According to many experts, around 10 to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan former troops suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which is definitely among the most challenging problem for combat veterans. This not only endangers the troops but also their families, putting hundreds and thousands of people at risk.
Since the PTSD is known for costing billions of dollars annually along with their effects on veterans and their families, it is more than ever critical to revised the policies and find more effective treatments. Note that over the years first-line treatments have included medications and talk therapy. In other words, this means that these therapies need to be experimented first and if they fail, other options should be looked into. In fact, the treatment guidelines by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs Department equates medication with psychotherapy. Similarly, the same is being done by the American Psychiatric Association. Not everyone agrees with these policies.
Many organizations from Australia, World Health Organization and the United Kingdom are of the view that trauma-focused psychotherapies such as prolonged exposure, eye movement desensitization, cognitive processing therapy and reprocessing are more effective when it comes to PTSD treatment.
In other words, these organizations believe that medications are not as strong as psychotherapy when it comes to post-traumatic disorder. Recently, a study carried out by military and VA researchers, support this position. The study was published in the journal Depression and Anxiety.
In a nutshell, this study challenges the current system of treatment for post-traumatic disorder. It?s time we start revising our policies and make sure we are putting up psychotherapy as the priority.