What Options Are Available for PTSD?

What Are the Treatment Options?

PTSD is treated by a variety of forms of psychotherapy and medications. There is no single treatment or cure that works for everyone, but some treatments appear to be quite promising -- especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), 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 associated symptoms of depression and anxiety, and also help with sleep.
The most widely used drug treatments for PTSD are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac® and Zoloft®.
At present, cognitive behavioral therapy appears to be somewhat more effective than drug therapy. However, it would be premature to conclude that drug therapy is less effective overall, since drug trials for PTSD are at an early stage. Drug therapy appears to be highly effective for some individuals and is helpful for many more. In addition, the recent findings on the biological changes associated with PTSD have spurred new research into drugs that target these biological changes, which may lead to increased effectiveness.
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