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Discussion: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that may occur in individuals who have experienced a traumatic event during their lifetime. The symptoms occur within a few weeks of the traumatic event, but it takes years to manifest in other cases. Patients with PTSD manifest a number of cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms, including; upsetting nightmares, memory problems, depression, anxiety, confusion, muscle tremors, nausea, feeling hopelessness, not remembering important aspects of their lives, having negative thoughts, and severe emotional distress (Alexander, 2012). If the events keep reoccurring, an individual need to seek medical help as there are off-label, FDA-approved drugs and non-pharmacological interventions for treating PSTD among children and adolescents. An example of FDA- approved drug for treating PSTD is Paroxetine HCI, while an off-label drug is a Benzodiazepines. On the other hand, prolonged exposure can be used as a non-pharmacological intervention for PTSD (Alexander, 2012).

FDA medications refer to drugs whose side effects have been reviewed by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and determined to provide benefits that outweigh the risks for the intended individuals (Alexander, 2012). These drugs have various benefits and risks. The benefits include; a sense of safety to the consumers. Considering the extensive review of the drugs, harmful medications are disposed off before getting to the consumer. Second, FDA drugs are meant for a specific illness. These drugs are manufactured to cure a wide variety of illnesses and are under high scrutiny. For example, there are drugs to treat different types of cancer or depression. On the other hand, the risks of FDA medication are overpriced medicine. Since the drugs are approved, most vendors tend to overprice them since they know most customers will choose them over other medications. Second, FDA medicines are not readily available. Off-label drugs refer to drugs given to a patient for another use rather than the prescribed medication. For example, the use of Benzodiazepines to treat PSTD (Akiki & Abdallah, 2019). The benefits of off-label drugs are they can be used to relieve pain. Second, they are cheap and readily available in medicine outlets. However, there is a risk of buying a harmful drug that will bring more pain rather than curing the intended illness. The risk assessment that I would used to make a treatment decision of PTSD is checking the patients symptoms and taking them through various texts before making a decision.

There exist clinical guidelines for the treatment of PSTD in adults. The current guidelines strongly recommend the use of prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive processing therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (Courtois et al., 2017). Prolonged exposure therapy is an intervention strategy that may take a period of three months or more. It may involve imaginal exposure or in vivo exposure. Imaginal exposure is where a patient describes to the therapist their past experiences and the symptoms they have been experiencing. With the therapist’s guidance, the patient can practice breathing techniques to overcome the traumatic events. On the other hand, in vivo exposure involves exposing the individual to the fears until they are able to confront them. Apart from the treatments, the clinical guidelines does not address yoga or acupuncture as a form of treatment for PTSD. Therefore, it is vital for medical professionals to familiarize themselves with the guidelines before treating a patient.

In conclusion, PTSD is a common disease around the globe. It affects not only children but also adults. Therefore, there is a need for different intervention strategies to help the patients dealing with PTSD. Moreover, the government should create programs that create awareness about the disease in society so that individuals can recognize symptoms at an early age and seek medication where necessary.


Akiki, T. J., & Abdallah, C. G. (2019). Are there effective psychopharmacologic treatments for PTSD?. The Journal of clinical psychiatry80(3), 1309.

Alexander, W. (2012). Pharmacotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans: focus on antidepressants and atypical antipsychotic agents. Pharmacy and Therapeutics37(1), 32.

Courtois, C. A., Brown, L. S., Cook, J., Fairbank, J. A., Friedman, M., Gone, J. P., … & Kurtzman, H. (February 24, 2017.) Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults American Psychological Association Guideline Development Panel for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults Adopted as APA Policy.


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