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Traditional Treatment for PTSD


Treatment for PTSD can help you regain a sense of control and manageability in your life. Primary treatment is psychotherapy, and is often combined with medication to improve symptoms and educate you on how to best address PTSD and help you feel better about yourself while learning effective ways to cope should symptoms arise again.



Various types of psychotherapy are used to treat PTSD in children and adults. Some of the different types of therapy include:

  • Cognitive therapy. This type of talk therapy helps bring awareness to the thinking patterns that are repetitive. Negative or inaccurate ways of perceiving normal situations are evaluated and commonly combined with exposure therapy to help combat destructive thought processes.

  • Exposure therapy. This therapy exposes the PTSD sufferer to the trauma and helps them to face the frightening details of the trauma and cope with it effectively. Virtual reality is used in exposure therapy programs which allows you to re-enter the setting in which you first experienced the trauma.

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Exposure therapy is combined with a series of guided eye movements that help you process traumatic memories and change reactions to them.




Several types of medications have been found helpful in improving symptoms of PTSD including:

  • Antidepressants. Depression and anxiety symptoms can be improved with antidepressants. They can also improve sleep problems and concentration issues. Sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) are FDA approved for PTSD treatment.

  • Anti-anxiety medications. These drugs can improve feelings of anxiety and stress for a period of time and relieve severe anxiety.

  • Prazosin. When symptoms include insomnia or recurrent nightmares, prazosin (Minipress) may be prescribed to reduce or suppress nightmares in many people experiencing PTS.


(Section of this material were courtesy of Cerebrum Health Centers)

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