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:
- Recurring nightmares; intrusive recollections; flashbacks
- Avoidance; social withdrawal
Build on these 6 key points when treating PTSD:
- Help the affected individual manage the runaway fight-or-flight manifestations.
- Get the individual relaxed as best you can through behavioral exercises; help restore healthy imagery.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness strategies, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, all have established track records as treatment options.
- Associated major depression, anxiety and panic attacks are routinely treated with antidepressants, mood stabilizers and the newer antipsychotics.
- Benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium) should be avoided as they are often used to self-medicate.
- The antihypertensive prazosin (Minipress) at 6mg nightly can be very effective for PTSD nightmares and accompanying insomnia.