Veterans who return home from combat are prone to PTSD that occurs with repeated trauma over a prolonged period of time. This type of PTSD can be more difficult to treat, which is why it’s so important to get help as soon as possible after becoming aware of your symptoms or being diagnosed.
Trauma-focused psychotherapy is highly recommended for veterans who have been exposed to repeated life-threatening and horrific events. This involves focusing on the trauma and working through the difficult memories using various techniques with the guidance of a therapist. 4
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing your thinking and behavioral patterns. This is an active type of therapy, where the patient learns and utilizes specific skills for dealing with PTSD symptoms in everyday life. 6
Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) is conducted with the belief that symptoms of PTSD are the result of cognitive and behavioral avoidance of anything trauma-related. PE therapy works to reverse that avoidance with corrective information and the organization and processing of the memories associated with the trauma. 7
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) focus on a back-and-forth movement or sound while recalling the trauma to understand better and process what you went through. The premise is that people with PTSD are confused and unclear about the trauma, and this technique clarifies the event so that you can understand it better, and therefore recover from it. 8
Medication, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can effectively regulate emotions in PTSD patients. They are a class of medication used for treating depression and anxiety and have been approved by the FDA specifically to treat PTSD. 9
Some people are unable to focus on or commit to therapy until their moods have leveled out. Using medication in combination with therapy can be life-changing for those who have mood disorders due to their PTSD.