Complementary and alternative therapies for treating PTSD include acupuncture, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicines, meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, mind-body therapy, and tai chi. These interventions can be used alone or in combination. Antidepressants such as paroxetine, mirtazapine, amitriptyline, or phenelzine are sometimes used to treat PTSD in adults. Of these medications, paroxetine is the only one specifically authorized for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, mirtazapine, amitriptyline, and phenelzine have also been shown to be effective and are often recommended as well. If medication for PTSD is effective, it will usually be continued for a minimum of 12 months before gradually phasing it out over the course of four weeks or more. Before prescribing a medication, your doctor should tell you about possible side effects you may have from taking it, along with any possible withdrawal symptoms when the medication is withdrawn. All too often, however, medications such as Abilify, Zyprexa and Seroquel are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills needed to cope with such distressing physical reactions.
Of course, medications only attenuate sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies. Herbal remedies, such as kava and St. John's Wort. St.
John's Wort may be useful in treating symptoms that often accompany PTSD, such as depressive and anxiety symptoms. In some cases, life-threatening drug interactions have been reported with the use of St. John's Wort, 27 Patients should therefore be advised not to use herbal treatments in combination with alcohol or other medications. While effective treatments for PTSD have been established, many people remain symptomatic after treatment or never seek empirically supported therapies.
Some studies have not found any benefit associated with relaxation techniques compared to the treatment of PTSD (18-20). However, there are some that are increasing in evidence-based research that demonstrates their effectiveness in treating PTSD. A randomized controlled trial found that a 6-week group intervention that provided training on the repetition of mantras (silent repetition of a word with spiritual meaning) along with usual treatment (medication and case management) had a small to moderate effect on PTSD symptoms among veterans with chronic PTSD, compared to regular treatment alone. There is no definitive cure for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but there are many types of treatment that can alleviate symptoms.
Not all CIH approaches seem equally promising in treating PTSD, although research in this area is rapidly evolving. In addition, the Virginia Office of Research and Development undertook a dedicated effort to evaluate HIV in the treatment of PTSD by requesting research requests that examined the effectiveness of meditative approaches to treating PTSD; the result was 3 clinical trials that examined stress reduction based on mindfulness or the repetition of mantras. Originally approved by the FDA for anesthesia, ketamine infusion is emerging as an option for treatment-resistant mental health conditions, including PTSD. There are positive preliminary findings for acupuncture in the treatment of chronic anxiety associated with PTSD.
Yoga is acceptable, feasible, and low-risk; yoga can be recommended as a complementary approach to other evidence-based treatments. People who received the mindfulness condition showed greater improvement in PTSD symptoms, but these improvements were not maintained after treatment ended. If you have experienced a traumatic event and have symptoms of PTSD, it's very important that you seek treatment. These treatment methods are used to help minimize, or even eliminate, the worrying symptoms that people with post-traumatic stress disorder often experience.
CIH approaches can reasonably be recommended as complementary treatments for people with PTSD; there is no evidence that the techniques are harmful, other than the warning about herbal remedies. Once again, the controls for the effects of the usual treatment were not clearly specified and adherence to the use of guided imagery between sessions was not evaluated. Both treatment groups required weekly, structured group interactions and general behavioral activation, which may have contributed in part to the similar levels of clinical change (small to moderate effect sizes) observed in both study groups. .