Six Points to Build On When Treating PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of a wide array of disorders that arise in response to traumatic events. These disorders are characterized by symptoms of avoidance and negative alteration in mood.

Hallmark symptoms include:

  • treating_ptsdRecurring nightmares; intrusive recollections; flashbacks
  • Hyperarousal
  • Derealization
  • Avoidance; social withdrawal
  • Numbness

Build on these 6 key points when treating PTSD:

  1. Help the affected individual manage the runaway fight-or-flight manifestations.
  2. Get the individual relaxed as best you can through behavioral exercises; help restore healthy imagery.
  3. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness strategies, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, all have established track records as treatment options.
  4. Associated major depression, anxiety and panic attacks are routinely treated with antidepressants, mood stabilizers and the newer antipsychotics.
  5. Benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium) should be avoided as they are often used to self-medicate.
  6. The antihypertensive prazosin (Minipress) at 6mg nightly can be very effective for PTSD nightmares and accompanying insomnia.
Joseph Wegmann, R.Ph., LCSW is a licensed clinical pharmacist and a clinical social worker with more than thirty years of experience in the field of psychopharmacology. His diverse professional background in psychopharmacology and counseling affords him a unique perspective on medication management issues. In addition to consulting with numerous psychiatric facilities, he has presented psychopharmacology seminars to thousands of clinicians in 46 states.

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