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Typically, treatment for PTSD will begin with a detailed evaluation of the person's unique situation, and then a plan will be developed that meets his or her needs. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly promising treatment that works with a person's awareness and reasoning to change emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. The most widely used medications for PTSD are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac and Zoloft.

An Overview of Treating PTSD

PTSD treatment involves a variety of forms of psychotherapy and drug therapy. And while there is no exact treatment that works for everyone and no certain cure, some treatments appear to be quite promising -- especially cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and exposure therapy. Exposure therapy involves having the patient repeatedly relive the frightening experience under controlled conditions to help him or her work through the trauma. Studies have also shown that medications can help ease the associated symptoms of depression and anxiety, and also help with sleep.
PTSD treatment typically begins with a detailed evaluation and the development of a treatment plan that meets the unique needs of the survivor. Generally, treatment for PTSD is begun only after the survivor has been safely removed from a crisis situation. If a survivor is still being exposed to trauma (such as ongoing domestic or community violence, abuse, or homelessness), is severely depressed or suicidal, is experiencing extreme panic or disorganized thinking, or is in need of drug or alcohol detoxification, it is important to address these crisis problems as a part of the first phase of treatment.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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