Treatment of PTSD

'All PTSD sufferers should be offered a course of trauma-focused psychological treatment (trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing),' recommends the NICE PTSD guideline (http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=CG026NICEguidelineword). As regards CBT, this is a laudable sentiment, but it is wishful thinking: there are just not enough therapists.

The mainstay of treatment is psychotherapy in which patients are encouraged to express their memories and feelings about the disaster in an individual or group setting. Antidepressant drugs may also help.

As regards EMDR (which stands for 'eye movement desensitization and reprocessing'), this controversial treatment is also regarded by NICE as an evidence-based treatment, in spite of the fact that no one has a clear idea of how it might work.

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