Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments – What are They?
Is It Ever Too Late To Start Treatment?
The best post traumatic stress disorder treatments available are psychological therapies, usually combined with medication to ease anxiety. Post traumatic stress disorder can really affect quality of life. The good news is that it is never too late to start treatment.
Visiting Your GP
Post traumatic stress disorder treatments need to be amended to fit the patient’s needs. This means that when visiting the GP to discuss treatment, their GP will have to do an assessment to see exactly how the PTSD affects them (as well as making sure that PTSD is the most likely diagnosis). However, a referral to a mental health professional will be necessary for further treatment of PTSD, for example a psychologist, psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse.
When Should PTSD Symptoms Become A Concern?
Most people develop PTSD after a traumatic incident. It’s important to monitor PTSD symptoms after they start. Usually, around 4 weeks after the event, symptoms will begin to reduce. If they don’t, then further treatment will most likely be required. Even if symptoms reduce, it is a good idea to have a follow-up appointment.
Psychological Therapies and Medication
Psychological therapies are highly recommended for PTSD, above all other treatments. A commonly used therapy is cognitive behavioural therapy – this is useful for many other mental health problems as well. For more severe cases, medication may be recommended. It is likely the medication would be a type of SSRI antidepressant. Medication is only usually used as a last resort in these circumstances. There is also a treatment called EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing). The patient makes side-to-side eye movements (usually following an object or the therapist’s finger) while they remember and describe the traumatic event. It is unclear why EMDR works well when treating PTSD, but evidence suggests it does help to change negative thoughts relating to trauma.
What to Do If You Think You’re Suffering From PTSD
If you think you may have symptoms of PTSD, visit your GP. Your GP will refer you to a mental health professional who specialises in this area, and you may be given the ideal treatment for you.