Monday, February 15, 2021

Evidence-Based Treatments for PTSD & Why They Matter


It's likely that you've received lots of unsolicited advice on how to best handle your PTSD from your chain, your family, and your battle buddies, and it's likely that this advice was not completely helpful. Most people aren't being malicious when they say, "you just need to PT more" or "just cut out gluten" to fix your PTSD, but often this is one person's opinion or personal experience rather than a no-kidding solution based in sound science.

Blogs and books? Those are often opinions, too. Self-help books appear at a rate of 5,000 per year, and 95% of them are published without any research documenting their effectiveness (Norcorss et al., 2013). So how do we know what is based in science and what is a gift from the Good Idea Fairy? Enter: Evidence Based Treatments.
Evidence-based treatments (EBTs) are based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence. This means that researchers have conducted rigorous studies using scientific methods, documented their extensive research in peer-reviewed publications (such as medical journals), and then other researchers conduct additional scientific studies to see if the treatment is, in fact, successful.
There are three EBTs approved by the VA for treatment of PTSD at this time: Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - and the data are clear: they work. Moreover, the data indicate that they work for the long-haul.
While PTing more and eating better is always a good idea, when it comes to beating your PTSD symptoms, EBTs are proven to work and they do so in 6-12 sessions.
Don't give up - get smart. You know you better than any treatment team and you deserve your breakthrough. Start your research journey and ask your treatment team for smart solutions.
Got questions? We'd love to address them in a future blog post. Submit your question here.