What is the Best Medication for PTSD? Types of Therapies for PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that tends to occur after a quite scary or threatening event. Even if you are not directly involved in the event, the shock of the event can lead you to experience an intense trauma that you may find hard to cope up with.

People suffering from PTSD are influenced by flashbacks, insomnia, low self-esteem, fears of unpleasant emotions, and a lot of painful sensations. They may end up continuously recalling the event of losing their memory completely if the condition is not addressed properly.

There are several types of therapies for PTSD that can help treat the symptoms.

You can also opt to participate in cognitive therapy sessions which often work really well in addressing the PTSD issue, thereby helping you get back to your normal life.

To get the desired results out of these cognitive therapy sessions, you need to be patient. Sometimes, you may need to participate in a series of sessions lasting for a considerable period of time. Moreover, you need to show commitment and perseverance to get over this condition.

Types of Therapies for PTSD

In cognitive therapy sessions PTSD-affected people learn to cope up with the symptoms. They also learn how to take steps to improve their behavioral issues and restore self-esteem.

Treatment for PTSD is based on three main therapies including:

  • eye movement desensitization
  • prolonged exposure therapy
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy

Depending on your situation, it’s better to participate in cognitive therapy sessions with your family, or with a group of friends instead of taking individual sessions.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)


Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) involves a 12-week treatment plan. During the course of the therapy, you have to explain to your therapist about the event or trauma that you’ve suffered and how it has affected your behavior. In these weekly sessions, you may have to provide all the details of the event in writing. The process of writing will help you recognize your behavioral faults, thereby helping you to address behavioral issues in an efficient manner.

For instance, you may have been blaming yourself for things that you have not even done, but you were affected by the trauma. Your therapist will take into account the minute details to help you address the issue. He will work on strategies to help you get rid of the trauma. He will make you understand and accept things as they are. He will also make you believe that you were not at fault.

Stress Inoculation Training

Stress inoculation training (SIT) is a type of CPT. During the training process, you don’t have to provide details about the event that has caused PTSD. The idea behind this training is to help people deal with the anxiety while recalling the event. This therapy lasts for three months. In this therapy, you learn about some common relaxing techniques you can use to suppress negative thought process that may have influenced your behavior as a consequence of a trauma.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)


Prolonged exposure therapy (PET) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that is designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. It involves two major procedures: imaginal exposures and in vivo exposures. Imaginal exposures involve repeated retelling of the trauma event.

During the therapy session, your therapist will make you retell the whole story, which eventually helps in realizing and confronting the event and ease your anxiety. You have to note down things that you may have avoided talking about. Your therapist will encourage you to come to terms with the reality and face the issue with determination.

In the next sessions, you have to recount the events in front of your therapist and have the recording of your confessions to listen to and ponder. By the end of this therapy session, you will learn to cope up with your PTSD symptoms.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing


In this type of PTSD therapy, you may not have to confess something or tell your therapist about your traumatic experience. Besides, you may have to focus on what you have been through and watch eagerly what your therapist is doing. During the therapy sessions, you may be required to make a sound, wave hands, and make some gestures as directed by your therapist.

Undergoing this type of therapy, you will be able to think positively while you recall your trauma. The EMDR therapy lasts for three months.

What is the Best Medication for PTSD?


People who suffer from PTSD, tend to show that there exists an imbalance between neurotransmitters serotonin and substance P. Therefore, it can be established that greater the imbalance, more serious the symptoms. They tend to process ‘threats’ differently that causes the behavior change. They possess an easily triggered frame of mind that influences their abrupt reactions to events.

In some cases, the use of medication can trigger extreme behaviors that may push such individuals to react violently. There are several drugs available that can trigger anxiety and fear in individuals suffering from PTSD.

Medical professionals often start with medication that affects norepinephrine or neurotransmitters serotonin (SNRIs and SSRIs) such as:

  • Paroxetine
  • Venlafaxine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline

However, the FDA has only approved sertraline and paroxetine for PTSD treatment. The doctor may prescribe other drugs for PTSD, because no two individuals may have the same symptoms, or they may not have faced similar traumatic events.

If you are suffering from PTSD, you can also take prescribed medications to address this particular issue as well. Some of the medications available for PTSD treatment include:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta-blockers
  • Antipsychotics

As mentioned earlier, if you want to get rid of PTSD symptoms, you may have to use medications, or you may have to participate in cognitive therapy sessions. These therapy sessions may last for a considerable time period. therefore, to get the desired results, you must be patient and determined.

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