How PTSD Treatment for Veterans and
First Responders Can Help
Are you looking for centers that provide PTSD treatment for veterans?
Returning from military services is a happy moment, but sometimes it comes with a price. PTSD is a disorder that many veterans may experience after trauma. This can cause them to have violent reactions to certain triggers, and even cause harm to your family.
What's worse is that they can't do much to prevent their PTSD from triggering. This can cause them to isolate themselves, cutting off most of their loved ones from their lives.
How do you eliminate that numbing feeling or disconnection from loved ones? Read on to learn more about PTSD treatment for war veterans.
Categories of PTSD Symptoms
The symptoms of PTSD may start to appear within a month of the event. However, some symptoms may not appear after months or years. PTSD can affect your everyday life, from work to relationships.
With at least 20% to 30% of veterans developing PTSD, it's too risky for you to leave it be. Here are the categories of PTSD and how it can affect veterans:
Intrusive memories are what you see in the form of flashbacks, images, and nightmares. You lack the awareness of these memories as something from the past. It can be easy to misunderstand that the memories are from the present instead.
These memories can threaten your mind, even without voluntary or conscious control. It's a troubling symptom since it can come and go at any time. You may also feel physical reactions from the event, like racing heartbeats.
Avoidance symptoms appear when you start to avoid thinking of the event. You might begin to avoid people, objects, activities, or places related to the event. It's easy to feel a loss in activities and start detaching from others with this symptom.
Arousal or Emotional Changes
People with PTSD may start feeling hypervigilant or on-guard at all times. You may also feel easily frightened or startled by random or surprising noises. PTSD can make it hard to concentrate on one thing and fall asleep for long.
Irritability, aggressive, and angry outburst are also common symptoms of PTSD. Some people living with PTSD may resort to self-destructive behavior or addiction. You may find them drunk driving or trying out alcohol and drugs.
Mood and Cognitive Changes
Developing PTSD has a very negative effect on your mind, leaving you with glum thoughts. It is also a condition that may leave lapses in your memory and detachment from other people. You may not have the same interest in your hobbies as before.
PTSD Treatment for Veterans
Whether you or someone close to you has PTSD, you have to recognize that you need someone to help you. It's alright to accept first responders' help as your guide in overcoming PTSD. Here are some PTSD treatments to minimize or eliminate the symptoms:
People with PTSD tend to process threats differently. It happens due to the imbalance of their chemicals known as neurotransmitters. PTSD can make people on-edge at all times and this is where medication jumps in.
At this moment, there are no specific medications dedicated to treating PTSD. However, many medications can treat psychiatric conditions, like mood disorders. They can help you manage and lessen the intensity of PTSD symptoms.
Medications help you stop reacting and thinking about things of the past. It can act as your PTSD and addiction treatment. One of the most effective medicines for PTSD is SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
These are the type of medications typically prescribed to lessen anxiety and depression symptoms. The most common SSRIs include Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, and Prozac. The only medicines for PTSD approved by the FDA are Paxil and Zoloft.
Note that people may react differently to medications. Talk with your doctor for prescribed and trustworthy medicines. Other medications that may work include antidepressants, MAOIs, SGAs, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
This type of therapy focuses on your perception of your traumatic event. Cognitive processing therapy helps you see how you tend to cope with your mental and emotional part of your experience. It's a process that allows you to re-examine your trauma and methods to live with it.
Cognitive processing therapy lets you work through your "stuck points." These are the thoughts that stop you from recovering from your trauma. You can choose to have this type of therapy alone or with a few people with the same troubles.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a talk-therapy. It focuses on the relationship between behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. This type of treatment can last from 12 to 16 months.
You work with your therapist to identify unhelpful patterns or distortions in your feelings and thoughts. CBT helps you rebuild your home and gain a sense of control. It's a treatment that reduces your avoidance or escape behaviors.
Because of how effective and simple it is, it's the most common method you'll find in PTSD treatment centers for first responders. What's great about it is that the veteran can go through this method at their own pace, ensuring comfort throughout.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged exposure therapy is another great treatment for avoidance symptoms. Your therapist will guide you through breathing techniques to relieve your anxiety. Later into the treatment, you will be making a list of things you avoid.
The therapist will help you through and teach you to face them one by one. In another session, you'll be recounting your traumatic experience to your therapist. Prolonged exposure therapy can last from 8 to 16 sessions with 90 minutes each.
EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This is the most effective treatment for people with PTSD who don't want to talk. It is a type of PTSD treatment for veterans or survivors of trauma.
This treatment uses your bilateral sensory output, such as side-to-side eye movements. You can try concentrating on a moving hand, sounds, or flashing lights. EDMR techniques unblock your distressed emotional processes to fix your thoughts.
It's a great treatment that lets you gain a new perspective on your life. It improves your self-esteem and enhances your beliefs about your capabilities. You go through eight phases of treatment, focusing on your past, present, and future.
Yoga is a great treatment that can clear your mind, body, and soul. Trauma-sensitive yoga has gentle movements that can keep your mind away from stress. It also has fewer hands-on adjustments, allowing you to do yoga even without an instructor.
Another treatment is acupuncture, a Chinese medicine practice involving thin needles. It is a safe and cost-efficient method for reducing anxiety and stress feelings. You should take 1 to 12 weeks of acupuncture sessions to lessen the effects of PTSD.
Try out virtual reality exposure to approach your trauma aspects with less fear. The therapist manipulates your visual situations, exposing you to traumatic events. It helps you go through less emotional impact through the exposure.
Self Help Tips
The most effective treatment for PTSD is knowing how to improve your situation. Along with the treatments and self-help, you can help yourself with your problem. Below are some of the best treatments you can do for yourself:
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to burn off your adrenaline. Exercising releases endorphins that help improve your mood. You also allow your body to fix your nervous system to move out from the immobilization stress response.
When you exercise, focus on how your body feels rather than your thoughts. Think about the feeling of your feet hitting the ground or the rhythm of your breathing. Try to go for a 30-minute workout with a mix of medium and intense exercises.
Regulate Your Nervous System
PTSD may leave you feeling helpless and vulnerable, but you have more control over it than you think. When you feel anxious or agitated, you should try mindful breathing. Focus your attention on your breathing, from its natural flow and rhythm.
It can serve as your anchor, turning your attention away from your problems. If not breathing, you can count on sensory input, from a specific photo to a particular brand product. Think about your deployment and look for the item that brought you comfort at the end of the day.
When you suppress your images, thoughts, and dreams, they can become more intrusive. The only way you can move on is by reconnecting to what you feel. It can become uncomfortable, but this is why you can get a professional's help.
Start a Healthy Lifestyle
PTSD symptoms can take a toll on your body and overall health. It's time to start taking care of your body and change your everyday lifestyle. You need to pipe down on activities and behaviors that pump your adrenaline.
Lessen drinking caffeine, reckless driving, violent video games, or daredevil sports. Instead, you should take your time to relax through massage, meditation, or yoga. It's also best to go through VA alcohol rehab and alcohol treatments.
It would help if you started buying foods that promote healthy minerals, such as Omega-3. Avoid going for fried and processed foods since they can raise your mood swings. Make sure you get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every day to lessen your irritability.
How PTSD Treatment for Veterans and First Responders Can Help
There's nothing wrong with reaching out to other people for help. PTSD treatment for veterans is a complicated process, but professionals can guide you. Lessen your PTSD symptoms by dedicating to therapy, medications, or alternative treatments.
We can help you get through this! Visit our other posts for more info about mental issues.
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