PTSD Treatment for Veterans

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. For many people, these symptoms can make it hard to function in day-to-day life.

U.S. Army Pfc. Joshua Yi, a combat medic assigned to Bravo Company, 121st Combat Support Hospital, Camp Yungsan, Republic of Korea, carries a simulated casualty during a combat scenario as part of the 2012 Pacific Region Medical Command Best Medic Competition Aug. 30, 2012, at Schofield Barracks, in Wahiawa, Hawaii. The PRMC Best Medic competition is a 72-hour physical and mental test of U.S. Army Medics leadership, teamwork, tactics, medical knowledge and warrior tasks. The winners of the PRMC competition move on to compete for the Army’s Best Medic at Camp Bullis in San Antonio, Texas.(Department of Defense photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth/Released)

PTSD is a common problem among veterans. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 11-20 out of every 100 veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) have PTSD in a given year. That means that between 7 and 8 million adults have PTSD at any given time.

Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms of PTSD and allow people to live more productive lives. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common treatments for PTSD and how they can help veterans suffering from this condition.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the most common treatments for PTSD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of therapy that helps people change the way they think about and react to situations that trigger their symptoms.

For example, someone with PTSD might avoid places or activities that remind them of their trauma. CBT can help them understand that their avoidance is only making their symptoms worse and teach them how to face their fears in a more healthy way.

CBT typically lasts for 12-16 weeks, but some people may need more or less time depending on the severity of their symptoms.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is another type of treatment that can be effective for PTSD. Exposure therapy involves slowly exposing someone to the things they’re afraid of in a safe and controlled environment.

For example, if someone has PTSD stemming from combat experience, their exposure therapy might involve watching movies or reading books about combat experiences. Or if someone has PTSD from a car accident, their exposure therapy might involve driving on the highway again or riding in a car as a passenger. The goal of exposure therapy is to help people face their fears and learn that they can do so without experiencing intense fear or anxiety.


Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly prescribed medications for PTSD.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are a type of antidepressant medication that works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. This helps regulate mood and reduce anxiety. Commonly prescribed SSRIs include sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil).

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants are another type of antidepressant medication typically used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, including PTSD. These medications work by blocking certain neurotransmitters in the brain that can cause depression or anxiety symptoms. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants include amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), doxepin (Sinequan), and imipramine (Tofranil).


Benzodiazepines are sedative medications that work quickly to reduce symptoms like insomnia or restlessness associated with PTSD. They can be used on an as-needed basis, but they should only be taken for short periods due to their potential for addiction or abuse. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan) and alprazolam (Xanax).

If you or someone you know suffers from PTSD, know that there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and allow sufferers to lead more productive lives. While each person’s experience with PTSD is unique, there are some common treatments that have been proven to be effective. If you’re looking for help, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local VA hospital or mental health provider. With proper treatment, it is possible to live a happy and fulfilling life despite having PTSD.