Sunday, December 13, 2015

Headway made on treatments for PTSD--Again

There seems to be a lot of history being repeated these days. You'd think with the ability to find facts with a few keystrokes, they would know what was already done and discover if it worked or not. After all, trauma connected to war was being studied over 100 years ago during WWI. Since the basic design of humans has not changed, the only thing researchers have learned in the last decade they could really label as new, are the brain scans showing PTSD as well as TBI the other invisible wound.
"In Israel, a 2011 study found early intervention following a trauma can help prevent the full onset of PTSD."
That was mentioned in the following article about treating trauma differently than they have in the past. But that wasn't new at all. In 2008 I was certified in Crisis Intervention as a Chaplain by the IFOC because I knew it worked and worked well.

Psychologist: Headway made on treatments for PTSD
Stars and Stripes
By Dianna Cahn
Published: December 13, 2015
Clinical psychologist, Dr. Alan Peterson, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a research scientist with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, talks about the effects of the blast at a federal health conference in San Antonio on Dec. 2. DIANNA CAHN/STARS AND STRIPES
Before he launched into his lecture on the long-term consequences of “the blast,” Alan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, took a moment to pay tribute to his subjects — and to get his audience’s attention.

“This time of year, keep in mind, we have a lot of people who are deployed,” said Peterson, who is the behavioral medicine chief at the medical school of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “For our troops who are deployed, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and …”

“BOOM!” he said, in a sudden shout.

Beside him, images flashed across a screen: ripped, ragged limbs, pools of blood, furniture — and people — thrown like rag dolls.
Though many treatments might work, the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have sanctioned two of them for pervasive use: prolonged exposure therapy, in which a patient reviews the traumatic experience again and again until the event becomes historical and stops setting off triggers, and cognitive processing therapy, in which the patient reviews symptoms and accounts of the trauma and works to modify thoughts and beliefs related to it — more of an adaptation of perspective.

A 2012 study found 80 percent of civilians treated with these therapies were basically cured, and remained that way five years later.

But doctors have yet to conclude that it works as well on military veterans. Part of the problem, Peterson said, is that active-duty servicemembers don’t manage to show up for sessions during a 12-to-15-week period. Doctors are now trying compressed treatments, in which the sessions are daily for two weeks, rather than spread out over a longer period.
read more here