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What are some treatment options for PTSD?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for post traumatic stress disorder include group or individual psychotherapy and medications, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. There are a number of branches of psychotherapy that address the symptoms of PTSD, as well as some that focus on family, social or job-related triggers. One such treatment, cognitive behavior therapy, involves several parts, including exposure therapy, cognitive restructuring, and stress inoculation training. In addition to psychotherapy, prescription medications such as sertraline or paroxetine may help.

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Full Answer

People who have survived or witnessed a dangerous event may experience PTSD, and it may affect anyone, regardless of age, explains the National Institute of Mental Health. PTSD manifests with symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares or frightening thoughts. Some victims may feel guilt, worry or depression, while others feel emotionally numb. Many lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and avoid situations, places or items that remind them of the traumatic experience. Sufferers of PTSD may also experience a state of hyperarousal in which they startle easily, feel tense and have trouble sleeping.

It is not uncommon for people living through a traumatic event to experience acute stress disorder and exhibit symptoms such as these for a few weeks before they dissipate, states the National Institute of Mental Health. Symptoms of PTSD may not manifest for weeks or months after the frightening event but may linger much longer and become an ongoing problem.

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