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There are many post traumatic stress disorder treatment choices. Practitioners offering PTSD treatments range from medical doctors to snake oil salesman. Avoiding the latter can be tricky. In the last few years PTSD has gained attention, and thus con artists offering cures for it have proliferated.
But until recently, PTSD was ignored by established medicine, so medical doctors are still learning what works and what doesn’t. To make things more complicated, there is no one cure that fixes everyone’s post traumatic stress. This leaves you with symptoms you can not tolerate, but little evidence to help you separate the scams from the treatments that might actually work for you.
So how do you tell if a treatment is a viable, but unproven method, or if it simply a way to separate you from your money?
First a quick rundown of the most common treatment options.
There are two approaches to treatment: Traditional, western medicine is all about fixing what is broken. It treats your physical symptoms and it includes medications for pain, for sleep, and to fix the messed up chemistry of your brain. Alternative medicine is holistic and relies heavily on eastern healing practices. It seeks to reunite the broken pieces of your body and spirit. It includes acupuncture, herbs, Eastern movement practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong, meditation, and prayer. Alternative medicine tends to be gentler, and less invasive, than traditional medicine. It is also slower. A prescription from your MD may show results in a few days, herbal remedies typically show results in a few weeks or months.
By far, the most common and best proven post-traumatic treatment is talk therapy. Talk therapy comes in two types – individual and group. Individual is all about you. It is you, one on one, with a counselor. Group talk therapy is well, a group – a group of trauma survivors, a work group, a family group.
Talk Therapy “Plus” is more than just words. You talk about what happened, but the treatment goes beyond talk. This includes options like hypnosis, exposure therapy (to desensitize you), somatic experiencing (to release the trauma stored in your muscles), EMDR (to reset your traumatized brain), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (to change your behavior patterns), and tapping or EFT (to reset your emotions).
So how can you tell if a post traumatic stress disorder treatment is a scam? Here are some warning signs to look for:
1. Practitioners claim it works for everyone.
2. You must decide immediately or the price goes up.
3. Your reasonable questions are met with evasion.
4. The “educational material” they offer looks like an used car lot sales flyer.
5. Their “educational material” uses a lot of superlatives – best, always, never, only.
6. They promise instant results with little effort, but lots of your dollars.
7. They promise permanent results with little effort, but lots of your dollars.
Curing post traumatic stress disorder is a process that requires time and effort. You won’t be cured overnight. Start with your most disabling symptom. Treat it first. Maybe you need anti-depressants to help you find the energy and ambition to pursue additional treatment.
There is no pill to cure PTSD. You will have to face what happened to you, your trauma experience. That is the key to curing your symptoms. Most people do that with some form of talk therapy. Explore the plus options, because words alone may not be enough. Everyone’s trauma experience is different, so everyone’s successful combination of treatments will be different. Watch out for con artists, but be open to trying different treatment options. Your cure is out there.