Autoimmune Disease Management 101: Fighting Back

Key Psychiatric Treatments For PTSD

PTSD can be really difficult to live with. Just when you think things are going well, something happens to remind you of your trauma. Sometimes, it can feel like you are in a downward spiral and like nobody understands what you are struggling with. Luckily, the field of psychiatry has come a long way in terms of developing effective treatments for PTSD. Here are a few of the key treatments and management protocols a psychiatrist is likely to recommend once you are diagnosed with PTSD.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive processing therapy is a specific type of cognitive therapy that has been developed and honed over the years for the management of PTSD. Throughout this therapy, the patient will work with their psychiatrist to identify which emotions and thoughts are leading to their PTSD symptoms. They'll then closely inspect those thoughts, how they translate to emotions, and how they line up with the facts and realities of the world. Over time, the therapist will work with the patient to open up more about the specific traumas that trigger their PTSD. By talking through and processing those events, the patient is able to reframe their traumas and stop the rushing of emotions associated with them.

Eye Movement Desensitization

In eye movement desensitization therapy, the therapist will ask you to recall your trauma while participating in some task that keeps your eyes moving. For instance, you may be asked to follow a bouncing light with your eyes while recounting your trauma. Because of the unique way in which the eyes are connected to certain parts of the brain, recounting the trauma in this way can desensitize the patient to the trauma, thereby helping them move past their PTSD.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

This type of treatment is often used when PTSD is associated with a situation the patient has to be exposed to on a regular basis. The therapist will guide them through being exposed to the triggering situation or element. First, the exposures will be small and short. Over time, as the patient grows less responsive to the exposure, the exposures will become more intense. The goal is to diminish the reaction to the situation over time. The patient learns how to control their mind and emotions in order to ward off a PTSD attack.

If you have been struggling with PTSD, do not hesitate to seek therapy. For more information, contact a psychiatric service in your area.