What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health concern that some people develop after they see or experience a traumatic event. Most people have some stress related symptoms after a trauma. If those symptoms don't fade after a month, it might be Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Reliving the event
Memories of the trauma can come back at any time and can be triggered by reminders of what happened. You may have bad dreams, or feel like you are going through the trauma again.
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
You may try to avoid places, people or things that bring back memories of the event.
Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
The way you think about yourself and others changes because of the trauma. You may have trouble experiencing your emotions, think no one can be trusted, or feel guilt or shame.
Feeling keyed up
You may be on the lookout for danger. You might become angry very easily. Other problems following trauma If you have PTSD you may also feel guilt, shame, or depression. Problems with coworkers, friends, and loved ones are common. Many people with PTSD abuse alcohol or drugs. Often, PTSD treatment can help these problems, too. The coping skills you learn to deal with PTSD work in other areas of your life.
Treatments for PTSD include psychotherapy (counseling) and medication. Sometimes, the two are used together. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the best treatment for PTSD. There are different types of CBT, including Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT):
CPT teaches you how to identify trauma related thoughts and change them so they are more accurate and cause less distress.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE):
In PE, you talk about your trauma over and over until the memories no longer upset you. You also go to places that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they are related to the trauma.
Stress Inoculation Training (SIT):
SIT teaches patients a set of skills they can use to manage their anxiety. These skills might include relaxation, thought stopping, and positive self-talk.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR):
EMDR involves thinking about images and feelings that distress you while doing rapid eye movements.
Medications*: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors raise the level of serotonin in your brain. This can make you feel better. The two SSRIs that are approved by the FDA for PTSD are sertraline (Zoloft™) and paroxetine (Paxil™). *Some doctors prescribe benzodiazepines (or “benzos”) for people with PTSD. They are often given to people who have anxiety. While they may be of some help at first, these drugs do not treat the core PTSD symptoms. They may lead to addiction and are not recommended for long-term PTSD treatment.
The Warfighter Advance vision is a world where Warfighters are fully restored through a non-medical process.
The ADVANCE™ is, at its core, a 7-day program that uses a variety of means to change the trajectory of the Warfighter’s (active duty or veteran) post-deployment life. This is so that rather than an existence characterized by an endless cycle of mental illness diagnoses, medications, medical appointments and disappointments, the Warfighter has a life characterized by pride, productivity, healthy relationships, continued service, and advocacy for these same outcomes for their fellow service members.
Warfighters are asked to arrive with high expectations for themselves and for the program. By week’s end, Warfighters have learned that their outcome is their responsibility, while they are no longer bewildered as to how to achieve their desired outcome. In order to achieve this, we support them with the knowledge, tools, relationships and support necessary to move forward as Warfighters (past or present), rather than patients.
The ADVANCE 7-Day™ welcomes Warfighters who are struggling with what is typically known as “PTSD,” with or without a formal diagnosis. Other post-deployment “mental illness” labels or problems such as anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, anger, and mTBI are also considered. All referrals are self-referrals. No paperwork documenting “mental illness” is required or accepted. The ADVANCE™ welcomes Warfighters who have been treated by traditional psychiatric methods, as well as Warfighters who have been struggling on their own to reintegrate or deal with their operational traumas. We welcome Warfighters who are discouraged because nothing that has been offered to them has helped, as well as those who have self-medication or substance abuse problems. We do not limit enrollment to OIF/OEF or any other conflict, operation, or specific set of dates.
- Warfighter Advance 7-day training OP - 202-239-7395
- Understanding PTSD and Aging
- PTSD Treating Women
- PTSD Help for Family and Friends
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD
- National Institute of Mental Health - PTSD Booklet
- Hear Veterans share their experiences with PTSD and PTSD treatment at AboutFace
- Learn about and compare effective treatment options using the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid
- Explore the National Center for PTSD website for information, videos, and tools to help manage PTSD: www.ptsd.va.go
- VA Health Benefts 1-877-222-8387
- Military OneSource 1-800-342-9647
- VA PTSD Program Locator www.va.gov/directory/guide/ PTSD.asp
- Mental Health Services Locator http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
- Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-TALK (8255)