PTSD treatment can help you to regain control over your life. Therapy is the primary treatment, sometimes accompanied by medication. PTSD treatment can reduce or completely take away PTSD symptoms. Sometimes PTSD treatment takes only a few sessions (especially when EMDR therapy is used) and sometimes it takes a lot longer. The length of PTSD treatment depends on the severity or the PTSD and on how many PTSD’s a person has. Here is an overview of the different PTSD treatment types and its effectiveness.
According to Francine Shapiro, who developed EMDR, a distressing or traumatic event may overwhelm normal cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms. This can result in an inadequate way of storing and processing the memory and associated stimuli of that distressing or traumatic event into an isolated network. The goal of this PTSD treatment is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering effects and developing adequate coping mechanisms. Effectiveness of EMDR: EMDR is as effective as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment, but usually requires less sessions. Another advantage of EMDR: the patient does not Need to tell the therapist about every detail of the traumatic event in order to be effectively treated.
CBT seeks to change the way a traumatized person feels and acts by changing the patterns of thinking and behaving that are responsible for negative emotions. In therapy, upsetting and frightening thoughts are replaced by less upsetting or frightening thoughts. The goal of CBT is to understand how certain thoughts about such events can cause PTSD related-stress. Effectiveness of CBT as PTSD treatment: CBT is a safe and effective intervention for both chronic and acute PTSD. In the USA, CBT is the most often used treatment for PTSD.
With exposure treatment the patient faces the frightening traumatic event several times, but now in a safe environment. Facing the traumatic event and the accompanying emotions and thoughts over and over again, reduce the power they have to cause distress. Effectiveness of exposure therapy as PTSD treatment: Exposure treatment is an effective type of treatment for both chronic and acute PTSD.
Antidepressants – SSRIs are the most commonly used medication for PTSD and tends to decrease anxiety, depression and panic associated with PTSD, but takes 6 to 8 weeks to work. Not many people respond to the first SSRI introduced, so they need to try another SSRI and so on. On top of that SSRIs worked only better than placebo in 2 out of 4 studies. (Placebo is a fake medicine). You can read more about SSRIs in the section treating depression.