Get to know the best treatments of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Angelica Diaz
Aug 9 · 3 min read
Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

Terrorist attacks, kidnapping, participation in a war, armed conflict, traffic accidents, natural disasters, death of beloved ones, physical or psychological mistreatment, loss of job, moving home, work or education place, separation from the partner, more or less complicated life events — all these can generate physical and emotional discomfort and post-traumatic stress if the time alone cannot heal the wounds. In the most of these situations, traumatic experiences determine various behaviors and reactions, because they leave a fingerprint in our memory. They get evoked every time a present events gets mentally connected with a past one; and it can be accompanied by images, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations or emotions which are similar to the experienced ones. That’s why the consequences of this kind of experiences deserve to be treated with the best tools the psychology has to offer.

There are situations which certainly cause a big mental damage and others which might appear unimportant for many; that’s why you should consider the perspective of the affected person objectively and analytically and you should understand the aftermath of the traumatic events.

To grasp it better, imagine a person who used to have a little jewelry shop in a town where she lived. A day like any other, a person whom she known and whom she trusted completely, entered her shop and offered her some products. He asked her to lock her dog in a room behind because of his fear of dogs and the noise the dog made. The woman locked her dog without second thoughts. In that very moment, two further persons opened the door and entered, holding guns in her hands, gagged the woman, took the security cameras and almost everything of value with them. Meanwhile, they were hitting the woman and put a cloth in her mouth so that she couldn’t breath and told her they would kill her. A few weeks later, she began a treatment and felt everything reviving within her again and again. She didn’t feel safe home but preferred not to leave, a deep depression began and she needed drugs to be able to sleep. She made a few therapeutic sessions and she felt better. She didn’t remember the face of the violator any more, physical sensations which emerged when she was thinking of the episode minimized, she could have a calm life and started thinking of how to reestablish her shop and recuperate the economic damage. But she is still being treated, because of the complexity of this event.

What exactly is so complex? You may have heard of the post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, which is a mental complaint of person who have suffered a traumatic experience, from the acute level to the chronic level; and is frequently accompanied by other sufferings as well as physical and mental manifestations, like cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, autoimmune diseases, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, anxiety and many more.

In a study conducted in 21 countries by WHO, more than 10% of those polled claimed to have witnessed acts of violence (21,8%) or felt victim to an act of violence (18,8%), an accident (17,7%), have been exposed to a military conflict (16,2%) or have lost a beloved person (12,5%).

Due to the high numbers of these sufferings, WHO, which is the highest authority in the subject of health, published the best treatment options of PTSD: reprocessing and desensitization by eye movements (EMDR) and cognitive-behavioral therapy. If you get offered other treatment type, you should question the efficiency of the therapy, because one of those or a combination of both will always be the best choice for your therapy.

Having said that, I also appeal to governmental entities who are able to design treatment policies, based on these principles, and thus enhance the response capacities of different sectors, so that the clinical and psychological aspects of the disease can be treated accordingly.

Something similar has happened to you? Have you experienced a traumatic event? Have you managed to overcome it or is still affecting you? Write me a response or contact me for help.

Psychology in deep

By Psychologist Angelica Diaz

Angelica Diaz

Written by

Psicóloga egresada de la Universidad Surcolombiana, especializada en terapia EMDR.

Psychology in deep

By Psychologist Angelica Diaz

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade