Approximately 8 out of every 100 people in the United States will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. That’s 10 percent of women and 4 percent of men in the country. A number of factors can increase the chance that an individual will develop PTSD at some point during their lives, including childhood trauma, lack of social support following the trauma event, and a history of mental illness or substance abuse.
If you are one of the 8 million Americans between the ages of 18 and older living with PTSD, you’ve likely wondered about the available treatment options to alleviate your symptoms and help you live a better, more fulfilling life. This article will go over a few major treatment options in detail; however, it’s important to remember that the best form of treatment will vary from person to person. To find the treatment that works best for you, it’s important to consult a qualified medical professional like Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., a psychiatrist in Brandon.
Accelerated Resolution of Trauma (ART)
Accelerated resolution of trauma is an emerging type of psychotherapy that combines principles from several other treatment modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy to alter the way stress-inducing memories are stored in the brain. Essentially, this method serves to recondition the traumatic memories by changing how they are stored in the brain via techniques like exposure and guided imagery. In comparison to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and cognitive behavioral therapy, the methods applied in ART are designed to provide quick relief of symptoms and produce a faster rate of recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is known as one of the most effective treatments for PTSD, and it focuses on changing patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can lead to difficulties in functioning. Patients who undergo CBT are able to get a better understanding of how their thinking directly impacts their mood and challenge these negative thinking patterns by reframing the way they think about and address stressors. The cognitive aspect of the therapy modifies your thoughts about the traumatic event, yourself, and the world around you, while the behavioral aspect serves to help you confront the memory by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to triggers of fear or stress.
Trauma-focused CBT typically occurs in 8 to 12 sessions in which you meet with a trained psychologist, discuss the traumatic event and its aftermath, explore the negative emotions or thoughts that arise, and adjust the way you view the traumatic event. The goal is for you to be able to identify unhelpful patterns of thought like overgeneralizing bad outcomes and transition to more balanced and effective thinking patterns.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Finally, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is a structured, interactive psychotherapy technique that encourages the patient to focus on the traumatic event while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation in the form of visual stimuli. Essentially, EMDR combines exposure therapy with a series of guided eye movements by a trained therapist to allow you to be exposed to the traumatic memories or thoughts without experiencing a strong psychological response. Unlike other therapies which focus on altering the emotions or thoughts resulting from the traumatic event, this form of therapy focuses directly on the memory itself and changing the way it’s stored in the brain, thus reducing problematic symptoms.
If you believe you or a loved one could benefit from any of the modalities described so far for PTSD treatment in Carrollwood, don’t hesitate to contact Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist who empowers each of his patients to reach their greatest potential with a customized treatment plan. He values wellness and prevention over addictive medications and regularly assists motivated individuals with making long-lasting changes in their lives.
Schedule a consultation with a psychiatrist in Brandon today!
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