If you want to experience relief from your disorder, then you'll want to carefully evaluate your treatment options. Whether you're looking for a traditional approach to treatment or alternative therapies, it's worth considering all of your available options.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when someone has been exposed to a traumatic event or series of events that cause them severe distress. In many cases, people with PTSD will experience intense and disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience(s).
The most common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Avoidance behaviors
- Anger outbursts
- Sleep problems
- Concentration difficulties
- And more
In many cases, PTSD can present alongside other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or even a self-destructive behavioral disorder. It can be incredibly difficult to live with PTSD, which is why effective treatment is so important. Let's dive into a few of the most reliable PTSD treatments in Chicago that are available today.
In many cases, the first line of treatment for trauma disorders has been prescription medications. One popular choice for PTSD and other disorders of anxiety tends to be selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The most common ones include:
They are often used as antidepressants that may help alleviate PTSD symptoms as well. But here's the problem: these medications do not provide long-term relief. This is because they do not address the root cause of your trauma. In addition, SSRIs may have some unpleasant side effects, like nausea, dizziness, insomnia, headaches, and more. These meds may lead some sufferers of PTSD to disengage with all treatments and won’t explore others, such as the interventions listed below.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a structured therapy that helps you make sense of your trauma. This therapy was initially developed specifically for PTSD treatment in 1987 (APA) and is still used today for that same purpose. However, EMDR therapy may help with stress management, severe anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
In EMDR, patients focus on their trauma memories while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (e.g., eye movements, lights, tones, tapping, etc.). Over time, this therapy can help reduce the vividness and strong emotions associated with traumatic events.
Psychotherapy and Counseling
Licensed therapists offer an all-natural and non-invasive way to treat your PTSD. By talking through your issues with a mental health professional, you can get to the root cause of your disorder and healthily process your emotions. Through your psychotherapy sessions, you will learn:
- How to avoid and improve your PTSD symptoms
- Valuable skills and techniques to deal with your symptoms
- The underlying reasons for your trauma
- And how to restore your self-confidence
One well-known group of PTSD therapeutic interventions is found under the umbrella of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The CBT techniques known to help with PTSD may include:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)- A 12-week course of treatment in which you'll participate in several talk therapy sessions and writing exercises. The goal is to help you examine how you think about your trauma and discover new ways to live with it.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) - This approach focuses on helping you confront things/activities that you have been avoiding since your trauma. Over time, your new experiences may help ease your symptoms and help you come to terms with your trauma.
- Stress Inoculation Training - A type of CBT, stress inoculation focuses on changing how you deal with stress from your trauma. This training will help build skills and will teach you unique techniques to put your mind and body at ease during stressful events.
Your skilled therapist will work closely with you in a safe environment to help you to change the thought patterns that are disrupting your daily life and address your trauma. It's worth noting that while one-on-one counseling sessions may work well, group or family therapy sessions could be a great adjunct to more comprehensively address your needs.
Get Started On Your Effective PTSD Treatment In Chicago
Talk therapy is without a doubt the best way to alleviate your PTSD symptoms. There are no side effects to counseling and the process is completely natural. If you're ready to start healing from your past traumas, there's no better place to turn than Wellington Counseling Group.
We have several mental health clinicians on staff with extensive experience in trauma therapy. At our treatment center, you'll gain the support you need to work through and overcome your mental health disorder. At Wellington Counseling Group, we're here to support your recovery process every step of the way.
Contact us today to book your initial consultation and learn more about your options for PTSD treatment in Chicago.