Can PTSD Be Cured?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that affects one’s mental health and is caused by experiencing a traumatic event. These events are typically events of violence, sexual assault, life-threatening accidents, or relating to active military duty in a combat zone. The symptoms and effects of PTSD can be debilitating and life-changing and can get worse if left untreated.
Most mental illnesses are not fully curable, and unfortunately, that includes PTSD. However, that does not mean that those living with PTSD can’t have their symptoms resolved or experience a significant improvement in their quality of life after undergoing treatment. Treatment is necessary for those with PTSD, especially if it is drastically affecting their lives, as treatment can dramatically reduce the symptoms, despite not being completely curable.
Treatments for PTSD
There are a few common treatments for PTSD that have shown success in patients who stick with their treatment plans over time. Mental illness isn’t an easy beast to tame, but with the right plan for yourself and the dedication to recovery, you can improve your life.
PTSD therapy aims to help reduce your symptoms, teach you the skills you need to overcome them and restore your self-esteem and positive self-worth. Depending on your own personal situation and symptoms, individual therapy may work better, or group or family therapy might be the right choice.
There are a few types of therapy for PTSD, including:
- Cognitive processing therapy, where you discuss your trauma in detail and how it’s affected your life in order to come to terms with it and find ways to live with it.
- Prolonged exposure therapy, where you confront anything that reminds you of your traumatic event and work on techniques to help reduce your anxiety.
- Group therapy. This where you discuss your own traumatic experiences and listen to other people’s stories and then find ways to manage symptoms and anxiety as a group.
Stress inoculation training (SIT)
Technically classified as a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, SIT can be done on your own or in a group of people. Rather than going into detail of your traumatic experience, you simply focus on dealing with the anxiety or stress that has come from the incident, as well as techniques on how to block negative thoughts about yourself. Some techniques to relax the body and mind can include breathing techniques, meditation or massage.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
This treatment is relatively new but has been found to successfully reduce PTSD symptoms in patients. Participants will make eye movements from side to side (often following the therapist’s finger back and forth) or focus on a flashing light or a tone while discussing or thinking about your traumatic experience. This treatment aims to reframe the way the trauma is thought about and make it easier to process.
One reason that PTSD affects people is with an easily triggered “fight or flight” response, which can cause people to be easily frightened or constantly on edge. This is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication can fix that imbalance and help PTSD sufferers focus more on the positive aspects of life rather than their trauma and the flashbacks they have.
Determining the right medication or combination of medications is crucial. It is important to know what dosage works for you, as people react differently to different medications, depending on the severity of their PTSD. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat people suffering from PTSD.
Curing PTSD: New Injection Treatment
The stellate ganglion block (SGB) is a relatively new PTSD treatment that has been discovered to be the closest to a PTSD injection cure. The SGB is an injection of local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, which is located on the right side of the neck.
The effects of the SGB have been noted to last anywhere from 6 months to over 10 years! If you are tired of suffering from PTSD, the SGB injection for PTSD may be the solution you need. The SGB doctors at PTSD Group can help you determine whether this new PTSD injection treatment can help you overcome your mental health struggle. Give us a call today to speak to a PTSD doctor near you who can determine whether the SGB injection to treat PTSD is a good option for you.