Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects eleven to twenty percent of veterans. It is imperative that they get treatment for this disorder right away. PTSD can contribute to depression, suicidal thoughts/tendencies, insomnia, anxiety, nightmares, dissociation, and flashbacks.
The VA offers treatments that help veterans dealing with PTSD. Taking advantage of these treatments will better equip a veteran to deal with the effects of PTSD. These services are just one of the keys to helping vets transition to civilian life and live happily and peacefully with their loved ones.
4 PTSD Treatments That Veterans Use
There are four main treatments used to treat PTSD at the veterans’ medical center in Los Angeles.
1. One-on-One Testing
Psychotherapists and physicians trained in testing and treating PTSD will start by getting the proper diagnosis. They will interview the veteran to make sure the issue really is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and not some other underlying psychiatric disorder. In some cases, other disorders can mimic PTSD, or the PTSD could be exacerbated by a condition, like a traumatic brain injury.
There are two types of medications that have been successful in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are:
- SSRIs: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a type of antidepressant that block the reabsorption (or reuptake) of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. In other words, they allow the serotonin to be available for use in the brain.
- SNRIs: Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors also block the reabsorption of serotonin. But they also block the reabsorption of another neurotransmitter: norepinephrine.
These medications have been particularly helpful when used in conjunction with counseling.
3. One-on-One Counseling
Another effective way to recover from a traumatic experience is to get emotional support. While friends and family members can offer some comfort, they can’t do it all. Sometimes the mental and emotional wounds are simply too deep. A skilled therapist has the training to walk a PTSD patient through the healing process. And because the therapist is not a friend or relative, many people find it easier to express their feelings thoroughly.
4. Family Counseling
When veterans suffer, so do their families. A veterans’ medical center in Los Angeles can also provide family counseling so that all members of the family get the support they need. Plus, it’s a great way for family members to better understand what their loved one is dealing with. This can be a source of healing for everyone in the family.
Taking Advantage of Benefits
It’s hard for a lot of people to ask for help, but especially someone who has served their country. They’re used to being the hero, to being the one helping others. Having to ask for help may seem weak. Or, in some cases, veterans don’t want to burden anyone.
The fact is, though, that the benefits are there for a reason – to be used. Veterans who take advantage of the resources available to them often enjoy better health and a happier civilian life.