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How is PTSD treated?

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Summary:

The main treatments for people with PTSD are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medications, or a combination of the two.

Answer:

The main treatments for people with PTSD are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medications, or a combination of the two. There are several parts to CBT, including:

Exposure therapy. This therapy helps people face and control their fear. It exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way. It uses mental imagery, writing, or visits to the place where the event happened. The therapist uses these tools to help people with PTSD cope with their feelings.

Cognitive restructuring. This therapy helps people make sense of the bad memories. Sometimes people remember the event differently than how it happened. They may feel guilt or shame about what is not their fault. The therapist helps people with PTSD look at what happened in a realistic way.

Stress inoculation training. This therapy tries to reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety. Like cognitive restructuring, this treatment helps people look at their memories in a healthy way.

Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care professional who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms. If someone with PTSD is going through an ongoing trauma, such as being in an abusive relationship, both of the problems need to be treated. Other ongoing problems can include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse and feeling suicidal.

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