Your PTSD symptoms will typically get better over the first few weeks after the traumatic event. However, if your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms continue or get worse in the first two or three months after the traumatic incident, they probably will not go away on their own. Fortunately, over the last few decades, a few sound PTSD treatment methods have been developed to help you recover from PTSD. The most effective form of PTSD treatment and the most extensively researched, is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). There are a few different types of CBT that have shown to yield the most effective results in PTSD treatment. They include Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Systematic Desensitization and Cognitive Processing Therapy. These specific therapies combine education, skills training, and coping strategies in PTSD treatment. Many studies of these therapies have shown their proven effectiveness of reducing and even eliminating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.
PTSD Treatment and Medications
In addition to the PTSD treatments mentioned above, medications to reduce PTSD symptoms have also proven to be effective. However, medication as a PTSD treatment alone is often insufficient for PTSD recovery. Even if the medication helps you with some PTSD symptoms, you may find that you still have problems in other areas. Instead, PTSD treatment will likely be more effective when medication is combined with one of the above-mentioned therapies. Research has shown that these specific forms of PTSD treatment, aimed specifically at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, have long-term benefits that continue even after you have finished seeing a therapist, especially if you decide to stop taking a medication that was reducing your symptoms. Effective PTSD treatment will teach you strategies that will help you avoid the reduce the intensity, frequency and return of PTSD symptoms.
PTSD Treatment and Your Family
Talking about your PTSD symptoms and PTSD treatment with your family can be challenging. You may be worried about their reactions to the idea of PTSD treatment, that they’ll think badly of you or that they’ll be upset about what you tell them. You may also be concerned that by talking to them, you will become upset. There are a few ways you can approach the crucial talk about PTSD treatment, but every individual and family are different and this is not a “one size fits all” discussion.
First, understand that you don’t have to reveal everything at once, nor do you need to talk to everyone at the same time about your PTSD symptoms or PTSD treatment. Instead, you could start by telling just one individual that you trust what PTSD symptoms are bothering you right now. There’s no need to go into great detail of what traumatic events triggered your PTSD symptoms happened to you if you aren’t ready. You could just discuss your feelings or PTSD symptoms at this moment. It will likely become easier to talk about your PTSD symptoms or feelings once you’ve told that first person. Another idea is to share written material (like this article) about PTSD symptoms. This will open the door for you start talking about PTSD symptoms in general without having to focus on your own symptoms or PTSD treatment.
It’s important to note that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not just affect you, but the people around you as well. Family and friends may start to notice that you’re more anxious, depressed, jumpy, or not sleeping well. They may also notice that you have become more withdrawn or detached from people. These particular PTSD symptoms are not likely to go unnoticed by those who care about you. Your family and friends will likely know something is wrong. However, they will not fully understand what is bothering you or why you are behaving so differently until you discuss your PTSD symptoms with them. Withdrawing yourself from those who care about you is especially problematic because the support they could offer you would be incredibly beneficial in helping you to overcome many of the obstacles that will arise as PTSD symptoms.
After you have discussed your PTSD symptoms, this can open door for discussions about PTSD treatment. In fact, your family may be helpful and supportive of you seeking PTSD treatment and promoting your recovery from PTSD. Making the first call for PTSD treatment can be difficult and family may also be able to provide some support here. On the other hand, some family and friends may not be able to offer you the support that you want or need to seek PTSD treatment. It could simply be that they just don’t know how to help, or they may be too upset themselves about what happened to you to support your steps to seek PTSD treatment. They could also be overwhelmed with the reality of problems associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and feel the symptoms make it too hard for them to be supportive. For more help with initiating that talk with your family, or if your family had a difficult time coping with what you told them, you might want to contact a close and trusted friend or a mental health professional. They will be able to help you with these specific challenges.
If your PTSD symptoms have persisted or gotten worse you may need a higher dose of PTSD treatment. Because our treatment for PTSD and depression relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful PTSD treatment methods. The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from PTSD and other mental health disorders. In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies. Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a PTSD treatment plan that can result in recovery. PTSD treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.