Educating Others About PTSD and Your Options

PTSD Treatment and Education

It is important that the first phase of treatment include educating trauma survivors and their families about:
  • How people get PTSD
  • How it affects survivors and their loved ones
  • Other problems that often accompany PTSD symptoms.
Understanding that PTSD is a medically recognized anxiety disorder that occurs in normal individuals under extremely stressful conditions is essential for effective treatment.
Exposure to the event through guided imagery allows the survivor to re-experience the event in a safe, controlled environment, while also carefully examining his or her reactions and beliefs in relation to that event.
One aspect of the first treatment phase for PTSD is to have the survivor examine and resolve strong feelings, such as anger, shame, or guilt, which are common among survivors of trauma.
Another step in the first phase of PTSD treatment is to teach the survivor to cope with post-traumatic memories, reminders, reactions, and feelings without becoming overwhelmed or emotionally numb. Trauma memories usually do not go away entirely as a result of therapy, but become more manageable with the mastery of new coping skills.

Treatment Options

Medication or psychological options for treating PTSD can include the following:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medications
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • Group treatment
  • Brief psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Each of these treatment options is explained in more detail in the following sections.
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About PTSD

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