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There are three major groups of PTSD symptoms and they are as follows: Recurring thoughts about the traumatic event; Actively avoiding reminders of the traumatic event; The feeling of constantly being on guard or afraid that it will happen again.

Furthermore, PTSD can also have physical symptoms as well which is usually the result of the stress placed on the body.  Feelings of tension, apprehension, increased pain, a tightness or burning sensation in the chest, increased headaches and other stress related symptoms can be associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  with delayed onset is occurs when the PTSD symptoms occur at least six months after the trauma.  However, it is not uncommon for years to pass between the traumatic event and the time the first indications of PTSD symptoms become apparent.

Current Research in PTSD Symptoms

Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of flashbacks, nightmares, intense feelings of guilt or worry, extreme irritability, emotional numbness, and avoidance behaviors with anything that reminds them of the trauma they suffered.  PTSD occurs in those who have seen or witnessed a major physical or emotional trauma that has caused or threatened serious harm or death.  

PTSD Treatment Research

Counseling or Psychotherapy (talk therapy), medications, or a combination of the two is what is used most frequently to treat PTSD symptoms.

Psychotherapy and PTSD symptoms

The type of therapy used for PTSD patients is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.  It teaches the patient how to think differently about the event and the triggers that bring on symptoms.  This form of therapy has shown to be successful in helping patients bring their symptoms under better control.  There are a few different types of CBT:

  • Cognitive restructuring works on encouraging patients to talk about the thoughts that upset them the most that have to do with the trauma.  They are taught to question their  thoughts and beliefs about the event and replace the often irrational, emotional or incorrect perceptions with ones that are more realistic, accurate and balanced.
  • Exposure therapy has the patient focus on revisiting the trauma scene through writing, mental imagery, and/or in person, in order to help them face the fear and gain control over their distress.  This is a gradual process that is paced to de-sensitize the trauma victim to the original traumatic event.
  • Stress inoculation training teaches the patient coping mechanisms and techniques to reduce anxiety.  This might include relaxation training, stress management and rehearsal training.  The goal is to help innoculate the individual from developing PTSD and to make it easier to help correct misperceived thoughts after a traumatic event.

Medications and PTSD Symptoms

A variety of psychotropic medications have been shown to effectively reduce PTSD symptoms.

Treatment for PTSD Following Mass Trauma

Many researchers have been working on improving screening methods, tracking survivors of mass trauma, and providing early treatment for these survivors.  They are evaluating different approaches to guide survivors through self-evaluation and screening processes.  If you have been involved in a mass trauma, or if a mass trauma has triggered memories from traumatic events in your past, you should seek help immediately if these events continue to cause you distress.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment for PTSD

Because our treatment for post traumatic stress disorder and depression in Memphis, TN relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful 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 depression 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 PTSD, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for PTSD, depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.