Post-TraumaticStress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that occurs after experiencinga life-threatening or deeply distressing event. Most people have heard thephrase PTSD from the likes of war or military combat, but the disorder hasvarious other instances such as sexual abuse, natural disasters, seriousaccidents, substance abuse and even terrorist attacks which can cause notableharm to a person’s mindset.Theexistence of psychological trauma, which is most commonly caused by militarycombat, goes back as far as warfare itself. The American Civil War (1861 – 65)first brought the symptoms and syndrome of PTSD to light with it becomingincreasingly prominent in combatants. During this time, research into thisfield had developed but the acknowledgment of the disorder was mainly ignoreddue to insufficient understanding of trauma-based ailments. Today, however,there are many treatments available for people suffering from the various typesof Post-traumatic stress disorder, ranging from Cognitive Processing Therapy toProlonged Exposure, two of the best-known types of treatments that help dealwith PTSD.
CognitiveProcessing Therapy (CPT) can help people disassemble their upsetting thoughtsand change the way they think, in turn changing their outlook on life. Thebasis of this treatment is to talk and write about all the negative andunhelpful thoughts the person has on their mind after experiencing a certaintrauma and will work together with a psychiatrist to consider ways of managing saidthoughts. At first, it may be hard for some to open-up about the incident but doingso will help them cope with emotions like anger, sadness, and guilt. Whennearing the end of the therapy, the psychiatrist may focus on certain aspectsof a person’s life that have been affected by the trauma, such as a sense ofsafety, trust, the person ability to control emotions, self-esteem, andintimacy. There are options to this trauma, for example, the participant can chooseto list the specifics of the trauma, which may help overcome PTSD faster, butit is not compulsory to do so if the patient does not wish to. This type oftherapy normally lasts around 3 months with weekly sessions varying from 60 to90 minutes each. The patient will often start to feel better after the firstfew sessions, and the benefits of CPT are proven to last long after the finalsession with the provider.
Prolongedexposure is another PTSD treatment that helps people who associate variousthings with their trauma. The first step of this medication is to learn abreathing technique to help the patients deal with their anxiety, which is oneof the symptoms of PTSD. Once the first step is completed the patients areasked to make a list of the things that they have avoided since the trauma,such as places, people or activities. The next step is vivo exposure, which is atherapy used to reduce a person’s fear of the certain place, person, oractivity associated with the trauma.