A New Year is coming fast, and maybe you are thinking that this is the year to get help for your PTSD. Awesome! Let's talk about how to get help.
It's likely that you've received lots of unsolicited advice on how to best handle your PTSD symptoms, and it's possible 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. According to Norcorss et al. (2013) self-help books appear at a rate of 5,000 per year, and 95% of them are published without any research documenting their effectiveness. 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. There are other EBTs for PTSD, but, because these three are supported by the VA, they tend to be widely available. 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 about 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. We can find an EBT provider through the Strong Star Provider Network at University of Texas Health Science Center or even through Psychology Today or Google.
Have you tried an EBT? What worked for you? We value your feedback and ideas! Reach out on our Community Facebook Page!
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