Ptsd Treatment Advances: How Close Are We To A Cure
Treatment for PTSD has come a long way, and increased understanding of the cognitive, biological and psychological aspects of trauma has informed new ways to treat PTSD. PTSD treatment research is ongoing, and scientists are looking for new ways to improve PTSD symptoms and shorten recovery times.
PTSD studies examining the effects of MDMA and cannabis in treating the condition are ongoing, with some evidence that they might be effective in some patients. Other PTSD research involves investigating how genetics might be able to help predict what types of medication someone with PTSD might respond to, or how targeting specific regions of the brain linked to the fear response can improve treatment.
There are many challenges in treating PTSD, including many people not seeking treatment. Mental health is complex, and unlike physical illness, there is often not one clear cause. Because of this, it can be difficult to establish a single cure for PTSD. Despite this, current treatments and ongoing research hold promise that PTSD can be treated in a timely and effective manner.
Texas A& M University. New study advances treatment options for PTSD. ScienceDaily, April 11, 2019. Accessed July 5, 2019.
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Talking Treatments For Ptsd
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence the organisation that produces guidelines on best practice in health care currently recommends two types of talking treatment for PTSD:
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy . This is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy specifically adapted for PTSD. NICE recommends that you are offered 812 regular sessions of around 6090 minutes, seeing the same therapist at least once a week. See our pages on for more information about this therapy.
- Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing . This is a fairly new treatment that can reduce PTSD symptoms such as being easily startled. It involves making rhythmic eye movements while recalling the traumatic event. The rapid eye movements are intended to create a similar effect to the way your brain processes memories and experiences while you’re sleeping. EMDR UK & Ireland – a professional association of EMDR clinicians and researchers – provides extensive information about EMDR on its website.
NICE may recommend other talking treatments in future if they are found to help with PTSD, but more research is needed.
“One of the most disturbing things has been the feelings of aggression and anger towards anyone who looks like the person who attacked me… EMDR therapy has been massively helpful.”
What if I don’t feel better?
If the talking treatment you try doesn’t seem to be helping, NICE suggests that you:
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Summary And Future Directions
In summary, PTSD is a relatively common and highly debilitating psychiatric disorder affecting approximately 8% of the U.S. population . Potent evidence-based psychosocial interventions are available, and several medications have FDA approval for the treatment of PTSD. While pharmacological treatments have shown some promise, more investigation and advancement in this area is needed. One of the most important concerns with the sole use of pharmacotherapy for PTSD treatment is the evidence that discontinuing treatment can be associated with relapse . Although relapse is relatively infrequent after one responds to an evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD , a proportion of patients either drop out of therapy prematurely or do not respond to therapy . It is therefore critical to continue to investigate new strategies to improve upon the available treatments for PTSD.
Finding A Therapist For Ptsd
When looking for a therapist, seek out mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. You can ask your doctor or other trauma survivors for a referral, call a local mental health clinic, psychiatric hospital, or counseling center.
Beyond credentials and experience, its important to find a PTSD therapist who makes you feel comfortable and safe. Trust your gut if a therapist doesnt feel right, look for someone else. For therapy to work, you need to feel comfortable and understood.
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Four Ptsd Treatment Options
Much research has been conducted into PTSD, resulting in several treatment options for the anxiety disorder. Some of these treatment options include:
1.Psychotherapy3.Neurotherapy4.Other coping tools for home use
All these PTSD treatment options have been under study for years now, and they have proved effective in treating PTSD.
How Do I Know When To Find A Therapist
I made every excuse to avoid finding a therapist. I dont have enough time. Therapy costs too much. I can handle this on my own.Its too hard to find someone. But at the end of the day, I knew getting help from a professional was the only way I was going to feel better and I needed to make it work.
Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, and Virginia-based licensed Talkspace therapist, shared that clients who are ready to succeed in therapy usually show the following signs:
- Tired of a situation
- Desire to be seen as soon as possible
- Follow up with scheduling subsequent sessions
- Attend sessions on a regular basis
- Arrive on time and are eager to participate
- Receptive to suggestions from the therapist
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Eye Movement Desensitisation And Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing is a psychological treatment that’s been found to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
It involves recalling the traumatic incident in detail while making eye movements, usually by following the movement of your therapist’s finger.
