Treatment most often consists of individual and/or family therapy, group meetings with other PTSD sufferers, and sometimes medicines. Medicines used to treat the symptoms of PTSD include antidepressants, lithium, anti-anxiety medicines, beta-blockers, clonidine and others.
What can I do to help get my PTSD under control?
- Meet regularly with your therapist and/or support group
- Learn stress management, assertiveness, relaxation and/or self-hypnosis
- Avoid highly stimulating or violent TV, movies, music, videotapes, or situations that increase your anxiety or symptoms
- Since sleep can be a problem with this disorder, learn ways to promote restful sleep
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Discuss the social use of alcohol with your therapist or counselor
- Avoid street drugs
- Work at forming and maintaining friendships and a network of support
- Work hard in therapy
- Accept that there may be setbacks
- Take medicines regularly if they have been prescribed for you
- Ask for help when you need it
What happens if the symptoms return after I get them under control?
Since PTSD is a problem that can return after it's in control, it's a good idea for the patient and therapist or counselor to make a plan for what to do if symptoms return. The plan should be in writing and should include what specific symptoms are warning signs as well as exactly what needs to be done if they appear. If your symptoms return, you should call your therapist or counselor immediately and follow the agreed upon plan.