PTSD Awareness, Treatments for PTSD, Villayat 'SnowMoon Wolf' Sunkmanitu

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Treatments for PTSD

Treatment is an individual thing. What works for you might not work for another. If the treatment you elect doesn't work,
try something else ... don't give up!

I'm just going to list some treatment options and then it's up to you to 'Google' the phrase and find a practitioner in your area.

I would recommend that you go and see 'Combat Stress' alongside whatever other therapies you may choose to use.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) There are eight phases of EMDR treatment. The therapy involves clients or patients to think of upsetting images while they track the therapist moves her fingers back and forth in front of the patient. Adding to that, the client is asked to think of positive thoughts while they follow the fingers back and forth, then they write down what they are thinking (Sharpless). This treatment is found to be similarly effective like exposure therapy is.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CBT) This involves both cognitive (thinking) and exposure elements. It is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on cognitive (thinking) interventions. There are usually 12 sessions of the treatment that involve writing and reading activities. In short, activities involved with this therapy include the clients being asked to write about their traumatic or scary memories in detail, and then read these memories to themselves daily and aloud in therapy sessions (Sharpless).
Nightmare Therapy Many veterans that suffer from combat-related PTSD sometimes suffer from reoccurring nightmares from past traumatic or scary experiences. The positive outcomes from this type of therapy suggest that it is highly effective. For this type of therapy, the therapist needs to select techniques for treatment that will help increase the understanding of the anxiety-producing features of the nightmares. These techniques should be based on the likely chance of getting rid of the nightmare or decreasing the anxiety-producing features of the nightmare (Coalson). One form of treatment for nightmares is through learned lucid dreaming, causing one to become aware they are dreaming enabling a sense of control.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) This type of therapy involves exposing the patient to traumatic or scary memories. In this treatment, there will most likely be from 8 to 15 sessions of this exposure. They will first be exposed to a past traumatic memory; following is an immediate discussion about the traumatic memory and, "in vivo exposure to safe, but traumarelated situations that the client fears and avoids" (Sharpless). The goal of this therapy is "to reduce their emotional impact in terms of cognitive (thoughts), behavioral (behavior), or physiological effects (physical)"(Carlson). Slowed breathing techniques and educational information is also touched on in these sessions.
Trauma Group Therapy In trauma group therapy, the groups range from 12 to 18 members and are completed over a 10 to 12 week period. The goal of the group therapy is help the patients remember and examine their war experiences so that they can work them in with the rest of their lives. They are encouraged to remember their experiences as clear as possible without hiding or leaving any details out. The group part of this therapy helps the veterans develop the feeling that they belong because of the other veterans that are experiencing the same problems. This allows them to establish positive relationships with other group therapy members. It provides a sort of safe and supportive peer group (Rozynko).


Drug therapy, known as pharmacotherapy, is widely used as a treatment for PTSD. Drug therapy is considered less time consuming and easier to continue than psychotherapy (talk therapy) but it is encouraged for patients who participate in pharmacotherapy to also participate in psychotherapy (talk therapy) simultaneously. The key to successful medication treatment is matching the medicine to the patient. In particular, antidepressants are highly used in the treatment of PTSD because of the likelihood of depression involved with PTSD patients. The most popular types of medications for drug therapies are monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO), tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), mostly focusing on SSRIs because MAOIs and tricyclics have more harmful side effects(Giller).

Alternative Medication

Alternative herbal medicines can be purchased without prescription from your local health food stores. Pease check the documentation carefully for side effects and ensure that you have consulted your GP in case there are any complications with other medication that you may be taking.
St Johns Wort

St John's wort is widely known as an herbal treatment for depression. In some countries, such as Germany, it is commonly prescribed for mild depression, especially in children and adolescents.

A report from the Cochrane Review states:

The available evidence suggests that the Hypericum extracts tested in the included trials a) are superior to placebo in patients with major depression; b) are similarly effective as standard antidepressants; and c) have fewer side-effects than standard antidepressants.
There are two issues that complicate the interpretation of our findings:
1) While the influence of precision on study results in placebo-controlled trials is less pronounced in this updated version of our review compared to the previous version (Linde 2005a), results from more precise trials still show smaller effects over placebo than less precise trials.
2) Results from German-language countries are considerably more favourable for Hypericum than trials from other countries.

