Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme form of anxiety following a traumatic event. Sufferers often develop PTSD after experiencing an event that caused them to feel extreme fear, shock or helplessness such as a car accident or wartime atrocity or after being repeatedly exposed to trauma such as childhood abuse or sexual violence.
There are various methods available for treating PTSD, with several types of psychotherapy being the major form of treatment. These include:
Focuses on changing the sufferer’s way of evaluating and responding to situations and unhealthy behaviours stemming from their thoughts and feelings.
A behavioural treatment aimed at reducing fear, anxiety and avoidance behaviour by confronting or being exposed to the feared thoughts, feelings and situations.
A treatment based on the idea that suffering results not from experiencing emotional pain, but from attempting to avoid that pain.
PTSD sufferers can also help themselves by learning stress management techniques, connecting with supportive people and talking with others who have experienced the same disorder.
Unlike other treatments that focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that the memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms.