Treatments for PTSD have come a long way in recent times

  • Posted By
    Victoria Stephens

  • Published On
    Sat, June 16

  • Reading Time
    4 Minutes

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can occur in response to experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is estimated that approximately 12 million individuals in the United States experience symptoms of PTSD every year, with women being more likely to be affected.

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A person with PTSD may find it difficult to regulate their fear response, and they may develop symptoms such as intrusive memories or flashbacks, avoidance of triggers associated with the trauma, and alterations in mood and thoughts.

How PTSD Develops

PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. While anyone who has experienced a trauma may develop PTSD, certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing the condition. These include preexisting mental health conditions, prolonged or repeated trauma, lack of support from family and friends, and coping mechanisms such as substance abuse. Trauma therapy is commonly recommended for individuals with PTSD in order to aid in processing the traumatic experience and managing symptoms. It is important to seek help if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of PTSD as early intervention can lead to greater improvements in overall well-being.

How PTSD Can Change Your Brain

Trauma has a significant impact on the brain, often resulting in changes to key structures such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is responsible for fear-related responses and threat assessment, while the prefrontal cortex aids in decision-making and cognitive functions. The hippocampus plays a role in memory formation. Research on PTSD has found that trauma can lead to hyperactivity in the amygdala and decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex. This combination can result in an overreaction to perceived threats and an impaired ability to assess danger accurately. These changes in brain structure can have a significant impact on an individual's emotional regulation and behavior. It is important for healthcare professionals to be aware of these potential neurological changes in order to provide effective treatment for individuals experiencing trauma and PTSD.

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What are the treatments for PTSD?

The US Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes several effective interventions for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy have all been shown to effectively treat PTSD symptoms. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Stress Inoculation therapy have also had success in treating this disorder. It is important to note that no single approach works for every person and it may take trying out multiple interventions to find the right fit. It is also crucial to seek help from a trained therapist as self-guided attempts at treatment can be ineffective or even harmful. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, reach out to a trusted professional for appropriate support and care.


When it comes to treating post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, multiple types of medications can be utilized in order to improve symptoms. Antidepressant medications, such as sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil), can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety while also improving sleep and concentration. Anti-anxiety medications may also be used, but they come with a higher risk of potential abuse and are usually only prescribed for short-term use. While prazosin (Minipress) has shown promise in reducing nightmares associated with PTSD, more recent studies have not found it to be effective. It is important to note that medication should always be prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional. A combination of therapy and medication can often be the most effective way to treat the symptoms of PTSD.