By Bret Moore, Special to Military Times
May 15, 2016
What did they find? Trauma-focused psychotherapies outperformed psychotherapies that do not specifically discuss the trauma. They also beat out medications.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is arguably the most challenging problem combat veterans face. Estimates vary, but experts believe that between 10 and 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from the disorder. This puts the actual number of men and women affected in the hundreds of thousands.Kevlar for the Mind (Photo: Thinkstock/Staff)
Considering that PTSD wreaks havoc on the veteran and their loved ones, and costs billions of dollars each year, finding and using the most effective treatments are critical.
Historically, medications and talk therapy have been considered "first-line treatments." This basically means they should be used first, and if they fail, then you try something else. In fact, the joint treatment guidelines published by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs Department puts medications and psychotherapy on equaling footing. The same is true for the American Psychiatric Association.
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On more thing to mention here is that about a third of Vietnam veterans have PTSD and there are a lot more veterans from WWII, Korea and the Gulf War left out of most of the reports on PTSD. None of this is new and that is frankly the biggest thing missing in this. What worked decades ago, still does and what failed is still failing.