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PTSD & Treatment

PTSD and Treatment

Do you wake up with recurrent nightmares of a traumatic event?
Do you suffer from sleep disturbance, anxiety or flashbacks of an event?
Are you easily startled and then take some time to settle again?

The above are just some of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is more common than previously recognised with a lifetime prevalence in the community of around 7.8% (US research study).

Untreated PTSD often leads to sufferers experiencing long-term effects from traumatic events, adversely affecting their quality of life and relationships.

Treatments for PTSD have significantly improved over the years. It is possible to get relief from symptoms and prevent the development of long-term secondary problems.

TREATMENT

Evidence-based, scientifically-validated treatments with or without medication as provided by Dr Hall as part of a consultant psychiatry service include:

Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

EMDR is a unique, fast-acting form of psychotherapy & a particularly powerful treatment. Studies comparing it to exposure therapy, CBT and even medication have found it to be at least as effective and in some ways more efficient in treatment of trauma sufferers. The CBT approach to exposure therapy usually requires a patient to do 1 to 2 hours of daily homework for it to work; in contrast to this, EMDR does not need the patient to do homework, as the work is automatically done by the subconscious during waking hours & sleep.

The American Psychiatric Association and Veterans Affairs & Defence Departments have placed EMDR in the highest category of efficacy and research validity in the treatment of trauma.

Treatments are tailored specifically to the individual, as every patient is unique. Patients often have complications associated with PTSD (e.g. drug and alcohol abuse, relationship and marital problems/ breakdown, other anxiety problems such as agoraphobia and panic attacks). These problems are addressed during the course of treatment.

Medication may be appropriate in certain cases but is not always required.

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