Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Thursday, October 18th 2007, 4:17 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A scientific review concludes there's not enough evidence to know whether or not most treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder work.

A report from government's Institute of Medicine identifies one proven treatment. It's called exposure therapy. That's where PTSD patients are gradually exposed to sights and sounds that simulate their trauma. The idea is to help the patient learn how to cope.

The report stresses that the lack of evidence for other therapies doesn't mean patients should give up. One co-author says the message for patients is to "seek care."

PTSD was first recognized in Vietnam veterans. It's now the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder among troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But war is not the only trigger. Crime, accidents and other trauma can cause it in civilians.