Having and experiencing PTSD is no fun. Who really wants to relieve traumatic/dramatic events in their lives which have left a very large emotional (and sometimes physical scar) in their lives. I know that I don’t. And so what to do?
Now, I don’t claim to be a Veteran, but my husband is and so I have some experience with living with someone I love dearly who has PTSD. Also, it doesn’t help that I, too, have “issues” due to my personal disability, which is Aspergers. But, this particular blog is not about me, but about whether Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is helpful in dealing with the emotional, as well as physical, components of the Veteran with PTSD.
According to ptsdabout.com, in an article written by Dr. Mathew Tull, “CBT is often used to help people with their PTSD, as well as a number of other psychological problems.”
So what exactly is cognitive-behavioral therapy? Again, Dr. Tull tells us that: “A cognitive-behavioral treatment is one that is based on the idea that psychological problems arise as a result of the way in which we interpret or evaluate situations, thoughts, and feelings, as well as our behaviors.”
Well, that is all well and good, but does it work? I believe that it depends on four things:
1) The patient’s willingness to work with the therapist.
2) The quality of the therapist and his working knowledge and skill in working with veteran’s with PTSD and their families.
3) Is the patient comfortable with the therapist’s approach to CBT and PTSD? (Be sure to get referrals from other patients and check BBB ((it couldn’t hurt)))
4)Understand that it will take time and alot of work to get better.
In March of 2014 the VA began a study entitled “PTSD: Exposure versus Cognitive Therapy.” As to their findings, I believe that they have either not finished their study, or have not gotten the approval to post their findings as of yet. Whatever, the important thing to remember is it is your mind, your feelings, your body, your family and your PTSD. Therefore, it is ultimately up to you to find a therapist you can work with so you can move forward.
It is the silences I remember most. The feeling that even though we could touch each other and loved each other, but we have difficulty really talking to each other. If you, too, are having problems communicating with your loved one, check out this website: http://www.poweroftwomarriage.com/info/how-to-communicate-with-your-spouse/
Now I am not saying that you need to take the course they are obviously selling, but the communication suggestions listed on this webpage are quite good, such as:
“Now, there’s a recording in your head of how your parents and the other grownups in your life interacted. That recording forms the foundation — it’s the default setting — for how you are likely to talk, fight, or withdraw from your spouse as a grown-up. How your spouse’s family talked—or didn’t talk—is the most likely source for your spouse’s default model for communication in marriage as well.
If this makes sense to you, check out the link and be sure to view the videos included on the site. They are fun and informative.
I know first hand how a loved ones personality can change after a TBI. It is like they are different, yet the same. Strangely enough you can see the difference in their eyes as well as their mannerisms. Yet, should someone who has experienced TBI and suffers from depression be given anti-depressants? Should they see a doctor while taking these medication? Should they be receiving counseling as well?
Here is advice about TBI and meds by Dr. Brian Greenwald.