“Getting better” means different things for different people, and not everyone who gets treatment will be “cured”. Even if you continue to have symptoms, however, treatment can help you cope. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and related problems.

Treatments

When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. Treatment can help you get better. There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.

Yoga and meditation is a powerful complementary treatment for PTSD

Living Inquiries to undo the triggering effect of words, images and sensations.

Positive Psychology and resilience training for PTSD in US military

Psychotherapy for PTSD:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for PTSD

  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings
  • Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. You also go to places that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they are related to the trauma

Medications for PTSD

Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD. Another medication called Prazosin has been found to be helpful in decreasing nightmares related to the trauma.

Benzodiazepines and atypical antipsychotics should generally be avoided for PTSD treatment because they do not treat the core PTSD symptoms.

From the National Center for PTSD, US Department of Veterans Affairs. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp