Traumatic experiences can have lasting negative effects on our lives, and for many people, it can feel like an indefinite amount of time. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects countless people around the world, and it can often make us feel trapped and hopeless, but the truth is, PTSD can be managed. This article will share the primary methods that PTSD is addressed so that people can overcome it and take back their lives.
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Therapy For PTSD
When you break it down to its core, post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that is based around our thoughts, specifically negative ones related to a past experience that has left a severe impression on us.
Trauma, regardless of how it happened, not only creates these negative thinking patterns, but it also changes the way we behave, and in many cases, this allows the disorder to persist. This phenomenon is also common in other mental health conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders, especially phobias.
In order to break free from PTSD, we must change our negative thoughts and behaviors by addressing how we respond to them, and this can be done through different forms of therapy.
Exposure therapy is a very popular method that lets you safely confront your traumatic thoughts with the guidance of a professional. However, since it can be impossible to revisit certain traumatic experiences, imagined exposure is necessary, but it can be just as effective as if it was in reality.
When you expose yourself to the memories, you teach yourself to stop avoiding your trauma, and this reduces its effect on how you feel. This is because avoidance allows symptoms to stick around because you place importance on the thoughts; with exposure, you can gradually become desensitized and make progress.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Another type of therapy used for PTSD is cognitive-processing therapy (CPT), and in some ways, it has similarities to exposure therapy, but it typically involves writing down your traumatic experience rather than imagining it.
One of the main differences cognitive process therapy has when compared to exposure therapy is that you and the therapist will analyze what you’ve written and discuss the specific thoughts you might have regarding the trauma. For instance, you might blame yourself for what happened or have other distorted thoughts like you can trust others, or you believe that you don’t have much of a future to look forward to.
Both can be very effective solutions, though, and you and your therapist will help you find the right course of action to treat your PTSD. Counselors and therapists who are trained in helping people with PTSD are available online at BetterHelp, and if you or a loved one is struggling with this chronic disorder, help is just a click away.
Medication For PTSD
Although therapy is the best tool you have if you’re looking to cope with, and hopefully, overcome PTSD, medication can also prove to be helpful.
Just like with OCD and anxiety disorders, antidepressants aren’t just for depression and they are commonly prescribed to people with PTSD because it can help minimize some of the symptoms you may be dealing with.
In fact, people with PTSD may be more likely to struggle with comorbid conditions like the ones before, and medication, like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) may help with your mood.
By alleviating some of the symptoms of these disorders, therapy and confronting your traumatic events may be easier, and it could increase your chances of success.
PTSD is something that can feel like it will never go away, but with professional help, it can be managed and many people have beat the condition. Hopefully, this article can get you on the right direction to do so and start to live happier and healthier lives with no fear.