Other methods may include the therapist tapping their finger or playing a tone.
It’s not clear exactly how EMDR works, but it may help you change the negative way you think about a traumatic experience.
Beyond Treatment: How Can I Help Myself
It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor. You can also check NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses page or search online for mental health providers, social services, hotlines, or physicians for phone numbers and addresses. An emergency room doctor can also provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.
To help yourself while in treatment:
- Talk with your doctor about treatment options
- Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress
- Set realistic goals for yourself
- Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can
- Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
- Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately
- Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people
Caring for yourself and others is especially important when large numbers of people are exposed to traumatic events .
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Explore Online Therapy Options
Another type of therapy option is online therapy. Online therapy allows you the freedom to attend therapy sessions from the comfort of your home, which may be less intimidating and more accessible than other types of therapy. It also gives you the freedom to get treated in a number of different ways, including your phone, computer, or an app.
The National Center for PTSD provides a number of resources, including:
- video tutorials that can educate you in greater depth about symptoms and treatments
- PTSD Treatment Decision Aid to help you decide which options suit your needs best
- online programs to help you deal with stress, anger, parenting challenges, and sleep issues
How to find a therapist thats right for you
To find a therapist who can help you with PTSD, consider the following strategies:
And finally, give yourself permission to change therapists.
The first therapist you visit might not turn out to be a good fit. Its OK to consider your initial visits as a kind of interview process to find the therapist thats right for you.
Cost and insurance
Most insurance plans offer some coverage for mental health services, although deductible amounts and copays will vary from policy to policy.
Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicaid also provide mental health benefits.
If you do not have health insurance and youre looking for affordable PTSD treatment, try looking for a therapist who has a sliding-scale fee structure.
Recovering From Complex Ptsd: 3 Key Stages Of Long
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or CPTSD, doesnt spring up overnight. That means that recovering from complex PTSD requires commitment. While on the road to wellness, knowledge of the Complex PTSD Recovery Stages can help keep your therapy from going in circles.
Its terrible to acknowledge, but often, there are years of abuse and trauma involved. Emotional and physical scars probably make up a significant part of your history.
Still, you are a survivor and there are solutions available for CPTSD recovery. These stages of trauma recovery are a kind of healing roadmap. And clients tell me that just having such a plan can provide reassurance and clarity that makes a big difference.
Where once you experienced nightmares, flashbacks, and constant anxiety, there is a proven path toward feeling calmer, more in control, and even more comfortable in your own body.
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What Does Ptsd Feel Like
Although experiencing PTSD is different for everyone, some people have noted they experience feeling pain or pressure in their body, even if theres nothing physically there. Experiencing PTSD can also include experiencing the same emotions felt during the traumatic event, such as fear, horror, or distress. Panic attacks, nightmares, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing also can indicate PTSD.
What Events Can Lead To The Development Of Ptsd
You dont have to experience a specific trauma to develop PTSD. Many people associate this disorder with military veterans. While PTSD is common in military populations, simply witnessing an event, like a car accident, can trigger PTSD symptoms.
In these cases, painful, traumatic memories can appear out of nowhere, creating intense physical and emotional reactions. During World War I, this was referred to as shell shock. When the horrors of war were too much for the brain to manage, the brain, or at least part of the brain, simply shut off.
Children and teens often experience PTSD as a result of traumas that impact them, such as school shootings, domestic violence, auto accidents, neglect, or abuse. 15-43% of adolescents will experience a traumatic event, with about a quarter of those individuals experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
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How Long Does Ptsd Last Does Ptsd Ever Go Away
Because living with PTSD can be a nightmare, common concerns people have include how long PTSD lasts and whether PTSD will ever go away. The exact answer varies from person to person, as PTSD is a very individualized disorder the nature of the trauma that causes PTSD differs, and each persons reaction is unique . However, certain factors can influence the answer to the questions about how long PTSD lasts and does it ever go away.
