Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Alternate Names : PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome
What are the treatments for the condition?
Treatment of PTSD can help reduce symptoms in some individuals. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps the individual change perceptions and attitudes about the trauma. Group therapy can be helpful, especially if others in the group suffered the same trauma. Exposure therapy allows the person to repeatedly relive the frightening experience under controlled conditions. This can help him or her work through the trauma.
People with PTSD often need treatment for depression or substance abuse. This needs to occur before measures directed at decreasing symptoms of PTSD can be effective.
Medicines used to treat PTSD include the following:
anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin
azaspirones, such as buspirone
benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam or lorazepam
beta-blockers, such as propanolol or atenolol
MAO inhibitors, such as phenelazine
SSRIs, such as paroxetine or sertraline
tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Medicines used to treat PTSD can cause drowsiness, stomach upset, and allergic reactions.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Chronic PTSD often persists for years. It usually becomes less intense and bothersome as time passes.
How is the condition monitored?
PTSD is monitored with regular visits to the healthcare provider. Blood tests may be done periodically to measure levels of medicines. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.