Many warriors prefer to keep silent about their feelings to themselves than talking to anyone, not even the therapist, but the truth about the matter is that you have to talk before you can get the treatment you need, and deserve.
Today, there are good treatments available for PTSD. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of counseling. It appears to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD. The VA is providing two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy to Veterans with PTSD: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy. To learn more about these types of therapy, see the official VA fact sheets listed on the Treatment page.
Their is also a similar kind of therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) that is used for PTSD. Medications have also been shown to be effective. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD. More information can be found at the VA treatment page. There are different types of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Types of cognitive behavioral therapy
In cognitive therapy, your therapist helps you understand and change how you think about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how certain thoughts about your trauma cause you stress and make your symptoms worse. Once you understand the fundamentals of your problem, you can definitely tackle it with full force. The work of your therapist, by using cognitive therapy is to help you identify thoughts about the world and yourself that are making you feel afraid or upset. With the help of your therapist, you will learn to replace these thoughts with more accurate and less distressing thoughts. You will also learn ways to cope with feelings such as anger, guilt, and fear.
In exposure therapy, your goal is to have less fear about your memories. It is based on the idea that people learn to fear thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind them of a past traumatic event. All you have to do is talk about your trauma repeatedly with a therapist, you’ll learn to get control of your thoughts and feelings about any kind of trauma you might have encountered that is causing you the pain and discomfort. You’ll learn that you do not have to be afraid of your memories. This may be hard at first. It might seem strange to think about stressful things on purpose. But you’ll feel less overwhelmed over time.
Talking to other people with similar trauma experience is also a great way of staying sane with your past experience. Sharing your story with others could help you feel more comfortable talking about your trauma. This can help you cope with your symptoms, memories, and other parts of your life and can bring a great positive change to your life. Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. You’ll learn to focus on your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the past. Group therapy assist you in building relationships with others who understand what you’ve been through. This will boost your confidence because you know you are not alone. You will learn to deal with emotions like shame, guilt, anger, rage, and fear.
When a member of the family have PTSD, it can affect your whole family. Your kids or your partner may not understand why you get angry sometimes, or why you’re under so much stress. They may feel scared, guilty, or even angry about your condition.
Family therapy is a type of counseling that involves your whole family. A therapist helps you and your family to communicate, maintain good relationships, and cope with tough emotions. Your family can learn more about PTSD and how it is treated.
Another form of treatment of PTSD is EMDR.
According to the VA PTSD Website; Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is another type of therapy for PTSD and like other kinds of counseling, it is said to help change how you react and accept memories of your trauma. Maybe you experienced trauma as a civilian, or as a soldier serving at combat zones, it is said to help relive and/or treat the trauma. The process involves thinking of or talking about your memories, while you’ll focus on other stimuli like eye movements, hand taps, and sounds. Your therapist may use his or her hand as a movement focus point near your face, and you’ll follow this movement with your eyes. Other equipment could also be used to replace the hand movement. See article about EMDR equipment here. Experts are still learning how EMDR works. Studies have shown that it may help you have fewer PTSD symptoms but research also suggests that the eye movements are not a necessary part of the treatment.
Chemicals in your brain affect the way you feel. For example, when you have depression you may not have enough of a chemical called serotonin. SSRIs raise the level of serotonin in your brain. Medication is also very effective depending on what your doctor prescribes to you. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant medicine which could help you feel less sad and worried. They appear to be helpful, and for some people they are very effective. SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (such as Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). There are other medications that have been used with some success. All you have to do now is talk to your doctor about which medications are right for you.
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For more information on PTSD treatment and management, visit http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/gen-treatment.asp