Does a PTSD Cure Exist?
Is there a cure for PTSD? If so, how do you cure PTSD? Since posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a disabling condition, those afflicted with it often want to know the answers to those questions.
What Would a Cure for PTSD Be Like?
PTSD is a mental illness that occurs after a person experiences a trauma, typically that he or she believes is life-threatening to him or herself or someone else. Not all people that experience such a trauma get PTSD but some do. The symptoms of PTSD include things like:
- flashbacks of the trauma
- traumatic dreams involving the trauma
- heightened anxiety
- negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs that weren’t present before the trauma
and many more symptoms (PTSD Causes: Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
If there were a treatment available that would eliminate all the symptoms of PTSD permanently, that would be considered a cure. A cure for PTSD could be in the form of a medication or a psychotherapy – both of which are being currently used in treatment.
Can PTSD Be Cured?
Unfortunately, with current available PTSD treatments, just like with all mental illnesses, there is no official “cure” for PTSD. There is no one therapy that works for everyone that will eliminate all the symptoms of PTSD.
How Close Are We to a PTSD Cure?
That said, people can, and do, recover from PTSD every day. In fact, through treatment, some people do manage to eliminate all the symptoms of PTSD over time. Even those who don’t see the elimination of all symptoms, do, typically, see the cessation of some symptoms and see an improvement in symptom severity with the right treatment (PTSD Therapy and Its Role in Healing PTSD).
The same treatment doesn’t work for everyone, but some currently used and effective treatments include:
- Exposure therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
- Various PTSD medications
A person may need a combination of the above types of PTSD therapy for the best results.
And while none of these may be a PTSD cure, it’s clear that all of them offer help to people with PTSD. So, if you’re someone suffering with PTSD symptoms after a trauma, don’t lose hope. These therapies have been shown to work in controlled studies and with effort and the right, specialized care, they most likely will work for you, too.
Last Updated: 30 August 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD