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Trauma & mental health
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Treatment

Almost everyone who goes through a traumatic event will be emotionally affected in some way. For some the effects can be long lasting. If you are still experiencing problems two weeks after a traumatic event, it is worth talking to your GP or a mental health professional to assess how you are going and to see if treatment would be helpful.

Treatment for PTSD

Effective treatments for PTSD are available, and include counselling, medication, or a combination of both. These treatments can work even if your traumatic experience was a long time ago.

Counselling

It is generally best to start with counselling rather than use medication as the first and only solution to the problem. Recommended counselling approaches for PTSD include trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Both these approaches will help you to: Counselling can involve around 8–12 sessions, though in some cases it might take longer.

Medication

The medications usually used to treat PTSD are antidepressants. Even if you don’t have depression, antidepressants can help make feelings associated with trauma more manageable. There are different kinds of antidepressants, but research has shown that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more likely to help.

Treatment for children and adolescents with PTSD

For children and adolescents who are struggling to recover after a traumatic event, the recommended treatment is trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This treatment will be adjusted to suit the child’s developmental stage, and involves: