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Does PTSD Ever Go Away: Exploring Treatment Options for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Does PTSD Ever Go Away: Exploring Treatment Options for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a recognized mental health condition prevalent amongst first responders, veterans, and civilians after a traumatic event. In one recent poll, it appears that about 6% of the American population will encounter PTSD at some point in their life.

But does PTSD ever go away? What can you do about it?

We’re glad you asked. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about PTSD treatment options.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in some individuals after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is an anxiety disorder that can develop in response to any traumatic event such as:

  • military combat
  • terrorist attack
  • physical assault
  • natural disasters
  • sexual assault
  • car accident

It can lead to terrifying nightmares, upsetting flashbacks, anger outbursts, difficulty sleeping, increased startle reflexes, and other symptoms. The good news is that PTSD is a treatable condition. Depending on the severity of symptoms, a variety of treatments can be used to lessen the burden of PTSD.

How to Recognize the Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD often manifest in a wide range of physical and psychological difficulties, which can be overwhelming and can interfere with day-to-day activities. These are the most common symptoms:

  • flashbacks
  • nightmares
  • hypervigilance
  • emotional numbing
  • avoidance of triggering stimuli
  • intense feelings of guilt or worthlessness

Recognizing the symptoms is the first step in understanding the illness and seeking treatment. It is important to learn more and understand that PTSD is a treatable disorder and does not have to be a life sentence.

Exploring PTSD Treatment Solutions

PTSD is a lasting condition that can be debilitating to anyone. It is important to explore treatment options when managing PTSD. Some of the more common treatments for PTSD are as follows:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This form of treatment helps people understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to modify them to cope with the data of trauma. CBT helps people with PTSD identify triggers and teaches them to challenge and reframe interpretations of negative events.

Through this process, people learn to gain control over their thoughts and behaviors, and ultimately reduce their symptoms.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT works on changing negative thought patterns and outlooks, developing better coping skills, and understanding triggers that cause distress or flashbacks. It also helps to desensitize people to their traumatic memories while gaining the skills needed to live a healthy life.

CPT requires about 12-15 one-hour sessions with a therapist and is typically shorter and more focused than traditional talk therapy. It also encourages involvement from family and friends and is adaptable to all types of trauma.

Cognitive Therapy (CT)

Cognitive therapy helps people regain control over their thoughts and beliefs, changing destructive patterns. Cognitive approaches are traditionally collaborative and focus on problem-solving skills and skills to help individuals cope with their intrusive thoughts.

It emphasizes the idea that thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors are all interconnected and affect each other. Cognitive therapy, if successful, can help improve emotional regulation and create meaningful changes in how a person responds to stress and difficult situations.

Prolonged Exposure

Prolonged exposure involves revisiting the memories or events which trigger the anxiety or distress. By doing so under professional guidance, the traumatic event helps to reduce the intensity of the symptoms resulting from the event.

Prolonged exposure therapy also aims to help patients become desensitized to stimuli evoking the traumatic experience. It is a process where patients confront their fears through talk therapy, mental rehearsal, and other techniques.

Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy

This type of treatment helps people figure out how they feel about the traumatic event and how to deal with those feelings by changing the way they think and act. It also helps people learn how to deal with their PTSD symptoms in a good way.

People may find that their symptoms get better over time or even go away if they deal with the traumatic event in a useful and meaningful way.

Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

NET is a therapy for treating PTSD that helps people heal by rewriting the story of their experience. NET pushes people to work with the story of their trauma to make it more coherent and meaningful. It also helps people find and change the negative thoughts and beliefs that come with PTSD.

NET also helps people make good connections with their past, build safe relationships, and, in the end, feel more in control of their lives.


Medication is often talked about as a way to help people with PTSD. Some of the signs of PTSD, such as anxiety and trouble sleeping, may be helped by antidepressants, beta-blockers, and sleep aids.

Alternate treatments

Some of the most common alternative methods are yoga, biofeedback, massage, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. By focusing on both the physical and mental symptoms of PTSD, these alternative treatments try to give people who have been greatly affected by trauma a sense of balance that they often find hard to regain.

Measuring PTSD Recovery Success

It’s important to know that PTSD doesn’t go away in a day. It takes time and treatments that have been shown to work to recognize, deal with, and control the signs of PTSD.

Not everyone will react well to the same type of treatment, so people with PTSD should try out different therapies to find the one that works best for them.

Does PTSD Ever Go Away With Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a difficult condition that can vary greatly from person to person and from situation to situation. Does PTSD ever go away with treatment? The short answer is yes – with treatment, PTSD can become less intense over time.

If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, find help now. Support and treatment centers are available.

Check out our other blog posts for more health and lifestyle tips.

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