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What is the treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Current treatments for PTSD include: reliving the experience (called exposure) and then working with someone on the feelings that are brought up by re-living the experience. In many cases anxiety medication and in some cases sleep medication may be warranted.

If you feel like you may be suffering from PTSD, contact your doctor immediately, as this is not a situation that will simply “work itself out.”

In the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT, and exposure therapy are usually helpful. Group therapy can be helpful if the trauma affected several people or more. For example, survivors of an earthquake or a terrorist attack may benefit from discussing the event in a group setting. Benzodiazepines are not recommended, unless you have severe anxiety, in which case short-term use may be helpful. Some studies have found that they are not effective for PTSD. People with PTSD are also at greater risk for substance abuse (to get relief from the intense anxiety), so patients with PTSD should be evaluated for drug abuse.
Psychotherapy and a drug therapy are options to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Meeting with a therapist individually or in a group can teach you ways to control your anxiety from the painful memories of the event. Antidepressants can help control depression, anxiety, and improve sleep problems and increase your concentration.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.