A Practical Guide to Mental Health Treatment

This comprehensive overview of mental health disorders includes all of the latest information regarding screening, diagnosis, and treatment modalities – psychotherapy, pharmacotherapies, self-help strategies.

A useful resource for practitioners at the forefront of community mental health, this book takes the lofty vision of recovery-oriented care set forth by President’s New Freedom Commission 2003 report and makes it tangible.

PTSD: Pharmacological Approaches

Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder can be debilitating and, left untreated, can have lasting negative impacts on work performance, school grades and home life. An estimated third of people diagnosed with PTSD become chronically ill (Kessler et al 2013) while they also often develop debilitating comorbidities like depression, drug or alcohol abuse and an increased risk for suicide (American Psychiatric Association 1996).

There are various medications used to treat PTSD and other anxiety disorders, and some may be prescribed in combination with psychotherapy. These medicines target neurotransmitters that regulate fear and anxiety responses in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine, gamma-aminobutryic acid, dopamine and excitatory amino acids such as glutamate.

These medications may help decrease symptoms related to re-experiencing, avoidance, negative cognitions and altered arousal and reactivity; although they do not alleviate all of them. Most current guidelines8, 12, 14, 15 recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as sertraline and paroxetine or selective noradrenergic receptor inverse agonists like venlafaxine for treating PTSD; although other antidepressants such as those which modulate serotonergic neurotransmission or increase norepinephrine neurotransmission through other means may also prove effective.

Medication may also help to alleviate symptoms related to nightmares and poor sleep quality, which often plague those living with PTSD. Furthermore, they help normalise arousal levels so patients may return to a state of alertness more quickly.

Notably, creating and managing an effective medication regimen takes some time; thus it should not be seen as a quick fix to trauma-related difficulties. Many patients find that using both psychotherapy and medication together is the optimal way to address symptoms associated with trauma.

Mental health professionals such as the Center for mental wellness in San Diego can determine whether a person meets the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders. Furthermore, health practitioners can help identify key PTSD symptoms like intrusive thoughts and feelings, nightmares, flashbacks and avoidance of reminders including places, conversations or triggers that could trigger such reactions.

PTSD: Psychotherapy

If you or someone you know suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), treatment may help relieve symptoms and promote recovery. Most effective strategies involve psychological (or talking) therapy and medications to address this condition.

First step should typically involve consulting with your physician or mental health professional who will assess what’s causing and the severity of the problem, possibly referring you to another mental health specialist if necessary.

Many individuals diagnosed with PTSD also struggle with anxiety or depression, or may use unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or drugs as ways of coping. All these conditions may also be treated through psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapies used in treating PTSD may include group therapy, family therapy and individual psychotherapy. These forms of treatment can help you learn to cope better by receiving support from others and working through painful memories; additionally they may teach techniques for controlling reactions and thoughts better as well as teaching you techniques for self-regulation. Medication may also provide some symptom relief so you can participate in therapy more fully.

Some therapists specialize in psychotherapies designed specifically to address trauma, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), prolonged exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Other approaches involve combining psychotherapies with medications. For example, people living with posttraumatic stress disorder are sometimes given both cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressant drugs as treatments.

Psychotherapy isn’t only useful in treating PTSD; it can also be an invaluable way to deal with other problems such as anxiety and depression, life stressors like the death of a loved one or divorce, unhealthy behaviors such as road rage or any aggressive actions taken towards another individual.

Find psychologists or mental health professionals offering psychotherapy by visiting the websites of local universities or medical schools, calling your county/state health departments for information, asking your physician for a referral, visiting church/community center mental health clinics or looking up online listings of professionals specializing in PTSD or similar conditions.

PTSD: Self-Help

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after a terrifying or upsetting event. It can affect children as well as adults. It causes a variety of symptoms, including upsetting memories, flashbacks, and nightmares. It also can lead to trouble concentrating, and feeling anxious or depressed. PTSD can have a negative impact on relationships and the ability to work or go to school. Symptoms usually start in the hours or days after a trauma, but they can take longer for some people. Symptoms can be triggered by things like sounds, smells, or images. They may also be triggered by events that remind you of the trauma, such as seeing a news report about a car backfire or being reminded of a painful kiss or hug.

People with PTSD often try to avoid the painful memories and feelings that are connected to their trauma. But trying to numb or suppress emotions can cause them to be stronger and more disruptive. This is why it is important to seek a mental health professional who has experience treating PTSD.

Treatment for PTSD includes psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. The main treatments are talk therapies that help people regain control of their thoughts and feelings about the trauma. They include Prolonged Exposure therapy, where you discuss the trauma repeatedly until it is no longer upsetting, and EMDR, which involves using rhythmic left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sound, to help your brain process the memory.

You can find a therapist who has experience treating PTSD by asking your doctor for a referral, calling a mental health clinic or psychiatric hospital, or looking in the phone book or online listings. You can also get support from other survivors of PTSD by joining a peer group.

PTSD can be difficult to treat, but it is possible to improve with time and effort. With the right therapist and other support networks, you can learn to manage your symptoms so that they don’t control your life. You can also find other ways to cope with PTSD, such as by taking care of yourself physically, finding healthy outlets for your emotions, and building self-esteem.

PTSD: Family Therapy

Family therapy can also play an essential role in treating PTSD. It helps family members deal with the stress caused by mental health conditions in loved ones and find effective ways to support them; family therapy also aids victims by helping them understand and articulate their experiences and emotions.

Mental health professionals can offer techniques and coping strategies for dealing with the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For instance, they might include deep breathing exercises, visualizing positive thoughts or imagining safer scenarios to manage emotions and help a person recognize and change negative thoughts such as feeling responsible or fearing it will reoccur.

People suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often lack trust for others, which can damage relationships and lead to feelings of isolation. Psychotherapy provides an opportunity for someone with PTSD to open up and discuss their experience in a safe setting while learning effective communication and setting healthy boundaries.

Psychotherapy for PTSD may take the form of individual or group sessions and generally lasts between 6-12 weeks, although this timeframe may extend over time. Cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) have proven most successful therapies, as these techniques teach people to challenge negative thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that contribute to PTSD while also learning to process memories more efficiently.

PTSD can be complex and each individual experiencing it will have unique circumstances that contribute to it. Therefore, it is crucial that you adhere to your therapist’s treatment plan in order to effectively reduce symptoms and enhance quality of life.

Family therapy can provide individuals recovering from posttraumatic stress disorder with support, education and guidance to overcome it. While some forms of family therapy focus on relationships between a couple or romantic partner and children alone or both together; others include including both parties together. Examples include strategic family therapy that addresses issues related to conflict resolution, parenting and financial management within family systems while Bowenian therapy teaches techniques for diffusing emotional reactions and reducing frequency of arguments between parties involved.