaction to the anxiety they faced every day. However, PTSD can be caused by many things aside from war. You don’t have to be a soldier to have it and seek treatment.
What type of treatment is best will depend on many different factors. Since there are different causes, and different ways that people react, the treatment that works best is highly dependent on the person seeking it. It’s important to know what the different PTSD counseling options are so you can ask about the one that seems like it would be the best fit for you. In this article, we will go over the top treatments that usually have the best results.
1 – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
One of the reasons that PTSD can have such a terrible impact on a person’s life is because processing the traumatic memory is closely tied to the emotional impact it caused. It is very difficult to deal with the effects since every attempt causes an overflow of emotions which makes daily life difficult.
EMDR is a treatment that works because it allows the patient to process the trauma without emotions becoming a burden. This allows therapy to work much better. It’s sort of like priming the patient to work through an effective treatment without as many barriers.
This therapy uses eye movements to help process traumatic memories and reduce the associated distress. EMDR works by having the patient recall the traumatic event while following the therapist’s moving fingers or a light bar with their eyes. This eye movement is thought to stimulate the brain and help process traumatic memory.
One of the biggest benefits is how quickly it works to help a patient work through the trauma. It’s a flexible treatment option that can help a patient start seeing benefits after just a few sessions. Many other treatment options can take months to begin to see results.
2 – Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a commonly used treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. It involves talking with a mental health professional about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. Psychotherapy can help you understand and manage your symptoms and develop healthy coping strategies for dealing with traumatic memories.
This therapy can take on many forms, however. One that is very effective and works for many patients is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The way it helps is it teaches patients to modify their behavior when the effects of PTSD start to manifest themselves.
It can be an intense therapy because it is a form of exposure therapy. Patients have to face their memories that cause the PTSD but in a safe environment. Over time, this therapy will reduce the fear the patient feels when these memories come up so they can still go about their daily life.
When psychotherapy is combined with CBT and EMDR, it can be a very powerful tool. Since there are many different forms of psychotherapy, the one that works best will depend on your needs.
3 – Medications
Medications are another commonly used treatment for PTSD. They can help manage anxiety, insomnia, and mood swings often associated with PTSD. The goal of medication treatment is to alleviate these symptoms, making it easier for patients to participate in therapy and other forms of treatment.
Since medications will affect every person differently, it is important to understand the effects thoroughly before taking them. Make sure your counselor is trusted and gives you the detailed information. The type and dose of the best medication for you will depend on your needs and symptoms. A healthcare professional can also help you monitor the effectiveness of your medication and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Think of the medications as another tool in your arsenal to be used in conjunction with other treatments. The results and side effects will vary, so you may have to try several different types before settling on the right one.
While the road to recovery from PTSD can be challenging, it is possible. Whether through medication, psychotherapy, exposure therapy, or other forms of treatment, people with PTSD have options for finding relief from their symptoms and moving forward with their lives.