National Center for PTSD
If you think you have PTSD, it's important to get treatment. Treatment can work, and early treatment may help reduce long-term symptoms.
If you think you have PTSD:
Many people who might need assistance with something like the symptoms of PTSD are afraid to go for help.
A study that's been done of soldiers coming home from Iraq found that only 4 in 10 service members with mental health problems said they would get help. Some of the most common reasons they gave were:
Why seek help?
Here are some of the reasons why you may want to seek help. Seek help because:
While it may be tempting to identify PTSD for yourself or someone you know, the diagnosis generally is made by a mental-health professional. This will usually involve a formal evaluation by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker specifically trained to assess psychological problems.
What you can do?
If you have PTSD or PTSD symptoms you may feel helpless. But, there are things you can do.
Here are ways you can help yourself:
If you do not want to be evaluated but feel you have symptoms of PTSD you may choose "watchful waiting." Watchful waiting means taking a wait-and-see approach.
In a few cases, your symptoms may be so severe that you need immediate help. Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you think that you cannot keep from hurting yourself or someone else.
What treatments are available?
Today, there are good treatments available for PTSD. When you have PTSD dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But talking with a therapist can help you get better.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of counseling. It appears to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD. There are different types of cognitive behavioral therapies such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. There is also a similar kind of therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) that is used for PTSD. Medications have also been shown to be effective. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD.
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