In one study, St John's wort was not found to be effective for patients suffering from dysthymia, a less severe and more chronic variety of depression. However, St John's wort has been shown to be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression in certain studies.


Valerian is used for insomnia and other disorders as an alternative to benzodiazepine drugs, and as a sedative for nervous tension, excitability, stress and intestinal colic or cramps.

In the United States, valerian is sold as a nutritional supplement. Therapeutic use has increased as dietary supplements have gained in popularity, especially after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed in 1994. This law allowed the distribution of many agents as over-the-counter supplements, and therefore allowed them to bypass the regulatory requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Valerian is used for sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety, and as a muscle relaxant. Certain data suggests that valerian has an effect that is calming but doesn't cause sleepiness the following day. When used as a sleeping aid, valerian appears to be most effective on users who have difficulty falling asleep. Also noteworthy is that valerian has been shown to have positive results on users who wake up during the night. Valerian often seems only to work when taken over longer periods (several weeks), though some users find that it takes effect immediately. Some studies have demonstrated that valerian extracts interact with the GABA receptors. Valerian is also used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal pain and irritable bowel syndrome. However, long term safety studies are absent.

Valerian is sometimes recommended as a first-line treatment when risk-benefit analysis dictates. Valerian is often indicated as transition medication when discontinuing benzodiazepines.

Valerian has uses in herbal medicine as a sedative. Results of investigations into its effectiveness have been mixed. It has been recommended for epilepsy, but that is not supported by research (although valproic acid—an analogue of one of valerian's constituents, valeric acid—is used as an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug). Valerian root generally does not lose effectiveness over time.

One study found valerian tends to sedate the agitated person and stimulate the fatigued person, bringing about a balancing effect on the system.

Lemon Balm

The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as a repellant for mosquitos.

Lemon balm is also used medicinally as an herbal tea, or in extract form. It is claimed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties (it is effective against herpes simplex).

It is also used as an anxiolytic, mild sedative or calming agent. At least one study has found it to be effective at reducing stress, although the study's authors call for further research. Lemon balm extract was identified as a potent inhibitor of GABA transaminase, which explains anxiolytic effects. The major compound responsible for GABA transaminase inhibition activity in lemon balm is rosmarinic acid.

Lemon balm and preparations thereof also have been shown to improve mood and mental performance. These effects are believed to involve muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Positive results have been achieved in a small clinical trial involving Alzheimer patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

Its antibacterial properties have also been demonstrated scientifically, although they are markedly weaker than those from a number of other plants studied. The extract of lemon balm was also found to have exceptionally high antioxidant activity.

Lemon balm is mentioned in the scientific journal Endocrinology, where it is explained that Melissa officinalis exhibits antithyrotropic activity, inhibiting TSH from attaching to TSH receptors, hence making it of possible use in the treatment of Graves' disease or hyperthyroidism.

Lemon balm essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy. The essential oil is commonly co-distilled with lemon oil, citronella oil, or other oils.

Lemon balm is used in some variations of the Colgate Herbal toothpaste for its soothing and aromatic properties.

Lemon balm should be avoided by those on thyroid medication (such as thyroxine), as it is believed the herb inhibits the absorption of this medicine.

Recent research found a daily dose of the tea reduced oxidative stress status in radiology staff that were exposed to persistent low-dose radiation during work. After only 30 days of taking the tea daily researchers found Lemon balm tea resulted in a significant improvement in plasma levels of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase and a marked reduction in plasma DNA damage, myeloperoxidase, and lipid peroxidation.

Lemon balm was found to be effective in the amelioration of laboratory-induced stress in human subjects, producing "significantly increased self-ratings of calmness and reduced self-ratings of alertness." The authors further report a "significant increase in the speed of mathematical processing, with no reduction in accuracy" following the administration of a 300 mg dose.

Alternative Therapies

Accupuncture Accupuncture can be used for physical pain and stress related issues.


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