Behavioral therapies for PTSD prove effective long after discontinuing treatment, says study

Behavioral therapies for PTSD prove effective long after discontinuing treatment, says study

Experiencing a shocking or traumatic event can have a damaging effect on one’s mental health. Fear of danger during or after any traumatic situation is natural. Though most individuals recover from initial problems naturally, those who continue to experience such feelings are more likely to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, a new study from Case Western Reserve University suggests effective and lasting methods for symptoms of PTSD.

Researchers in their study, titled “Long-term efficacy of psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” highlighted that both civilians and veterans suffering from PTSD can gain long-term benefits from treatment methods like psychotherapies conducted over a short period. The findings of the study were recently published online in the journal Clinical Psychology Review.

The researchers based their research on a detailed assessment of 32 studies related to PTSD. The information in these studies contained details about 72 different treatment conditions after having followed up with patients for a minimum of six months, and up to roughly two years post the completion of the treatment process. They found that the symptoms were less severe up to two years after the treatment ended as compared to six months after therapy.

Elucidating the findings of the study, co-author Alex Kline said, “It is possible that the longer time between post-treatment and follow-up assessments may provide a better opportunity for new skills to be practiced and reinforced, and for treatment gains to crystallize.”

Prevalence of PTSD in US

PTSD is a common disorder in the U.S, with an estimated 24.4 million people suffering from it at any given time. Patients with PTSD are often treated with therapeutic interventions that include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. The manifestations of PTSD are prevalent in people of all age groups, including teenagers.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data, 14 to 43 percent of boys and 15 to 43 percent of girls experience at least one trauma. Of those kids and teens who have gone through a trauma, 3 to 15 percent of girls and 1 to 6 percent of boys develop PTSD. The most common way of curing teen PTSD includes addressing behavior of the patients and helping them rid of maladaptive thoughts while dealing with their unwarranted fear. Psychologists mostly consider exposure therapy as the current standard of PTSD treatment for teens, which involves exposing them to most feared stimuli under controlled conditions.

Not all PTSD patients respond to similar treatment. The kind of treatment varies from patient to patient and mainly depends on the extent of trauma suffered and one’s past experiences that had contributed to their disturbed state of mind.

Treating PTSD in teens

PTSD can be treated with timely medical intervention that may include cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. CBT is considered the most effective treatment for adolescents. Other alternatives are eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and play therapy. At times, symptoms of PTSD coincide with depression, which in turn may exacerbate the problem. Therefore, it’s always advisable to take professional help for teen posttraumatic stress disorder treatment.

White River Academy, one of the leading therapeutic boarding schools in the country, helps adolescent boys recover from mental disorders like PTSD. If your teenaged son feels continually stressed due to some traumatic experience in the past, our experts treating teen posttraumatic stress disorder can help. For more information about best options for teen PTSD treatment, call our 24/7 helpline or chat with our online representative.

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