Standard Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Sometimes PTSD symptoms will get better on their own. If it has been less than a month since your trauma, and things seem to be getting better, you may not need formal treatment. If, on the other hand, your symptoms have lasted more than three months, they are unlikely to go away unless they are properly addressed. There is no agreement on what is the best treatment for PTSD. Most scientists think that treatment should involve a trauma-focused psychotherapy such as Exposure Therapy or Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in which you meet with an individual provider at least once a week. Treatment such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) may be a good alternative, but is slightly more controversial. Most researchers agree that therapy in which you are not talking about the trauma is probably not very helpful. Medications can sometimes be useful, and, even if you chose not to use medications as part of your treatment, you should have a physician who monitors your overall medical health. Having someone like a case manager can help you find additional resources and manage the administrative problems that come with trying to get treatment for your PTSD. Group therapy can help provide support, and can teach specific skills that may be helpful in managing your PTSD. Having a good support network is key. Getting involved in regular, healthy activities such as hobbies or sports may accelerate the course of recovery. Getting involved in unhealthy activities like drinking or using drugs to deal with your PTSD is an almost sure way to end up with long-term problems. PTSD is a serious condition. Take it seriously. Most important, be safe. If you are thinking about killing yourself, or worried that you might hurt someone else, seek help immediately. Emergency service are available in the US by calling 911. Otherwise talk to your medical provider and make sure you have a good plan to take on your PTSD.
If standard treatments are not working for you ask about our research treatments.
At Naval Medical Center San Diego, Service Members can always learn more about PTSD by coming to the PTSD open group, Wednesdays at 1100 on the fifth floor of Building 6.
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