PTSD TREATMENT IN THAILAND
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment and Recovery
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety disorder caused by going through distressing, frightening, and stressful events.
Someone who suffers from PTSD will often relive a past trauma by experiencing flashbacks and nightmares. They may also suffer from feelings of irritability, isolation and guilt.
Those who suffer from PTSD can also have sleeping disorders or insomnia, as well as trouble staying focused or concentrating.
The symptoms of PTSD are persistent and can be severe enough to negatively impact the day-to-day lives of sufferers.
What are the causes of PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be caused by any situation that someone finds traumatic. This includes;
- Serious road accidents
- Serious health problems
- Violent personal assaults including robbery/mugging or sexual assault
- Childbirth experiences
PTSD can develop immediately after the traumatic experience, or it may take several weeks, months, or years to develop.
It’s estimated that PTSD impacts 1 in 3 people who go through a traumatic experience at some stage during their life. It’s not known, however, why some people will develop PTSD and others won’t.
Effective Treatment of PTSD
PTSD is primarily treated through psychological therapy and medication.
It can be difficult to come to terms with a traumatic event, but confronting those feelings and getting professional help is generally regarded as the only way to effectively treat PTSD.
The good news is that PTSD can be treated successfully many years after the original trauma, so it is never too late to find help for the problem.
Before being treated for PTSD, ya medical professional will assess your symptoms to ensure that you get the treatment you need based on your own individual needs.
There are several mental health specialists that can help with PTSD, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and community psychiatric nurses.
At Miracles Asia Rehab Thailand, an initial assessment will be conducted by our Director of Clinical Services, but you may also be referred to a mental health specialist in order to receive any necessary extra assessments or provisional treatment if the symptoms of PTSD are particularly severe.
Prescription Drugs and Medication
Antidepressants like sertraline, paroxetine, amitriptyline, mirtazapine, or phenelzine, can be used to treat PTSD in adults. Only sertraline and paroxetine are licensed specifically for treating PTSD. Even so, amitriptyline, phenelzine, and mirtazapine have also been shown to be effective and could be recommended for PTSD.
These medications are only used if;
- You opt to not go through trauma-focused psychological treatment
- Psychological treatment wouldn’t be effective because there is still an ongoing threat of additional trauma – such as domestic violence
- You haven’t gained much benefit from the trauma-focused psychological treatment
- There is an underlying medical condition – such as severe depression – that impacts your ability to properly benefit from psychological treatment
Amitriptyline and phenelzine will generally only be used under supervision from a medical health specialist.
Antidepressants may be prescribed to reduce the associated symptoms of anxiety and depression, and they can help with sleeping problems.
If the medication for PTSD is effective, then it will often be continued for a minimum of 12 months before being gradually withdrawn over the course of four weeks, if not longer. If medications aren’t effective at reducing symptoms, then you may have your dosage increased.
If your PTSD requires treatment, then it is generally recommended that you go through psychological therapies first. A combination of medication and psychological therapy could be used for persistent and severe cases of PTSD.
Your GP may refer you to a clinic like Miracles Asia that specialises in treating PTSD should there be one in the area. You may also wish to refer yourself to such a psychological therapies service.
There are three main psychological therapies used for treating PTSD.
1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps patients to manage their problems by changing how they think, act, and respond.
CBT for trauma focuses on psychological techniques that help you to accept and come to terms with the traumatic event that happened.
For example, a therapist may ask you to confront the traumatic memories by thinking about what happened in detail. As you do this, the therapists help you to deal with the distress while helping to identify unhelpful thoughts and misrepresentations you hold over the experience.
Your therapist helps you to control the fear and distress you have about the event by changing the negative way you think about the experience ((for example, any fear that it could happen again or the blame you feel over what happened).
Your therapist may also encourage you to start doing things that you’ve avoided doing since the experience, such as going back to driving after having a car accident.
Trauma-focused CBT usually lasts for between 8 – 12 weeks, but you may not need this many sessions. Each weekly session lasts for between 60 and 90 minutes.
2. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new kind of treatment that has been found to help reduce symptoms of PTSD. The therapy involves moving the eyes from side-to-side, typically by following the finger of a therapist, while recalling the original traumatic incident. It can also include the therapist playing a tone or tapping their finger.
It’s not clear just how the treatment works, but it can help to change the negative ways in which you think about traumatic experiences from the past.
3. Group Therapies
Some people with PTSD find it helpful to discuss their experiences with others suffering from the condition. Group therapy helps people to find new ways to manage their symptoms and better understand what they are going through.
There are also some charities that offer support groups and counselling for victims of PTSD including those for military personnel and veterans and victims of crime.
Treatment of PSTD in Thailand at Miracles Asia includes daily group therapy sessions and individual counselling as part of a comprehensive treatment programme. Take the first step and contact our admissions team to learn how we can help you or a loved one get effective treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.