If your own preventive efforts are ineffective, and you develop PTSD, the good news is that the symptoms will respond to a variety of different psycho therapeutic techniques or medications, or to both together in combination.
The choice of stress disorder treatment will depend on your preferences, level of courage, and which symptoms are currently most pressing. Since the target symptoms of PTSD often vary with time, treatment goals and stress disorder treatment methods must be periodically reevaluated.
A thorough familiarity with the nature of the symptoms and the ways to cope with them is the first step toward getting better. The central aspect of psychotherapy is catharsis a technical way of saying that it is crucial for you to reconnect with the emotional state experienced during the trauma, however frightening and painful this may be.
This goes against the common sense inclination to put the terrible memories as far out of your mind as possible. However, to the degree that you fail to face the memories and accompanying feelings head on, they tend to come back unbidden in the form of nightmares and haunting waking images. You felt helpless during the event, now you have to control it.
Exposure therapy takes you from the memories to an actual confrontation with the triggers that recall the traumatic event. This can be combines with methods of anxiety management such as deep muscle relaxation, biofeedback, distraction, breathing control, and assertiveness training. The idea is to put you in the driver’s seat. If you can face down your fears , they will hold less power over you.
Medications can play an important role in treatment of PTSD. The most commonly used are the antidepressant and these are often effective even in the PTSD symptoms are not accompanied depression. The mood stabilizing medications may also be helpful, particularly when your problems include aggression, hostility, and flashbacks.
The Increased arousal and insomnia that are often occur in PTSD may respond best to sedatives and anti anxiety agents but these medications should be used with caution in individuals prone to drug or alcohol abuse.
It is also necessary to say a word about the two most frequent complications of PTSD substance use and depression. These are so common that they must be considered whenever PTSD sympoms are present and will often require independent attention in the treatment for PTSD is to be at all successful.
Detoxification is often a necessary first step, but must be done very slowly and cautiously because the substance with drawl will likely trigger an exacerbation of the PTSD symptoms and make it more difficult for the patient to participate in the treatment.