Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment
Other types of treatment
Your doctor also may
suggest you try other types of medicines and other forms of counseling.
- Other types of counseling include group
treatment, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy, and family
- Other types of medicines include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as
amitriptyline and imipramine (Tofranil).
- Atypical antidepressants such as
mirtazapine (Remeron) and venlafaxine extended release (Effexor). One study
has shown that venlafaxine XR reduced PTSD symptoms.8
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
such as isocarboxazid (Marplan) and phenelzine (Nardil).
- Mood stabilizers such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and lithium
(Lithobid or Eskalith). Mood stabilizers are sometimes taken with
other medicines used for PTSD.
- Antipsychotics such
as risperidone (Risperdal). These medicines may help with symptoms like
nightmares or flashbacks. More research is needed to find out how well these
- Prazosin (Minipress), which is used for nightmares and
sleep problems related to PTSD.
If you are using medicine, take it exactly as prescribed.
Call your doctor if it's not helping your symptoms or if the side effects are
very bad. You and your doctor will decide what to do.
Deciding to get treatment
people don't seek treatment for PTSD. You may not seek treatment because you
think the symptoms are not bad enough or that you can work things out on your
own. But getting treatment is important.
Treatment can make your
symptoms less intense and stop them from coming back. It can help you connect
with your family, friends, and community. Many people get better with
If you need help deciding whether to see your doctor,
see some reasons why people don't get help and ways to overcome them.
When you first see your therapist,
he or she will ask questions about the traumatic event causing PTSD and how
severe your symptoms are. You may want your spouse, your partner, or a close
family member to come with you. This person can help your doctor understand
your symptoms and can help your therapist understand what you've been going
through. Being with someone you trust helps you relax.
If you have
other problems along with PTSD, such as overuse of alcohol or drugs, you also
may need treatment for those problems.