Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex psychiatric disorder that can occur following any traumatic event. Understanding the various treatments available, especially the most common treatment for PTSD, is crucial for those suffering from the condition, or for their loved ones. We’re going to take a look at exactly what is the most common treatment for PTSD.
Psychotherapy: A Fundamental Tool
In the range of treatments for PTSD, psychotherapy is one of the most common treatments, overall. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, allows the person with trauma to not only verbalize, but process, and understand their traumatic experience. There are many different kinds of psychotherapy, but one of the most commonly used is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, commonly known as CBT, is a specific type of psychotherapy that is designed to help people understand and change their thought patterns that would otherwise lead to harmful feelings or behaviors. Through CBT, patients learn to recognize and subsequently alter patterns of thoughts that lead to self-destructive actions. This therapy is pivotal in reducing the severity and frequency of the symptoms associated with PTSD.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is another incredibly common PTSD treatment. This type of therapy works on the premise that the trauma hasn’t been sufficiently processed by the brain. EMDR therapy uses eye movements to distract the brain, while the individual focuses on their traumatic memories, which helps the brain reprocess those memories. Reprocessing the memories helps reduce their psychological impact.
Medications: An Important Supplement
While psychotherapy is a major cornerstone of PTSD treatment, another treatment with significant effectiveness is a medication management program. Some of the most challenging neurochemical imbalances can be corrected with the right medication. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are both highly effective antidepressants.
The Role of Personalized Treatment
While discussing the most common treatment for PTSD, it’s important to remember that treatment should always be personalized. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for mental health challenges, and when your treatment doesn’t take into account your unique treatment needs, you could be wasting your time or worse, doing more harm than good.
With this in mind, be sure that you aren’t trying to compare two individuals’ treatment or progress. Even with two highly similar people, the most effective PTSD treatment for one may be wildly different from the other. Working with a professional therapist to tailor therapy to the individual’s needs is critical in making sure the treatment will be effective, overall.
What Are the Most Effective Treatments for PTSD?
Here are the three most effective treatments for PTSD, which also makes them relatively common.
- Cognitive processing therapy, which helps people understand how they think about and perceive their own trauma.
- EMDR treatment helps process previously unprocessed trauma or feelings.
- Prolonged exposure therapy, teaches individuals to gradually approach trauma-related memories and feelings, to reduce PTSD symptoms.
When therapists are asked “What is the most common treatment for PTSD,” the answer is often found hovering around psychotherapy, specifically CBT, sometimes in conjunction with medications. That said, it’s important to remember that what is considered the most common or effective treatment for PTSD in one individual may not be the best for another individual.
PTSD is an incredibly complex disorder, and each path to recovery will be individualized and unique. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with PTSD, it’s important to reach out to professionals who can provide guidance and support customized to your needs. Contact Casa Recovery today to get started.