POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 105 POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD): ALL AGES If you have been through traumatic events (such as violence, crime, combat or abuse)... 1. As a result of that event, do you avoid being reminded of this experience by staying away from certain places, people or activities? Yes/No 2. Did you lose interest in activities that were once important or enjoyable? Yes/No 3. Did you begin to feel more isolated or distant from other people? Yes/No 4. Did you find it hard to have love or affection for other people? Yes/No 5. Did you begin to feel that there was no point in planning for the future? Yes/No 6. After this experience were you having more trouble than usual falling asleep or staying asleep? Yes/No 7. Did you become jumpy or get easily startled by ordinary noises or movements? Yes/No Special thanks for Dr. Breslau and colleagues (Breslau N, Peterson E, Kessler R, Schultz L: Short screening scale for DSM-IV posttraumatic stress disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry 1999;156:908-911.) Treatment Effective treatments for PTSD are available, and can help most people with PTSD lead productive, fulfilling lives. PTSD does not have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships. Types of Treatment There are many types of treatment for PTSD and the recommended treatment will vary depending on the person's situation. 1. Counselling/therapy Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): helps you overcome PTSD by dealing with your cognitions (thoughts) and behaviours (learning coping strategies). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR practitioners report that by using eye movements (or other means of 'dual attention stimulation'), traumatic movements are processed into non-distressing memories. 2. Medication Medications can sometimes be helpful. A type of medication known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, are used for PTSD. For some people they can be very helpful. SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (such as Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). They work by raising the level of serotonin (a type of brain chemical) in the brain. Treatment might take 6 to 12 weeks. For some people, it takes longer. Treatment is not the same for everyone. What works for you might not work for someone else. Different Therapies in Detail Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) In cognitive (behavioural) therapy, your therapist helps you understand and change how you think about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how certain thoughts about your trauma cause you stress and make your symptoms worse. You will learn to identify thoughts about the world and yourself that are making you feel afraid or upset. With the help of your ►