Arousal And Reactivity Symptoms Include:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or on edge
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
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Sun Behavioral Has Experience With Healing From Trauma
At SUN Behavioral we specifically focus on CBT. Our therapists are trained to use this evidence-based treatment to help patients move past the trauma and the PTSD theyre struggling with.
We offer both inpatient and outpatient services to help at every stage of treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD, do not hesitate to give us a call at . Were ready to help you and to meet your needs in whatever way brings peace to your life.
Tip : Support Ptsd Treatment With A Healthy Lifestyle
The symptoms of PTSD can be hard on your body so its important to take care of yourself and develop some healthy lifestyle habits.
Take time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can activate the bodys relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. When youre struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But substance use worsens many symptoms of PTSD, interferes with treatment, and can add to problems in your relationships.
Eata healthy diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Omega-3s play a vital role in emotional health so incorporate foods such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts into your diet. Limit processed food, fried food, refined starches, and sugars, which can exacerbate mood swings and cause fluctuations in your energy.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can trigger anger, irritability, and moodiness. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible.
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When Will I Be Done With Therapy
The amount of time you spend in therapy is deeply personal and depends on your individual needs, goals, and resources. The number of recommended sessions varies by condition and treatment type, however, the majority of psychotherapy clients report feeling better after 3 months those with depression and anxiety experience significant improvement after short and longer time frames, 1-2 months & 3-4.
Conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder typically take around 15-20 sessions for 50% of patients to feel improvement. Its been found that those treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy report feeling better after around 10-20 sessions. I have had many successful stories with clients who had situational issues that only needed brief therapy services, said Catchings.
However, it is important to mention that therapy is not only a way to solve a problem, but also a way of living, shared Catchings. In the same way that we go to the gym and exercise or tone our body, therapy is like exercise for our mind, heart, and soul.
Over the years, Ive realized therapy isnt just about fixing one-off issues for me. Rather, its about regularly prioritizing my mental health so that I can show up as my best self no matter where life takes me.
How Long Does Ptsd Last Getting The Help You Need To Recover
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, occurs when an individual has, in some way, experienced a serious tragedy. They need not have directly experienced it themselves, but they know someone who did, in some other way were introduced to someone who did or they witnessed the event. The trauma is so severe that it causes interference with their normal life, causing them to relive the experience over and over again. For those who do suffer from it, one of the things they want to know is just how long it’s going to last.
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Behavior Associated With C
- Substance abuse:Research suggests a strong correlation between substance use disorder and trauma. One of the most common theories is that drugs and alcohol are used to numb emotional pain.
- Self-harm: Self-harm may also be called self-injury or self-mutilation and means hurting yourself on purpose due to emotional distress.
- Avoidance:Emotional avoidance means creating distance with unpleasant emotions. Behavioral avoidance is staying away from people, situations, and senses that are reminders of the traumatic event. While this is natural in the short term, extreme avoidance can make it difficult to cope with other areas of life.
- Inability to accept criticism:For those with C-PTSD, criticism can cause severe stress because they are already self-critical or feel shame. They may have also had an abuser who manipulated them with criticism to get an emotional reaction.
Recovering From Complex Ptsd With Reconnection And Integration
With reconnection and integration, you can establish safety and stabilization as well as practice remembrance and mourning. Essentially, its time to look ahead as you consider who you are without the cloud of trauma hanging overhead. In a way, this process is all about redefining and rediscovering who you are.
Instead of feeling powerless and perpetually victimized, you can find a new voice. Oftentimes C-PTSD gives rise to a sense of purpose through service to others. Giving back helps any kind of recovery work. In the end, this step is all about forward-thinking, not dwelling on the past any longer.
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Ptsd In Military Veterans
For all too many veterans, returning from military service means coping with symptoms of PTSD. You may have a hard time readjusting to life out of the military. Or you may constantly feel on edge, emotionally numb and disconnected, or close to panicking or exploding. But its important to know that youre not alone and there are plenty of ways you can deal with nightmares and flashbacks, cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, and regain your sense of control.