Long-Term Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Millions of people across the world suffer at the hands of post-traumatic stress disorder. In America alone, 3.5% of the population is reported to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. It is a condition that results due to a traumatic event that a person has gone through.
This could be a trauma endured personally or an event that happened to a loved one that affected you deeply. Death of a family member, events experienced during war, or going through some personal depressing event can instigate PTSD. It is an anxiety disorder that can impact you after a threatening, scary or sorrowful event, whether or not you were directly involved in it.
PTSD is rather common in military officers who have a hard time overcoming their previous experiences. It can be, however, developed by anyone who has undergone a tragedy. PTSD, being an anxiety disorder, modifies the response of the person towards danger. It becomes rather distorted and the sufferer can be easily triggered, activating their fight-or-flight mode of response.
Symptoms of PTSD that exhibit themselves for eight weeks or longer have the potential of becoming permanent and can worsen with time. Before looking into the treatment of PTSD, it is important to know the symptoms indicating that you have this particular anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
As mentioned, post-traumatic stress disorder is brought by undergoing a life-threatening or extremely disturbing event. Among the common symptoms of this disorder, acute anxiety, consistent flashbacks, and uncontrollable thoughts are on top of the list. These symptoms may worsen if they are not treated in a timely manner. PTSD has several recurring symptoms. They include:
- The presence of fearful thoughts.
- Flashbacks of old memories and events.
- Bad dreams.
- Facing difficulty in remembering the exact details of the event.
Among these symptoms, you may also find yourself avoiding people, places, and experiences that may remind you of the event. There are also some signs related to feeling stressed and getting startled easily. Insomnia is another symptom common in people suffering from PTSD.
PTSD has the ability to cause long and short-term effects on you if it is not treated in time. It can lead to memory loss and can cause chronic psychological repercussions. These implications can be curtailed and prevented through psychotherapeutic interventions and treatments, as outlined below.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Medication
The first and most common long-term treatment for PTSD is medication. When you suffer from PTSD, your brain tends to treat and process threats and danger in a different manner. This is because the balance of brain chemicals and neurotransmitters is disturbed. These chemicals get triggered easily and lead you to jump into fight or flight response mode. Eventually, you feel more edgy and jumpy in certain situations that do not call for such a response. Medications can help you stop thinking about the tragic event that you have suffered from and curb your reactions mentally and physically. They also stop nightmares and the flow of flashbacks in your mind to give you mental peace. They help you see things more positively. Common medications for treating PTSD include Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, and Venlafaxine.
Cognitive Processing Therapy Treatment
Gaining popularity since the 1980s, cognitive processing therapy treatment can be used to treat PTSD as it combines cognitive psychology and behavioral therapy to form a treatment approach that is effective in modifying how a person perceives a problem.
This therapy is highly beneficial in treating PTSD, as it can help you change your view on the tragedy that you have experienced and aid in your recovery by focusing on your behavioral elements. This treatment plan helps in developing a coping mechanism which can support you in overcoming your post-traumatic stress disorder for the long run.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
To treat post-traumatic stress disorder, it is imperative to actually come to terms with the event(s) that caused it. In prolonged exposure therapy, you will be able to confront the situations, experiences, and events that have instigated the disorder. Avoiding the problem does not help in resolving it. This is what prolonged exposure therapy is about. It brings you face to face with your trauma and helps you develop a mechanism to face it rather than run away. The therapy includes breathing techniques to help you overcome the anxiety that is usually triggered when you think about what has previously happened.
Furthermore, the therapist conducting prolonged exposure therapy asks you to assemble a list of the things that you have been avoiding over the period of time in a quest to prevent any reminders pertinent to the incident. They encourage you to acknowledge these elements and learn how to face them, one by one. Prolonged exposure therapy involves eight to fifteen sessions but works on your behavior and mind in a manner that you are able to resist the symptoms and effects of PTSD in the long-term.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be highly daunting. It can compel you towards illicit drug addiction as well, which can worsen your condition. Victims of PTSD often do not realize the health disorder they are facing and are inclined towards unhealthy practices rather than getting the help they actually need. To constrain the negative impacts of PTSD, it is important to realize its symptoms and get appropriate help. If you see any symptoms of the anxiety disorder emerging, do not delay and contact us right away.
At Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, we have the best services and optimum professional team and we are set up to help you in every possible manner. We have remarkable programs of prolonged exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy alongside other rehabilitation programs including family therapy, residential inpatient PTSD treatment facilities, and other interventions based on your psychological and medical conditions. We also regulate educational programs to teach individuals what PTSD is and how it can be managed effectively. So contact us today and do not let your condition worsen without treatment.