Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an incredibly disabling condition that can control people’s lives who are affected by it. However, despite the severity, people can find relief for the condition through therapy, and this article will show you how it can be helpful for those who struggle with PTSD.
How Therapy Helps
When people have PTSD, they struggle with symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, dissociation, and amnesia, and these can be triggered by specific stimuli depending on the traumatic experience that the individual has.
PTSD is often associated with wartime experiences, being a victim of violence or witnessing it, natural disasters, or other life-threatening situations, but virtually any traumatic situation can contribute to someone developing PTSD.
Trauma survivors who do get PTSD typically report that their symptoms affect their ability to function normally, including their social relationships. This can lead to comorbid conditions like depression and substance abuse.
All of these things can make living with PTSD very challenging and make it worse, and sometimes multiple strategies have to be carried out in order to fully improve a person’s mental health.
Nonetheless, for PTSD alone, there are some strategies that have been proven to be very useful in treating it, and as you continue to read, you will learn more about them and how they can help people manage the condition.
What Therapies Are Effective?
Psychotherapy is important in treating PTSD because it can help people make sense of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that they are having and change them.
One method that is recommended for addressing PTSD is trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It’s very similar to regular CBT in terms of its principles, but it’s geared specifically towards traumatic events, which is necessary due to the sensitive nature of them.
Some specific types of TF-CBD are exposure therapy and cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and these help people cope with the negative thinking patterns that cause distress.
In exposure therapy, patients with PTSD are asked to face their fears. This can sound scary at first, but you will always be in a safe environment with the guidance of a professional. Exposure can be real or imagined, since not all triggers can be confronted; however, both are very effective.
By being exposed and reminded of the trauma gradually, you learn to stop trying to avoid it and its control over you decreases over time. Basically, you become desensitized to the stimuli that was triggering.
Next, cognitive processing therapy for PTSD involves examining the thoughts that cause you to view yourself and the world around you in a negative and distorted light, and work towards thinking about them more productively.
For example, many people blame themselves for their trauma, which causes them to feel stuck and never learn how to move on and cope. Through talking about your situation, and having other outlets, like writing, you can evaluate these thoughts and try to form new perspectives that allow you to make progress.
It might seem difficult to find someone who you can talk and relate to, but reaching out and finding the help you need from a professional is crucial, and BetterHelp makes it easier to connect to licensed counselors and therapists who have helped others cope with PTSD through the methods discussed here.
Hopefully, this article has shown you that post-traumatic stress order is something that can be managed and you can regain control over your life. Facing your fears and changing your thoughts and behaviors will be challenging, but this is how PTSD is treated, and with commitment, you can overcome trauma.